Meal Planning {for the Indecisive}

Meal Planning {for the Indecisive}

If I had to pick one word to describe myself, I would choose indecisive (do you know how hard it was for indecisive me to select just one word?)… I’m a “variety is the spice of life” kind of gal. I have 4 children, 2 blondes & 2 brunettes; I have several pets & hobbies.  I don’t like just “1” of anything – except for husbands. I LOVE my ONE husband and am not indecisive at all when it comes to him – unless you count the brief moment during our honeymoon that the realization of the permanence of being married suddenly hit me. Even though I knew I married the right person, how did I really know ~ Just the typical indecisive tendency popping up temporarily ~ we’ve been married since 1992 ♥

I’m a baker – I LOVE to bake –  I LOVE Sugar, Flour, Sugar, Butter, Sugar, Cream, Sugar, Eggs and Sugar.  My husband’s nickname for me is Sugar; that’s another post… Anyway, I’m not much of a cook – because if I had to choose sweet or savory, I would pick sweet. However,  I really enjoy eating gourmet food, probably because the creative spin each chef puts into their dishes make the meals unique. I enjoy reading menus & cookbooks, and my most recent discovery, food blogs. I realize that my family needs to eat other foods besides desserts and it’s my job to feed them; which leads me to the point of this entire post “Meal Planning “.

The problem with meal planning for me is that I am also a procrastinator – because, I’m indecisive. I can’t even decide what I want to eat. There are just way.too. many.choices – the internet offers seemingly endless possibilities.  I have a hard enough time selecting a meal or a dessert from a menu. So many blogs extol the virtues of meal planning like saving time &  money and avoiding stress!  I had to laugh at myself today as I was again struggling with getting into a routine (I’m not really a routine person either).

However, I laughed at myself because for practically half my lifetime I have been a teacher and I mostly work with 6-year-old children. Each week I would prepare my lessons in advance for the following week. Each day was planned in 20-minute (or less) increments. I had weekly & monthly themes. It was at this moment today, this uneventful Tuesday in the middle of May, I had a life-changing A-HA moment as I asked myself, “WHY can’t I consistently make a weekly lesson plan for MY life?”  and I didn’t have a good answer for that, in fact, I didn’t have an answer at all.  So I’m determined to make meal planning a reality. I think that I can stick to it this time, because I also realized that I am my children’s teacher. If I meal plan, they will learn to meal plan.  Guess that means I have “homework” tonight.

Update: While shopping at Kirkland’s my husband saw the menu board featured at the top of this post. Not only does this motivate me to meal plan, but it lets everyone in the family know what meals are planned for the week & more importantly answers the question “What’s for Dinner?”. (Funny, they still ask me anyway???)

Another strategy that I implemented was a few themed dinner nights. For example:

  • Taco Tuesday (sound familiar?), which means we typically eat some sort of Mexican theme dinner on Tuesdays or one night a week
  • Fishy Friday
  • Meaty Monday (ie, steak, hamburger, cube steak, meatloaf, porcupine meatball)
  • Pizza or Pasta
  • During the winter – we have soup night or soup/sandwiches typically a hot sandwich like grilled cheese or panini
  • During the summer – we have a salad or cold-cut style sandwich
  • note: that leaves one night for going out, events or “new-recipe” night


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