I have tried many things over the years to make meal time easier. I have planned a day at a time, a week at a time, a month at a time, and even several months at a time. I have tried plan charts, colored charts, and charts with bells and whistles, but what I have found works best for us is a simple large desk calendar.
I have tried to find out what other people do and it seems most families only eat once a day, supper. haha What about us families how eat three meals and a snack every. single. day? I tried many different calendars and planners but nothing was ever big enough to fit all I needed to write and also be legible.
One day I was looking for a large calendar that would work for our day-to-day life and I came across a desk calendar. It was love at first sight! really! With so many of us and all the different stuff going on I needed a large enough calendar which gave me plenty of space on EACH day of the week to write everything down. Then it dawned on me, this would also be perfect for meal planning. I will never go back to those small calendars and hand planners. It may seem a bit much for some families but for us it’s perfect. Lots of space, nothing fancy, and all I need is a pencil and my cookbooks.
Once I get the new calendar that comes out in October I am able to start writing out the next years meals. I pretty much know now what we like to eat at certain times of the year so it’s pretty easy to fill in the blanks one month at a time. I’ve also written about how I decided to plan meals for a year at a time here and the best way to get started here. It does take some time to write it all down but I try to only take a month so it’s just done and I don’t have to think about it anymore. I also take into account days for trying new meals, holidays, soccer season, and other family gatherings.
This last year I got about half way done when I took a break from planning and never finished. I’ve been writing in each only as it comes but am hoping to get the rest of the year done so I just dont’ have to think about it anymore.
Our kids have really loved this as they always know what’s coming and even like to look at the coming months to see if their favorite meals will be coming up. A couple of days again, Kurtis looked at next month and asked Dean if we were going to starve in October. Turns out I hadn’t filled in that month yet and he seriously thought we weren’t going to be eating. Poor guy! I got next months meals planned out and let him know we will be eating every day next month. Here is a pic of next months meals.
What ways do you plan your meals?