Tomorrow, October 1st, is the first day of the 2012 October Unprocessed Challenge. Are you all as excited as I am about eating wholesome, nutritious foods this month?? I sure hope so!
I’ve been working on my menu plan for this month – yes, the entire month. Yikes! As with my regular menu plans, this menu is not set in stone. My menus usually vary depending on what’s on sale (and not on sale) and unexpected events and appointments, etc. But I’ve found that having a menu planned out keeps me from being completely unprepared and avoiding that “Uh-oh, it’s 5:00 and I have no ideas what to make for dinner!” dilemma.
(Note: I will continue posting weekly menu plans, since this is what I am used to and I know my menu will change from time to time).
Since we are eating completely unprocessed this month, I will be making a few more homemade ingredients than I normally do. Having this menu planned out in advance, I will be able to look ahead and know which ingredients I need to stock up on for the next week. I will let you all know what I am making throughout each week, in case you want to stock up on homemade foods, too!
Dinners should be fairly easy for me to plan, but I am a little nervous about breakfasts and snacks. I have quite a few ideas up my sleeve, so I’m optimistic. My only fear is that my kids will get burned out if we end up having the same meals or snacks too many times. We’ll just have to see how it goes.
I have never planned out an entire month’s meals before, so this has been an interesting challenge. I have found a couple of ways to keep my menu from getting out of control and overwhelming, so I thought I would share those tips with you all.
- Specific Recipes vs. Generic Meal Ideas. As I mentioned above, I tend to build my menu plans around what ingredients are on sale and what ingredients I have on hand. While a majority of my menu planning includes specific recipes, I also allow myself to schedule generic meal ideas as well. Some days I might just write “fish” or “slow cooker soup” as my meal. This will give me an idea of what I will be cooking, without me being tied down to specific ingredients.
- Repetition. Like most families, we have several “go-to” meals that we eat quite often. These are meals that I know my entire family enjoys and that I know aren’t time consuming. I have found that if I repeat those meals every week or every other week, it makes menu planning so much easier. For instance, when we have homemade pizza, I try to make it on Friday. Or tacos/taco salads on Tuesday (who doesn’t love Taco Tuesday?!).
Here is this week’s menu plan:
- Maple Grape Nuts (x2) (I will post about how I make these. Trust me, they are way better than plain Grape Nuts!)
- Breakfast Burritos
- Freezer Pancakes and Scrambled Eggs
- Scrambled Eggs and Toast (x2)