Top 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Plan a Weekly Menu

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source: petit hiboux

source: petit hiboux

There are plenty of posts around the blogosphere about why you should take the time to plan your menu, but we’re going to look at the top ten reasons you shouldn’t.

10. You’re a non-comformist by nature, and since meal plans are popular, you refuse to give in.

9. You like to spend your free time staring blankly at the pantry trying to come up with dinner ideas. It’s like a hobby.

8. You prefer the “seek and you shall find” method of mealtime. You stock the shelves and the fridge, and your family is required to seek-and-find their meals there.

7. You like to test your cooking skills by looking through the cabinets at 5:15 and creating a gourmet meal out of the random ingredients you find.

6. Your family enjoys having the same 7 meals every week, so there’s no need for a menu plan.

5. You’re a free spirit and refuse to be bogged down with “organization” of any kind.

4. You want to be able to blame an empty refrigerator and pantry when you tell your extended family they can’t drop by at dinnertime.

3. The grocery store is your “happy place” and you like making extra trips to pick up last-minute ingredients.

2. You want to do your part to boost the economy by spending lots of money at the grocery store, even if the food goes bad before you use it.

1. You like to use the excuse “We don’t have anything to eat” as a reason to go out to dinner.

(Okay, it’s not Tuesday, but for more Top Ten lists, visit Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda!)

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

10 Responses to “ Top 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Plan a Weekly Menu ”

  1. 5:15? Hahaha. That’s super early. Tonight we didn’t go searching through the cabinets until 8 pm. And I think my husband actually *does* enjoy figuring out what to make out of the stuff that’s about to go bad! Recipes? What are recipes?


  2. When I saw the title in RSS, I thought you were serious and I was dying with curiosity to see what kind of reasons someone could come up with. But it was all in fun and I enjoyed it.

    I wonder if you were to really ask someone who doesn’t plan menus to give you their list of why they should not/do not what their answers would be? I could only think of two. 1)They do not have the time to look into it or 2) They do not know how and are too embarrassed to look into it. Anyone have any more?

    Laurel Plum’s last blog post…Menu Planning Part 3 – Cooking Big


    FLO Reply:

    A reason NOT to do a weekly menu plan might be that you already have a head filled with ideas and regard every day as a blank slate, just waiting for you to creat and it’s such fun to not be nailed down(Tuesday is pizza). Perhaps, on Tuesday morning(or afternoon), you think pork chops would be good or maybe there’s a sale in the store that you were unaware of and you find a manager’s special. Manager’s specials need to be used quickly so there’s dinner! Maybe you have leftovers to use up and a planned ahead menu didn’t leave room for them. Maybe you looked in your fridge and found a whole bunch of thises and thates that are getting old and you decide tonight will be their turn. Or maybe you like to assign a day of the week to a food type and exactly how you prepare that food type is wide open? Monday is pasta. Tuesday is chicken. Wednesday is beef. Thursday is pork. Friday is pizza. Saturday is soup and sandwiches. Sunday is fish. Now, fish, for example, could be any of a number of types and methods of preparation not to mention side dishes. Soup can be homemade or store bought, chicken, split pea with ham, served with grilled cheese, all sort of possibilities, no need to nail it down if the ingredients are there. Wise to look at one item and think of five different ways to use it or a piece of it(Kielbasa! with scrambled eggs, in the crockpot with sauer kraut, with pasta, etc.). Keeping the pantry and fride/freezer stocked makes it easy. Use an item? Put it on the shopping list. Fun to see what’s available and create something yummy, planned or not. Ho hum to be in a rut. I like to experiment. Yes, there are many dishes I do well, but it’s fun to try something new.


  3. Hey Mandi, this is a very creative idea for a top ten list. I really don’t make a weekly menu anymore for various reasons. Keep up the good posts!


  4. This is hilarious! It’s bad b/c I am SO #9! LOL!

    (thank you!)

    oh amanda’s last blog post…*sigh* (and *double sigh*)


  5. OK, you totally got me with the title — I just had to see what you were going to say! Great points too. Meal planning in whatever form you do it in really does make life simpler, doesn’t it?


  6. Oh, I thought you were going to be serious! ;)

    I do have reason for not making a weekly menu plan. :) Between health problems, schedule change-ups and random hospitality, I doubt we’ve ever followed a week-long menu plan for more than 3 of 7 days. Just doesn’t happen!

    That doesn’t mean I don’t think ahead at all — I usually have some idea the night before or the morning of, of what to cook. But what it really means is that I have a list of about 10 healthy meals that can be put together in less than 30 minutes (and I cook entirely from scratch). We eat very simply, so there’s no hassle in keeping all the ingredients at hand.

    With all the pressure on blogs to menu plan, I get a guilt trip a few times a year and go write a menu plan. We never follow it, so it ends up a waste of time. Of course, when we move into a different season of life, I’ll probably find menu planning beneficial. But for now it works best to not plan too far in advance… :)

    lizzykristine @ Uplifted Eyes’s last blog post…Frozen Bananas


  7. I was hoping you were going to be serious because I am one of those people who chooses not to meal plan because it hasn’t worked for my family and I often feel like I’m missing something. Yep, tried and failed.

    But -

    The main reason is we eat what we like to eat when we like to eat it and planning takes all the fun out of that. “I know it says xxxx on the list mum, but I really feel like zzzzz.”

    Something else that hampers me is I buy stuff on special, not according to a planned menu – that includes marked down stuff that’s not in brochures. It’s all very well to say buy what’s seasonal but it doesn’t work out like that.

    I’m like lizzykristine in that I have a group of tried and tested meal ideas and recipes that I can cook quickly and economically. Being a competent and enthusiastic cook helps, I’m sure. I also have a diverse and well stocked pantry and freezer (yes, on a budget) and am well organised in my kitchen, which limits waste.

    Can someone give me a reason why I should have a menu plan?


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