This is part of the Creating a Homekeeping Book series.
Yesterday, I shared how I keep a homekeeping book to organize the domestic side of my life. We covered gathering ideas to plan meals for 13 weeks, or one fourth of the year.
Now, you’ve gotten all your ideas. Or maybe not. Maybe you will take a couple weeks to gather ideas. That is fine! Just come back to this when you’re ready for the next step.
Next, you will begin to plan out weeks of meals. I did this by printing out a blank 7×5 grid that I made on a spreadsheet. You could easily draw one out. Label the days of the weeks and each meal you’ll plan.
You’ll need 1 grid for each week, so 13 grids if you’re planning 13 weeks. First, fill in your repeating items, like cereal for breakfasts or sandwiches for lunch.
Then, using your idea sheets, begin to fill in your empty spaces. Remember a few key things:
Your schedule. Plan easier meals on nights you know are usually busy.
Variety of tastes. When planning weeks, be sure to have a variety of meals. You don’t want to have a different chicken casserole each night of the week, or a bunch of high-fat meals! If your family eats meat regularly, try to vary the kinds of meats. This may get harder as you get to the end of your lists, and you may need to switch some things around.
Prep time. In general, I try to spread out the dinners that take longer than an hour to make so that there are only a couple each week.
Cost. If you have a group of meals that all take lots of ingredients, you may want to spread those out as well so your grocery bill isn’t abnormally high one week. I found this out the hard way!
Weather or hectic times. I have a go-to week full of easy-to-prepare foods in case we are super busy. I also have a week that is great for cold weather and one for when it’s sizzling hot outside. Not necessary, by any means, but nice to have.
Leftovers. I put an asterisk by the meals that will make good leftovers. I plan at least 2 per week. Then, we can have a leftover buffet on Fridays.
Produce. I try to plan meals toward the end of the week with frozen veggies if possible. This doesn’t always work, but it’s good to keep in mind.
Okay! Now that you’ve filled in 13 weeks of meals, sit back and reflect on how awesome you are. Label each week 1-13 and put the papers away for now.
Tomorrow, I’ll talk about making keyed-grocery lists for each week so you’ll never be wandering around the store aimlessly again.
Later, I’ll share my cleaning plan and how to make a homekeeping book for your daughters.
Read the complete series:
Menu Planning: Part 1
Menu Planning Part 2
Shopping Lists, your Key to freedom
A Cleaning Plan for the Housekeeping challenged
Mini-Homekeeping Book for Girls