The most difficult part of meal prep for me is the deciding of what to cook. Partly because I have accumulated so many recipes over the 41 years that I have been married. So, menu planning is essential for me; otherwise, my mind is in a daze as to what to cook!
So my present plan is that twice a year I set aside some time to pick out recipes to use. It just works better for me to do it this way now. It was one of those times the beginning of this month, and I took a few hours to pick from my notebooks of recipes, and choose those which I will most likely want to use in the coming Spring and Summer months. I listed those recipes in categories for April/May, June/July, and Aug/Sept.
Now, when I make out my menus (hopefully, one or two weeks at a time throughout the spring and summer) with the use of Plan to Eat, I will have my Spring/Summer charts to help me pick which recipes to use. This is a great help to me, and is actually fun for me to do. It may not be appealing for some to do it this way, but for me it's a great help in narrowing down which recipes to pick from.
I should add that I am very flexible with menu planning, even with these charts. I love to try new recipes, and will change things around from what I have on the monthly charts - but doing it this way gives me something to start from. And makes menu planning easier.
What is your preferred method of menu planning?
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