Sound familiar? This is where I'd raise my hand, guilty as charged. I often have so many good intentions but without a plan it often falls through and puts a damper on the rest of the evening. Now, I'm sure you all have the perfect solution to this problem, but I thought I'd share one of my tricks for any of you poor souls that may be like me. It includes (dare I say it...) PLANNING! I know, that requires time and effort! Who has time for that?! But honestly, it may require a half hour or so planning session for a week's worth of meals instead of wasting that same amount of time daily, or even every meal, figuring out what to cook. So, at least for me, it actually saves a lot of time and gets me more excited to cook meals from scratch! (Which, if you've read my previous posts, you know is totally worth it to me!
Make shopping that much more simple! When you have your meals planned out, you know what ingredients you have and what needs to be on your shopping list. Often when people don't know exactly what they need, they have a tendency to come home with a lot of extra. It saves time and money to know what you need because you can get in, out, and on your way without all that extra.
Lastly, I want to point out that this menu board is YOURS. You get to personalize it to fit YOUR needs, not mine, not your aunts-best friends-daughters-cousin. It's yours, and needs to work for YOU. Mine is homemade with a metal magnet board mounted behind a frame I built, then painted and sanded to make it more rustic. All I use is dry erase markers on it, listing 7-8 meals. I don't even specify the day. I prefer the freedom of knowing what I have and deciding what I have the time and energy to prepare. You may be able to find one you can buy, or you can make your own if that's your preference. Pinterest has some awesome ideas for menu boards! Think through your needs/wants for your board. Do you want it listed by day? Every meal or just dinner? Entrees only, or include side dishes, drinks and desserts as well? Do you want one week worth, or a month? To finish it all off, what do you want it to look like? Home decor that can be as glamorous or as homey as you'd like. My sister and my son helped decorate mine!! (yes, the dry erase marker all over the frame would be my sons doing...but at least I get to smile often because of the touch of family on my menu board.) The options are endless, but with a little thought, you should be able to figure out what may be most beneficial for you.
I hope this gives you a few good ideas on meal planning for your own home. It's wonderful to have meals planned that you can look forward to. Good luck in your own meal planning endeavours and if you have some of your own ideas or experiences, feel free to share in the comments below.