July is here. Now’s the time to update chores, menus, school plans, and schedules for the upcoming school year. By planning now, we’ll be able to practice for most of July and August before we jump into school mode the beginning of September.
Ideally all the changes will be second nature by then, and adding school to the routine will be simple.
We’ll see how it actually works out!
The kids were very excited about updating our menu. Just FYI, here is the thinking behind my meal plan. The post I linked to has last year’s menu, and some additional information.
How Our Menu Plan Works
- We eat the same breakfast and lunch every day of the week (Mondays are the same, Tuesdays the same, etc.)
- The kids each have a day of the week.
- On their day, they were able to pick breakfast and lunch.
- Each dinner has a theme. The kids were also able to pick which theme they wanted for their night.
- One snack a day is planned. (Which is a change–this year we had two, but my kids weren’t eating meals really well, so one has to go!)
- The snack is something the kids will ideally be able to do most of the prep work for.
- Jayme is responsible for cooking one breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack this year. She picked which meals she wanted, and spread them out over four different days. Break for mom, great skills for her!
- We add seasonal or frozen fruit and veggies to round out each meal choice.
- This menu will stay the same (with minimal changes as needed) until next July.
Why Do I Menu Plan Like This?
Here’s some insight into my brain..
Having a set meal plan saves time during the school year, when I’m most busy. I don’t need to add weekly meal planning to my to-do list, because it’s done!
Since I’m able to prepare one master shopping list, I’m able to take advantage of savings to buy in bulk. I know what I’ll need, and won’t end up with a pantry full of something we don’t actually eat.
My grocery list helps me to stay on budget!
Flexible and Creativity are Still Possible
With themed dinners, I have the ability to be flexible and creative when I have time. You see, Fiesta Night can be something super quick and simple like nachos. It can also be homemade tortillas stuffed with enchilada filling. That one takes a lot more time and effort.
By having several meals on deck for each theme, I’m able to mix and match to hectic schedules.
The Kids Know What to Expect
My kids (I think most kids) thrive on routine. But additionally, they each have some ownership in this menu. After all, they are the ones who picked many of the meals.
This makes meal time less of a headache! There’s way less whining and complaining. 😀
Commit Recipes to Memory
You try making the same thing every Monday for a year and see how naturally it comes to you after awhile! Once I’ve memorized recipes, I save even more time in the kitchen!
Prep Work Is Easy
This menu plan makes prep work easy. If we’re having oatmeal for breakfast every Friday, I need to start the oats soaking on Thursday.
I can easily see what kind of meat might need pulled out for the next night and let it thaw too. In order to make egg fried rice for lunch, I need to cook it the day before so we have cold rice to start with.
Simplifying life is good–especially at this season of my life!
You’ll notice some hyperlinks in my menu table. Those take you to the sites with the recipes. I might not always use the same one, but most of the time I do. This makes it easy for me to find them when I need them. It also gives Jayme a place to turn when she does the cooking!
So here you are…our 2014-2015 Master Menu Plan!
Breakfast Casserole & Juice
Baked Potato Bar
Meat, Cheese, Crackers & Pickles
Sausage patty & Egg
Grilled Cheese & Carrots
Pretzels & cheese
Yogurt & Jam/Honey
PB & J, Applesauce
Pizza @ Grandma’s
Cookies/Brownies & Milk *
Baked Potato Rotation:
Tacos or Taco Salad
Crockpot Mexican Casserole
This is basically mom’s choice! Whatever I feel like making, or leftovers or whatever. Simon is still too young to pick meals, so I also picked for him! (Benefit of being mom!)