Sunday, November 20, 2011

A New Beginning

It was time. Time to gain control of our eating/cooking situation. I never have loved to cook. Fun baking is one thing. But the daily grind of dinner...meh it is just tedious and boring and I'll do anything to avoid it. I'd rather not eat than have to cook! Cereal, bagels and PBJ's for everyone!

The worst part is, my mother was amazing and cooked dinner every night, exhausted or not, having worked outside the house that day or not. I should be ashamed! LOL

But it was getting old. It had been like 4 months since I had been in a good dinner routine. I've been throwing together things at the last minute, eating out, and having lots of "fend for yourself" nights.

And there's "the question." The question I hate more than anything in the world. "What's for dinner tonight?" It almost always came from Mr. G and almost always resulted in the same face splitting open and snakes flying out. Okay, I'm joking. Mostly. To most a harmless and inane question, but to me it represents two things. 1) The fact that I'm reluctantly and resentfully in charge of feeding everyone (sorry, but it's true. It's my least favorite part of being an adult, being a wife, and being a mom)  and 2) The fact that I have failed at it, and have NO FREAKING CLUE what's for dinner.

The reason I am so reluctant to cook isn't just because I'm's because I'm too type-A. When I think about cooking dinner, I think well before I cook, I need to go to the grocery store. And before I go to the grocery store, I need a list. And in order to make a list, I need a menu. And I'll need to clean out the fridge and do these dishes first, and UGGHHHHHHH! It just never gets done :(

Until one day about a month ago. I was doing the dishes, staring at my Daily Menu chalkboards I made almost a year ago, and I started to think, what if each day had a theme? As I started to imagine the different themes, I realized that as long as I had 5 different meals in each category, I could manage to cook each thing only once a month. And we would never have to make more than one menu, because eating something as infrequently as once a month isn't often enough to get tired of it! :) So, I whipped up a perpetually rotating 5 week menu.

Sundays are for pasta (not just 'sketti). Mondays will be vegetarian, Tuesday night Mr. G teaches so that is our 'free' night. Wednesday will be the favorite...the kids LOVE breakfast food! Thursday is Mexican night, (not just tacos). Friday is the night for the kids' favorites. Saturdays will be soups during the Fall and Winter, and salads during the Spring and Summer.


I made a clothespin to indicate which week we're on! And, I laminated the printout for durability. (pardon the cruddy pic!)

And of course, I saved the .PSD file so I can switch things up if we discover a new recipe we can't live without--I'll just put it into the rotation! 

We went to the store and did all of our major shopping for the next 5 weeks in one fell swoop, and it is SUCH an amazing feeling! We'll just go back for milk and bread and stuff....*this* I can handle. So a hip, hip, hooray for new beginnings! 


  1. SUCH a great idea!!! I found this through Pinterest. I am totally going to do this. Thanks for sharing your great idea!

  2. Also, what's your recipe for Fish & Chips? I would love to make that! :-)

  3. I ended up making my own 5-week plan and linking back to you for my inspiration. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. WOW! I love this idea!! I will definitely be giving it a try :)

  5. Lauren, THANK YOU for the feedback! I love your spin on it! I wish I had a fancy recipe for fish & chips, but I'm a simple girl...Just Gorton's boxed battered fish, and store bought french fries. I'm not much of a chef LOL!

  6. I think I love you. This is an awesome idea. I used to plan my monthly menu and have freezer/fridge/pantry inventory but it got overwhelming and I gave up. Last year was absolutely horrible and I am so tired of dreading that "what's for Dinner?" question! I am going to try your 5 week [plan!@ Thanks for sharing!