Menu Planning for the Busy Mom
I can always tell what kind of a week it is going to be based on ONE thing – did I take 15 minutes over the weekend and make a plan? If the answer is YES, then chances are the week will run smoothly. If the answer is NO, then I can guarantee I will spend the week flying by the seat of my pants, in the drive-thru lane at Chickfila, and feeling frazzled.
My planning consists of a quick check in with the girls to see what activities they have and coordinating any carpools. Then the important part – the menu.
Menu planning saves me money and helps me feed my family healthier food. As we head into the school year, I have to be on my toes! I coach gymnastics a few evenings a week, one of my daughters does after school sports and has a job, and my youngest dances a few evenings a week. This means we are not able to sit down and eat together most nights and we aren’t even able to eat at the same time. And some nights, dinner needs to be ready to be packed and taken to eat while at the dance studio or eaten before we head out.
My slow cooker is a huge help and I probably use it at least twice a week – I actually have two because I use them so often. I work from home during the day so I can get dinner started early then have it ready when the girls come through the door after school. They can eat an early dinner before their activities or they can quickly pack their dinner to go.
You can see that BBQ chicken is on the menu this week – that is my slow cooker meal this week and it is so easy, my 13 year old can get it started for me if I need her to. Simply place 4-6 boneless chicken breasts and a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue in the slow cooker, cook on medium for 4-6 hours, then shred. My girls put the shredded chicken on slider rolls and I usually eat mine over coleslaw since I prefer to eat gluten free.
Your menu plan doesn’t have to be fancy. You can write it on a piece of paper and hang it on the fridge or you can have fun with it like I did. I have a metal board that I write on with bright Bistro markers and hang it in the kitchen where everyone can see it.
When I am feeling really organized I plan my menu for the entire month at once – feel free to use this printable monthly menu plan that I created as a start.
Here’s to an amazing productive week!!