Menu Planning Challenges

meal planning

Searching “menu planning” gives endless posts on why menu planning is such a great idea; how much menu planning will help with a smooth evening; how it saves money; how it’s the best thing ever of all time.

Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a tad on that last one, but not by much.

And I get it, I do. Menu planning is so helpful that I include it on my monthly goals. My problem generally isn’t with making the plan – assuming I can get to my cookbooks and recipe binder (and don’t have small children trying to assist me, or needing attention).

I struggle with:

  1. Getting to the store to buy the ingredients to make the plan.
  2. Having a husband decide that he’s not interested in eating what was planned for that evening.
  3. Having children cooperate when it comes time to prepare the food

And honestly, #2 there is the biggest struggle.

I’ve looked at a lot of online menu-planning sites and resources, and while they often look easy and would save some time, they don’t solve my biggest problems. And they don’t help me work through the backlog of recipes in my “to try someday” binder.

I’m trying to remind myself that I always have more trouble with it in the summer, and by the end of the summer I’m feeling especially burned out. Once the weather is cool enough to go back to the soups and stews that I love things always seem easier.

If you menu plan, how do you manage all the rest of it – nights when you don’t want what was planned, nights when life gets in the way? What do you eat in the summer when it’s too hot for soup?

Photo credit: LizMarie_AK