UGH! Do you hate that question? I do, and it is usually because the answer is, "I don't know". I have tried a lot of different meal plans, trying to be better about knowing what to have for dinner as well as having all of the ingredients on hand. For me, a rigid meal plan never works, what if I am not in the mood for a meal on the assigned day?
If, however, I have several options available for me to choose from then the battle is almost over. Don't you find that figuring out WHAT to make is the biggest part of the battle (as long as you have all of the ingredients on hand)?
Here is what is working for me and my family right now:
Divide your meals into 8 categories
Next, fill in your frequently used meals into those categories.
"Pizza" could include ordering pizza, picking it up, or varieties of homemade versions.
"Boxed" is for those easier options (and we all need those), such as; mac-n-cheese, chicken patties and tatter tots, Suddenly Salad, etc.
"Other" meals are those that do not fit into the other categories. In my house this would include waffles, frittata, salads, etc.
Now, when I am asked what is for dinner, I have a list of 8 categories that equals 50 options! I just made a meal plan for the entire month of October, and it only took me a few minutes.
I went through my 8 categories and picked one from each at least 3 times until I was done! Because of the categories, I was able to make sure that I had a good variety of meals, with some easy options thrown in there too.
Now, grocery shopping is much easier as well. I can choose from my categories to fit the items that are on sale that week, or I can make sure to get coupons for the ingredients that I need.