It’s what’s for dinner.

I actually don’t know what’s for dinner tonight. It’s still early.

But I DO know what’s for dinner in September. ALL September. And for breakfast and lunch, too.

Not only do I know what’s for dinner, I am in the midst of putting together all of the recipes I’ll need. And making grocery lists for all ingredients (separating them into “buy now” and “buy fresh” categories). And planning which things can be made in advance. And hopefully doing that pre-cooking or other prep work in the next few days.

When I told my husband these plans, he said that I was “crazy”…and “ambitious.” I asked which, and pointed out that “crazy” was an insult and “ambitious” was a compliment. He artfully dodged answering.

The project IS rather ambitious, and I’ve been working hard all day. My plan is to use this monthly menu three months in a row. While I’m using it, I’ll put together a winter menu to use three months in a row. Then a spring one, then a summer one. If I do this every quarter for three years, I’ll have a 12 month plan!

I do know that there are already books written with this sort of menu planning in mind, but I need to go with food my family eats. If I don’t make tacos at least 2 or 3 times a month, my oldest son will be upset. And if my kids have to face a whole month of casseroles or strange recipes, they will waste away until they resemble concentration camp survivors. I try to limit new recipes to once a week.

If I succeed, and I plan to succeed, I will not only not have to think about planning food for a month, I will surely save money on emergency dinners at the drive-through. We’ve got fall baseball and soccer and ballet starting next week and the week after. I need to get food on the table in a jiffy.

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6 thoughts on “It’s what’s for dinner.

  1. I need to do this too! I tried the saving dinner program once for a few months…but lots of weird stuff, many I didn't even like. I hate that time of the day when it's “what's for dinner?” Ugh, I don't know. I can't be spontaneous about dinner, it just has to be planned out.

    I can't wait to hear how this works out for you! I'm excited and hope I'll learn a thing or two as I read about your planning.

  2. The picking the food you eat is the best part, I think. Love those ideas you find in books and online, but we don't eat that stuff or in the portions they suggest.

  3. I used to be such a good menu planner, but I never know when I'm going to make it to the store anymore. This week, I made it. Last week, we ate out of the pantry. I've never quite been able to pull together the one-month plan, though. Hope it works out well for you!

  4. I had the same issue Angoraknitter did…loved the Saving Dinner approach, but didn't like a lot of things that were in it, so it kind of defeated the purpose. Planning your own is a brilliant idea!

  5. Good for you! I would be lost without my menus.

  6. I'd love to hear how this works out for you!

    This week's plan, for me, involves making a “dinner kit” for Barbara's Skillet Beef Stroganoff. I am not ready to go whole hog with the make-ahead thing, but I need to have 2 nights of easy dinners for Little Brother's soccer days.

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