Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Organizing My Dinner Plan

I'm not a very good cook.  I don't really enjoy cooking but mostly because I am not organized.   We usually have dinner around 6:30pm because that is what works for us with my husband's work schedule.  And there are plenty of nights at 6pm when I still don't know what to cook.  I want to make something but don't have all the ingredients, or the meat isn't thawed out.  I have plenty of recipes so that's not the problem, the problem was getting on a schedule and STAYING on that schedule.

Throughout my married life, I've gotten on a dinner cooking schedule and done real good, for about a week, maybe even a month.  But I have trouble maintaining it.  The other day we had an organization class at church and organizing meals was one thing that was mentioned.  This gave me the kick in the pants to get motivated to do a dinner schedule again.  The class mentioned The Food Nanny.  I checked it out and it was a similar system to what I've done before and failed at maintaining.  If it works for you and your family, great.

But it wasn't working for mine and here's why.  You have to create meal themes like Italian night, pasta night, meatless meals, chicken.....  I liked that idea and even divided out my recipes into the various themes.  It is nice to not have chicken every night of the week or to spread out your pasta dishes, so I liked that part.  But making every Monday my pasta night didn't work because some Mondays we still have leftovers that needed eating, so I was cooking too much.  Then Monday's dish would get shifted to Tuesday and so on.  So that's what I decided to do.  Create a flexible schedule which has my meals in order (pasta, chicken, quick/easy, meat....) and just rotate from there.

I plan out about 8 meals in advance and buy those ingredients so I can make them when I need to.  Depending on how many left overs we have and if we eat out, I can cook only when I need to and still keep from eating the same type of meal too often.  If every Monday was pasta night and we had leftovers on Tuesday and Wednesday and pasta again on Monday, we'd get sick of pasta real quick.  This new flexible schedule seems simple, I don't know why I didn't think of it before.   So far I've stuck with this schedule for a whole week and I'm still going strong.  Here's hoping it lasts - CHEERS!

Anyone else simplified/organized their dinner plan?  How did you do it?