Planning Menus

Since so many ask me how I get so much done, all through the day I’m trying to think of what I do that’s not normal.  Despite trying by best to figure it out, I can’t come up with anything to tell you.  I think I do what everyone else does, but I just write about it all.  If you write down what you do all day every day, I think you’ll be surprised at how much you accomplish too.  I do sleep, but not enough.  I’ve always been one who falls asleep the minute my head hits the pillow and don’t wake up once til the alarm goes off, though I often wake up a few minutes before the alarm just because I hate to be awakened from a sound sleep by the alarm.

Because there has to be a plan and I have to know exactly what’s going to happen each day, I have a menu done for each week . . well in advance of that week. Click to make it larger if you want to read it.

I hear from many who cannot plan ahead.  If you’ve tried it and it doesn’t work for you . . at least you know what works or doesn’t work for you.  If you find you’re spending a lot of time thinking about what you’re fixing for dinner, try making a menu.  Find recipes that look like something you and your family will LOVE!  I never fix something I don’t LOVE, except spaghetti and meatballs.  I hardly eat it at all but Vince and Chad love it and it’s family tradition for Vince for it to be served every Sunday so . . it’s always on my Sunday menu.  If I choose something for dinner that is something I can hardly wait to eat, then cooking is fun . . not a chore.

If it’s a dish that requires a recipe, I either print those or bookmark them on the laptop that stays in the kitchen.  If they’re printed, then I keep them with the printed menu.  At the end of the week, the recipes that we would like to have again, go into a “Future Menu Folder”.  Those that were just . . ok . . go in the trash, never to be tried again. I rarely make a recipe exactly as printed.  There are always a few tweaks . . something added, more or less of something or even something left off completely.

And, the menu for the next week is done too!

The menus and my grocery list are kept on my iPod Touch so when I go to the grocery store, I have my list with me.  This is what works for me . . it may or may not help you.


  1. 1


    I’m worried that you don’t eat lunch on Saturday? Is that a “do your own thing” meal? With an 18 year old in the house (he is very seldom home for dinner and won’t eat leftovers) I have found that I need to keep mac/cheese and pizza in the house at all times…lol
    Then I plan meals for just the two of us..

    • 1.1


      No need to worry about us not eating. On Saturday, we usually have a BIG breakfast – often grits, hash browns, biscuits, gravy, eggs, bacon, fruit – and we don’t eat til maybe 10 or 10:30. Then we have dinner about 4:30. Chad works 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on weekends. Chad usually gets home for lunch just as Vince and I are finishing breakfast so he eats breakfast for lunch and then we have dinner as soon as Chad gets home from work. On Sunday, we have an early BIG breakfast (usually basically the same things we have on Saturday) but we usually eat by 7 a.m. Then we have lunch about 11:30 so Chad can eat lunch with us and then Sunday night is clean out the fridge night. We eat any of the leftovers that are left or have sandwiches.

  2. 2

    Ruth says

    Judy, it sounds like you love your ipod touch. I keep myself organized with a Palm PDA, but keep thinking I might like to switch to an ipod touch. Do you have any older blog posts about the apps you use on your ipod touch?

  3. 3

    Glenda says

    Judy, what app do you use for your grocery list ? I make a list so carefully, and leave it at home ! I always have my touch with me, and living so far from town it would help me a lot. I don’t enjoy going to town a lot. Thanks , Glenda

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    Lina says

    Judy, can you come live in my house? I think the commute would be a little too far (I’m in California), so living with me would be best. I am on oxygen 24/7 and can’t use the gas stove, and I’m in a wheelchair, so meals I fix are toaster oven or microwave. My 25 year old son is my caregiver and not too bad a cook, but between a 40 hour a week job, caring for the house and yard, and getting me to and from doctor appts (and guild meeting!) he just doesn’t devote time to well thought out meals. He does make some really good soups and stews, but he makes so much and won’t freeze any of it that we are eating the same thing for 4 or 5 days in a row. So please come live with me! Please, Please, Please!!!

  5. 5


    having a menu is the thing that keeps me sane. It helps in the grocery shopping and helps me keep my brain on task throughout the day as I dont’ have to worry about what the next meal will be 🙂

  6. 6


    I keep a menu too (for several weeks at a time) and I use a list to shop. I’m such a scatterbrain I would be lost without my lists. Also, I waste less food this way!

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    Many years ago, when we had four young children and no money ( and a small monthly paycheck) I planned monthly menus and did one large grocery shopping trip, all with said children. With that meal list, I did ‘t have to figure out what to fix and I was at liberty to swap meals if I wanted. It really made meal planning and prep much easier.