Menu Planning

Grocery day is coming up at our house. We always shop for the month, but I have been pretty bored with the food we have been eating lately. I decided to have a family meeting and see if we could come up with some creative ideas of things to eat.

Let me just say here that we have some food issues in our house. We were gluten free, casein free for almost 2 years due to ADHD, Autism, and Aspergers  in our family. The diet was amazing and helped immensely. Last summer we reintroduced gluten and casein to see how everyone would do. The boys did fine on the gluten, but reacted horribly to the casein. Out went the casein again!

Around the same time, we also discovered our daughter’s allergies. Hosanna is allergic to all forms of dairy and goat’s milk, eggs, and peanuts (we avoid ALL nuts). We have an EpiPen for emergencies, but have never had to use it.

Our eating has been quite an adventure over the last couple of years. It has been stressful at times reading labels. Grocery shopping takes forever when you have to read every label.

We cook mostly from scratch (it is cheaper, healthier, and way more fun). I love cooking and being creative. I especially love baking. I want all of my kids to learn how to cook meals and make baked goods.

Now that you have a little background about our food history, let me share with you about our family meeting this morning. First we discussed foods we each liked. Then we came up with a weekly rotation of foods to make for each meal.

It is my job now to make it work within our budget (that’s the fun part). I plan on doing this by gathering all of my recipes ahead of time and writing out a detailed grocery list. Then I will be shopping the warehouse store and any good sales. We really only have three stores to shop at and fliers can be viewed on-line at two of the stores.

Just for reference: For most meals we are feeding 9 people – dad, mom, 5 children (9, 8, 6, 20 months, 20 months), and grandma and grandpa.

Here is our list for breakfast (with fruit):

  • Sunday – pancakes
  • Monday – muffins
  • Tuesday – breakfast skillet
  • Wednesday – oatmeal
  • Thursday – biscuits with pepperoni
  • Friday – sausage and hash browns
  • Saturday – pancakes

Lunch will be soup (mostly homemade) and sandwiches with veggies on the side. We will keep this fresh by making biscuits, cornbread, wraps, pitas, etc to change up the bread. I might make a weekly list for soups and sandwiches, but I think we are doing good for now.

Here is our list for dinners (with veggies):

  • Sunday – hamburgers
  • Monday – pot pie (chicken pot pie, shepherd’s pie, etc)
  • Tuesday – pizza or calzones (with no cheese)
  • Wednesday – pasta
  • Thursday – perogies
  • Friday – roast dinner (with all the fixings)
  • Saturday – chicken or pork with rice

Snacks will include the following:

  • veggies
  • fruit
  • popcorn (from scratch)
  • cookies (from scratch)
  • ice tea (from scratch)
  • lemonade (from scratch)

I would love to hear what your family does for menu planning and cooking.

Please share links to your favorite recipes and resources.

NOTE: I have added a Large Family Recipes page to my website.