I quickly came to realize that feeding a family of 7 requires some planning. When we just had 3 children at 5:00 I would ask myself, "so what am I making for dinner?" If I couldn't come up with an answer, we went out to dinner or my husband picked up fast food. Not the best way to go about things but it's what I did for years.
Now I plan out a week or two in advance and try to do two big shopping days twice a month purchasing food like produce (or stuff I've forgotten) in between.
In planning my menu I shop first in my freezer and pantry. It is easy for me to forget what I have and I end up buying something we don't need. I also want to use up the meats in the freezer first so that we don't end up having to throw out a bunch that has freezer burn.
I start my menus on Saturday because I do my grocery shopping on Friday. The dinner days that are missing are my sons' days to plan and make dinner. I still need to ask them before tomorrow what they want to make. They are not very creative in their planning and we sometimes end up having hot dogs twice in a week. At least we buy better hot dogs now.
I don't always stick to the menu especially for snacks and lunch. During the week I might find recipes that I want to try or I may not feel like fixing something elaborate but it gives me a guideline to follow.
Here is my menu plan and to do list for the next two weeks.
Pizza and FruitPb&j’s and Ants on a LogTuna Melts and Carrots with DipJust Babies: Chicken and Green BeansPb&j’s and Ants on a LogGrilled Cheese and Tomato Soup XXXXXXXXXDinner
JD:Salmon Puffs, Sweet Potato FriesBraised Ribs, Salad, Garlic ToastHolden:Eli:Salmon Puffs and Green SmoothiesPizzaSnack
Fruit and CheesePumpkin SeedsApples with Peanut ButterBuckwheat Carrot/Raisin MuffinsPumpkin SeedsTrail Mix XXXXXXXXX
And all the things I have to do to make the menu happen:
To Do List 10/23/10
Soak For Pumpkin/Pecan Bars, Soak For PoptartsMake PoptartsSoak For Choc/Pnt BtrMuffinsBoil Eggs, Bake Choc/Pnt Btr Muffins, Soak Nuts For Trail Mix (Leave Some For Bkfst Friday)Make Trail Mix