I am happy to report that my experiment with menu planning went really well! For the most part, I stuck to the menu as stated (you can see pictures of the meals here). The only two times I veered off course were Monday (forgot to make the steamed broccoli but no one even noticed, they were so busy sucking down the shrimp piccata) and Friday (ended up not cooking because I had a large lunch with my husband and the kids were perfectly happy making sandwiches).
I was incredibly surprised that things went so well. I thought it’d be a chore to make a full meal every day but it wasn’t. In fact, it was nice knowing at the beginning of each day what that night’s dinner was going to be. And the fact that I had done the grocery shopping based on the week’s meals meant that I wasn’t running to the grocery store to pick up missing supplies (no wasted gas and no money spent on useless items ~ I can never bypass the trail mix without picking some up). Furthermore, it meant no mindless snacking at night because I was hungry (incredibly helpful since my goal is to lose weight and become healthier). It also felt good knowing that my family was eating a healthy meal made, for the most part, from unprocessed foods.
Another exciting benefit was that I tried foods I have never had before (lamb, anyone?) and recipes that challenged me (yes, I substituted red wine for white wine!). I’ll definitely continue with menu planning and shopping according to the meal plan (Saturdays and Sundays will be free days). Overall, it simply made life easier and tastier. I’ll also try to incorporate something new and different into the menu so that we can expand our culinary horizons. Naturally, I’ll be posting my menus here, so be on the look out.