If you’ve been around these parts a while, you know that I often go on and on about how much I love menu plans. It really is my saving grace during the week when I feel like I just don’t have any more brain capacity between being a mama, a business owner, and right now – just about to move house in the next few days.
Menu planning allows me to stay organized and save that precious time and energy to focus on the things that I need to (like packing boxes) and the things that I really want to (like sharing my stories with you every week).
The number one thing I’ve learned lately about menu planning while living a GFDF life is that it doesn’t have to be reinvented each and every week.
I used to write down a number of meals, organize them into my calendar, and get cookin’ on the week. I didn’t really have much of a system except to say that I did it every week.
Lately, I’ve been intentionally writing down just a few meals and rotating through them so that I’m not starting from scratch every week. This has saved me even more energy when I sit down to plan for the week ahead – and allows me to stay on track with my gluten- and dairy-free lifestyle.
Here are two great tips on menu planning to help you save more time and energy:
- Reuse old menu plans. If it worked once, why wouldn’t it work again? No need to spend even 15 minutes coming up with a plan when you probably have plenty of previous menus that are already vetted. This is especially helpful for me during busy periods (like right now with moving – or during the holiday season).
- Keep track of the meals that you’ve made – and loved.I’ve gotten into the habit of making new things or “winging it” with my menu planning for a long time. I’d find a recipe on Pinterest and make it, only to completely forget about it. Now I’m making a list of meals that were big hits in my house so I remember to make them again later. This is also super handy, because when I do plan my menus for the week, I have a nice list of “tried and true” recipes that work with my GFDF needs but I also know that the whole family loves them.
Both of these tips might sound blatantly obvious to you, but they’re things I wasn’t doing very consistently up until now. Today’s post is equally me sharing ideas with you AND making sure I write them down in one place to give myself a kick in the pants when I’m struggling to menu plan in the future (Dear future self… read this blog post!).
Since I’m really trying hard to put my money where my mouth is with menu planning, I thought I’d offer up a few menu plans that you can try that I’ve already vetted at my house – and ones I plan to return to and use again and again.
So here’s my permission to steal from me this week. Steal one of these seven menu plans or use them as a jumping off point to get you going on your menu planning journey:
Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments:
What more could YOU get done or have time for if you streamlined your menu planning? Have you been making this menu planning idea a lot more complicated than it has to be (like I have)?