Simple Menu Plans: Thinking Through Your Needs

source: romanlily
source: romanlily

I’m so excited about this Weekly Hot Spot, and I can’t wait to get input from each of you on the role menu planning plays in your home.

This will definitely be a meaty week (no pun intended!), as there are dozens and dozens and dozens of great posts across the blogosphere dealing with menu planning. I’d say there are almost as many methods as there are posts, and so we’ll be highlighting a bunch of different methods so you can create a system that works for you!

Let’s start by thinking through our individual needs:

Food Preferences

  • Thinking back over your meals for the past few weeks, what stands out about your family’s food preferences?
  • Do you eat a lot of casseroles? Meat-and-potatoes type meals? Pasta?
  • What meals does your family love and request often?
  • What is your parenting philosophy when it comes to eating what’s on your plate? Do you serve as a short-order cook, or is everyone expected to eat what’s served?
  • What foods do you avoid because most of your family dislikes them?

Type of Cook(s)

  • Who cooks in your home?
  • What is your/their skill level?
  • Do you like to try new recipes, or do you stick with the basics that you know?
  • Do you cook from scratch or look for easier meals?
  • Do you follow recipes carefully and exactly or often find yourself improvising?

Menu Planning in the Past

  • If you currently use a menu plan or have in the past, what were things you liked or disliked about your system?
  • Do you prefer to have set days for the meals on your plan, or do you just follow the basic plan and fix whichever one appeals to you on a given day?
  • What is the biggest challenge you face when menu planning?
  • How much time are you willing to invest in a menu plan system upfront? How about on a continuing basis?

Like I said above, there are literally dozens of different methods for menu planning, each with their own strength, but answering some of these questions before we start looking at the different options will help you decide which plan will work best for your family.

Do you have a system you love or one you’ve admired from afar? I’ve got quite a few bookmarked already, but if you have a post to share (from your own blog or another one), I’d love to include it in this week’s link roundup!