I had a lot of trouble doing meal planning for just two. It’s just me and DH. I used to dutifully sit down and make out a weekly menu plan, do a weekly shopping, and then “life” happened. Sometimes we had leftovers for dinner the next night, so then Tuesday menu had to be moved to Wednesday. Sometimes we would eat dinner out, so there was another night that had to be switched, or we had a big lunch, and would only want cheese, crackers and an apple for dinner. By the end of the week, my plan was in disarray, food was spoiling, etc. My husband expressed dismay at the amount of fresh veggies we were tossing because they never got fixed, and perfectly good leftovers would end up shoved to the rear of the refrigerator until they had to be thrown away.
Finally a “light bulb” went off. My menu planning doesn’t follow a weekly plan — I still do menus, but don’t assign days of the week. Since breakfast and lunch are usually more or less the same week after week, I just plan the dinners. I will write dinner menus and shop for the next five dinners, whichever day they may be. I don’t cook another dinner meal until we are finished with the last one. That way, what I buy gets prepared and eaten, and the leftovers are consumed before there are any “new-overs”. I think I’ve saved at least 30% on our grocery bill since I started planning on a “five next dinners” basis instead of insisting on sticking to a weekly menu plan. Once I realize we need another dinner, I just look at what’s next on the list, and fix it. I realize this might not work for families with children, but it works for us.
FlyLady here: The best way to FLY is to find what works for you and stick to that routine. I’m so proud of you for having your aha moment!
Our November Habit of the Month – Menu Planning will save you so much time, stress and money. It doesn’t matter if you are cooking for one or for 8. Find the routine that works best for you and your family!