Benefits of Menu Planning

I had a friend ask on Facebook what people were serving for dinner on a regular basis. It’s a good question. You get stuck in a rut and you want to find out what others are doing, because their rut is different than your rut. And before you know it you have 5 new meals.

Here is how I have avoided the rut, well for the most part.

I started menu planning about 1 1/2 years ago. I have my little notebook and I write my meals down in it. I also have a page of meals that were hits. I am always trying new things, and with Pinterest I have recipes for days, and many I have tried and like.

So now what I do is when I go to work on my meal plan for the week, I look over all my meals from the past year or so. It jolts my memory of something I made and everyone liked. Therefore making my list of “hits” even longer.

You will have more than one list if you are like me. The things you serve in the winter are different than the things you serve in the summer. I don’t use my oven in the summer and I don’t have grill to use in the winter. Since I try to cook with seasonal food I like to keep those lists separate.

Over a  year ago I sat the family down and asked them of the things we eat, what would you put on the weekly menu?  From that I not only got my question answered, but it has continued to work for me. I will try a new recipe and they will say “Don’t add this to the weekly list” or “You could add this every other week” and then some times I hit the home run and get the “add this to the weekly list.”

The nice thing is I no longer ask the question if they like it, they just offer up their opinion. It’s a great way to keep building on the weekly meal plans.

Here’s what I’m eating this week.

Monday :: Zuppa Toscana soup with bread and maybe a Caesar salad

Tuesday :: Butternut Squash Gnocchi with salad

Wednesday :: Beef in a Red Wine Sauce,  over mashed potatoes served with roasted carrots

Thursday :: Family all gone, me home alone. Either left overs or out with a friend.

Friday :: I’m out with the girls meaning my family will eat out.

Saturday ::  Breakfast burritos – hashbrowns, eggs, bacon/sausage, little bit of cheese rolled in a flour tortilla.

My Monday soup has kale in it. I will be making some green smoothies this week to use that up. Green smoothies is just a blend of fruits with kale.

My Tuesday meal has sage in it. I will use the extra sage in my lunches when I heat up my Butternut Squash Bisque.

Wednesday will always have left overs. If I wasn’t making the butternut squash gnocchi the day before I would make extra mashed potatoes to go with the Beef in a red wine sauce so I could make gnocchi with the left overs, but Gnocchi once a week is enough.

Just maybe if I plan it right I could have some left overs for the everyone on the Friday I am gone.

My lunches will consist of lunch meat, soup and green smoothies. My son will get a sandwich and fruits and veggies and my daughter will have whatever she makes for herself since she is home for lunch every day. My husband will either have a sandwich here or out to eat.

Here is what others are eating this week.





  1. Thank you for sharing how you plan to use the “left-over” ingredients. This is something I am working to make sure I do. I’m getting a lot better.

  2. Thanks for commenting on my blog, and I’m glad you liked the zuppa toscana! It’s my fave soup right now 🙂

  3. I love Butternut Bisque! And it’s so great for a winter lunch. Found you on Menu Plan Monday!

  4. I always try and have a plan, but it doesn’t always pan out. I think I did pretty good this week though.


  1. […] 1. It gives me future ideas […]