Why a Weekly Menu Will Change Your Life

A weekly menu? Novel idea! Planning anything in advance has always been a struggle for me. Add in working, becoming a mother, moving, or really anything outside of the mundane, feeding my family somehow feels like an enormous accomplishment every night. (And, I even enjoy cooking!)

Dinners for the last 6 years of our marriage, have been chaotic to say the least. I would typically buy what was on sale at the store, stare at the random selection of ingredients in the refrigerator every night, and usually end up cooking some subset of chili every other night. Let's just say "The Thrill is Gone" was my culinary soundtrack.

Recently, I instituted a set meal plan that we stick with for about a month at a time, depending on what foods are in season and what we're craving. I spent about 15 minutes thinking over a few things: what supports our paleo diet? What is affordable? And, what are our favorite comfort foods?

Since devising a meal plan, I'm only cooking four nights a week (!) and we are all happily fed and nourished. That way, we can use the "no-cook" nights to spend quality time as a family, catch up on TV shows and laundry, or just read until we fall asleep. I have a lot of food sensitivities, so this isn't your average 30-minute-meal, but sticking to a meal plan creates that muscle memory, making every week easier. Plus, things like sweet potato fries and cauliflower rice stay well in the fridge, so cooking a larger quantity is like a mini-batch cook, as long as you don't mind leftovers.