Yep, you read it right. My family is in a meal rut.
When I started watching my nephew, Patrick, in the fall, I got away from meal planning and grocery shopping with coupons. I was doing so well with that for a while, but I was busier during the day with him here. Those things all got pushed to the side. Before that I had time during the day, so that's when I did all my grocery shopping. I would scan the ads of the local stores, look online, find the best deals and match coupons to save a lot on our grocery bill.
In January when I was no longer watching Patrick I still found myself in a bit of a rut. I was preparing meals and keeping the house stocked with groceries. But we were still eating out about twice a week (too much for us), and a lot of evenings I didn't think about dinner until 5:00. That doesn't work so well when you're used to eating at 5:30. It ended up being more work that way. There was no plan.
So last month my husband pointed out that I needed to get back to meal planning. I agreed. So I got to work.
It's difficult for me to plan meals for a week. There are only 3 of us, and to prepare something every night I would end up with way too many leftovers. Plus our grocery bill would be too large for us to handle. What I generally do is plan 3-4 big meals to make for the week. I try to keep a few easy extras on hand to make on a boring night. And I keep in mind that we will probably eat out one night a week. The other days we can fix leftovers from previous meals.
This seems to work pretty well, and it's working with our budget as well. I have a big dry erase board that hangs on the fridge. It has the days of the week and areas for menu and more. (It's the one I reviewed at PS Mom Reviews.) I don't worry about lunches, we do simple lunches here. (Need ideas? I can share lunches if you're interested.) So all I'm planning is suppers. It works, and I think things have run smoother since I started doing it.
The problem is by the weekend we're in a rut. On Saturdays we're often busy, and I don't really want to cook. Sundays we have church all morning, and we get home just in time for lunch. Then we take naps and head out to small group (church group/bible study group) for the evening. We try to grab something to eat quickly before we leave. We don't mind eating leftovers, but by Sunday the leftovers are a little too...left over. It's OK to eat them for one meal, but by supper on Sunday it's very boring.
Saturdays I'm working on. If we eat sandwiches or leftovers for lunch, I can make something easy for supper. Sunday is the biggest problem. Especially for Matt. He's really tired of two rounds of leftovers.
Here's where I need your help. What would you suggest for Sunday meals?
One thing I've considered is using the crockpot (which I do like), but I don't think I have enough time Sunday mornings to get things ready. And I think it would either be not enough time to cook (for lunch) or too long (for supper). Another option is just eating out for lunch Sundays. This would be easy to do, because we're already out and about for church. There are lots of options between church and our house. I would have to either adjust the budget or plan well for this. That is doable I think, but I wonder if we'd get tired of it too.
So, that's where I'm at with it. I could use your advice, though. Please, help a girl out. My family thanks you!