This week as I participate in Orgjunkie.com ‘s Menu Plan Monday, I am going to share how I actually do plan our menus. I don’t know how others plan theirs. I’ve never actually intentionally sought out how to plan a menu. I guess I just do what works for our family. Because if it doesn’t work for us, well, then it won’t happen.

I always write it out. I like to write. Much more than type. Here are my steps:

1 – Date the paper on the left, with the predicted high and any inclement weather predicted.

2 – Write in any specific plans that will affect meals on the right in the same row as that meal.

3 – Start with breakfast for every day of the week. It’s easy. We pretty much have the same breakfasts over and over.

4 – Fill in lunches. Again, almost as easy. And when I don’t have an idea…sandwiches!

5 – When do I *need* crock pot meals/make-ahead-casseroles? Fill in those, considering the weather and the ingredients (meat) on hand first. I can keep our freezer rotated and anti-freeze burnt by using frozen meats in crockpots and casseroles.

6 – Fill in the rest based on time, specials, etc.

And this is what I get:

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And from that list, I make my grocery list. Since I keep a fairly complete pantry, I generally will not need to shop until Tuesday or Wendesday. And since the grocery sales switch on Wednesday, I’d prefer to go then. But, I do what our family needs, rather than what is easiest for me. And some Wednesdays…it just won’t happen.

Monday

breakfast – cheese grits, eggs, toast

lunch – grilled chicken salad sandwiches and apples

dinnerBest Italian Sausage Soup (using a bent meat buy from last week!) with crackers and salad

MNF- hot dog dip (recipe below!) and chips, wings, brownies

Tuesday

breakfast – sausage squares, juice

lunch – chef salads

dinnerSlow Cooker Pepper Steak (using a bent meat buy from last week!) with rice

Wednesday

breakfast – peach flop, juice

lunch – sandwiches, fruit

dinnerAdobo Chicken (using bent meat buy from two weeks ago), rice, salad

Thursday

breakfast – cream of wheat with brown sugar, juice

lunch – mac -n-cheese and avocados

dinner – spinach lasagne, salad

Friday

breakfast – peanut butter toast, fruit smoothies

lunch – grilled cheese and leftover vegetable beef soup

dinner – Roasted chicken in crock pot, bread, salad

Saturday

breakfast – cream rolls, Hawaiian sausage rolls, fruit, juice

lunch – TAILGATE!

dinner – Sweet Chili Bean Casserole (my recipe is NOT just like this…but this is the basis from which I started. I make my own baked beans the day before and have some different combinations of seasonings. MUCH better with homemade baked beans…) and cornbread

Sunday

breakfast – ham biscuits, breakfast bake, flop, fruit, juice

lunch – sandwiches, leftovers

dinner – Shrimp Jambalaya, rice, salad

Options for dessert to serve while we have guests and at Homecoming: Apple Betty, Apple Crisp, Peach Cobbler, Dump Cake, Brownies, Chocolate-Banana Bread Pudding, White Texas Sheet Cake.

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