Monday, August 30, 2010

Why menu planning may not work for me

I've mentioned before that I have a huge mental block when it comes to menu planning, and I think I'm finally able to put into words why that is:
  1. I work at least two nights a week. That means that I'm having dinner at work between 4:30 and 5pm, and that dinner almost always consists of a tuna sandwich and yogurt--I really don't need to plan for that, and I don't like having a heavy meal when I've still got four hours of work left (makes me sleepy). I'm starting a new job soon, which means that I'll be working five nights a week. I may get sick of tuna sandwich and yogurt dinner, but I may prove to the world how truly boring my eating is...
  2. I don't really eat meals. That sounds odd, but I grew up in a household where we fended for ourselves. Because of that, we never had family sit-down meals, and I got into the habit of eating a big meal around 3pm, after school was over. I'm still in that habit, and I like it.
  3. I don't eat meat, and my boyfriend does. I'm not going to cook meat for him. I've never really eaten meat (I don't like it), and I'm certainly not going to learn to cook it just because he's lazy in the kitchen. That does make it difficult to plan meals though. Added to that, is the fact that I'm not around for a few of the meals, so it'd be like I'm planning two. Also, I don't know if he would eat something just because I told him to.
  4. Writing down a menu plan means admitting that I eat the same thing almost every day. Even though I'm okay with that, it doesn't make for good reading.
What I'm going to do in lieu of traditional menu planning is a bit of what I've always done. I buy groceries, and then Sunday night, I typically cook something that will last the week or part of the week. This can be a soup, lentil loaf, casserole of some kind, etc. Occasionally I bring leftovers to work, but usually I have these leftovers for my 3pm meal.

Maybe I'm just making excuses, and maybe menu planning can't work for everyone. Anyone have any ideas?

1 comment:

  1. I don't think that menu planning has to work for everyone. It works for me because I'm in charge of cooking dinner for my family. Menu planning takes all the stress out of trying to figure out what's for dinner when I get home at 5:00. It also helps me stay on budget when grocery shopping because I only buy what I need to cook that week. I also rarely have to make mid-week grocery store runs for extra ingredients.

    But in your case, with you and your boyfriend eating different things, and you working nights, it may not be the best option. Katy, at The Non-Consumer Advocate, keeps a grocery budget without menu planning. She just keeps a stocked pantry with enough items to cook meals. It works for her.

    I think that you could try planning out what you plan to cook and freeze over the weekend, just to eliminate guessing at the store or having to go back out because you forgot something, but I don't think you are making excuses nor do I think everyone has to menu plan.