Monday, March 28, 2011

Menu Plan 3/28/11: Do you follow your plan to the letter?

One thing that always stopped me from doing menu planning was the feeling that I was locked into whatever I had decided - that a menu plan didn't allow for any changes.

But then I figured it out - it's okay to make a mid-week change.

Here are some reasons I might not stick to my menu plan:

  • Unexpected schedule changes - a child might have an activity that I hadn't planned on, or I lost a lot of time during the day and wasn't able to do the prep work for a planned meal.  In these cases, it's good to have a short list of quick meals that you can make without an extra trip to the store.  (I'll have a list of these next week.)
  • Unexpectedly running out of an ingredient - one week I had planned for salads later in the week, but used up all the lettuce earlier.  Instead of buying more and making an unplanned trip to the store for it, I changed the plan.
  • Getting new ingredients - I love the loss-leader produce at ALDI, so sometimes I will buy something unexpected.  I don't want it to go to waste, so I will change my menu plan to fit the new ingredients.
  • Boredom - occasionally I'll look at the menu plan and say, "Oh, no, not that again!"  So I'll try something different instead, maybe using the same ingredients, but cooking it in a different way.
So here's what's (barring any changes!) for dinner this week:

Monday - chicken breasts, pasta with garlic and oil, salad

Tuesday - poached salmon fillets over salad

Wednesday - pepper pizza on whole wheat pizza dough, fruit

Thursday - spaghetti and meatballs, salad

Friday - chicken stir-fry over brown rice, challah

Saturday - vegetarian chili over pasta

Sunday - takeout!

If you're a frugal food blogger, please come and link up with Frugal Food Thursdays. And check out all of my frugal recipes!

Check out Menu Plan Monday for more menu plans!

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NCcouponer March 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM  

I totally agree. Sometimes I have a great shopping trip mid-week, and can't wait to use the items in the kitchen! I always say that the great thing about meal planning is not necessarily following it, but knowing that you have enough food in your kitchen to get you through the week!

mollyfrog March 28, 2011 at 7:47 PM  

I don't make a menu plan because of all those things! We just look at what's on hand and make what sounds tasty. I keep enough staples and extras to always be able to make something without having to go to the store. It might not make sense, like chicken nuggets and stuffing with a salad, but sometimes thats what we're in the mood for!

Lynn March 28, 2011 at 8:27 PM  

I menu plan obsessively, but rarely make it through the week without changes. This time of year, my biggest reason for changing is the weather! I optimistically plan to grill any night I think we can get away with it, but then have to modify when I've been overly optimistic!

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