Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thoughts on Menu Planning

Boyfriend and I have been pushing forward with our menu planning - originally devised as an experiment in organization - for thirty-five weeks now. Well, we've published thirty-five weeks of menu plans anyway. I'm sure there are a couple of week, when we were traveling, that there was no menu plan as there was no need for one.

Over this time, the process has evolved.

When we first started with the menu plan, it was pretty much agreed that I would make the plan, and perhaps do much of the shopping (Boyfriend was working 7 days a week at the time) and Boyfriend would cook most of the meals, as it's something he enjoys doing, to relax, at the end of a long workday. Thing have changed, Boyfriend works (a bit) less, and the menu planning process has become more collaborative.

Although Boyfriend still does the majority of the cooking (yes, I know I am a lucky, lucky girl), we now spend some time together talking through the menu plan. Not only does this give the person doing much of the cooking some say into what he's getting himself into for the week, it gives us some time to share schedules and look, together, at the week ahead.

As we move forward, perhaps I'll actually have numbers on how we're saving money through menu planning and how much easier it makes our day-to-day. Both of these are true. But right now, I just wanted to share the thoughts behind the process.

Do you make a menu plan for your week? Do you have some favorite go-to recipes? Ingredients that are always in your pantry? Tips to save time and stay organized, while still eating well, as your life gets busier? Share them in the comments - we're always looking to learn.

Photo: the beginnings of a mushroom risotto

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