Last Christmas, my oldest son gave me a simple gift that I use everyday! A reclaimed frame around a board that he painted over with chalkboard paint, I've used it to post a weekly menu ever since.
Each Sunday night, I take a look at our schedule for the week, collect requests from the family and take stock of what we have on hand.
When you raise the majority of your own food, you learn to cook what you have in abundance when you have it. For instance right now I have a pantry full of winter squash and potatoes that I need to find creative and yummy uses for!
After almost a year of creating weekly menus, I would highly recommend the practice to anyone and everyone! Taking time when you are neither hungry nor tired to plan out healthy meals for the week has helped us eat better, reduce food waste, decreased what we spend in the grocery store, and reduced the overall stress of figuring out what to put on the table everyday.
Now that both Farmer Phil and I are working full time off farm and the kids are all in school or university in the city during the day, there is no "supper fairy" preparing our meals in time for our arrival home. Our evenings are full with barn chores, 4H, ferrying children around and house work... anything to cut down on work is most welcome!
I find the menu makes planning ahead much easier. We can look at what is planned for tomorrow or the next day and quickly assess what needs to come out the freezer... what can be prepped ahead of time or popped in the slow cooker. At the end of the day, when you are tired and hungry, its much easier to stick with the plan than come up with something new (and usually less healthy), especially when the rest of the family is looking forward to the advertised meal.
And best of all... we don't have to face the daily question from everyone in the house..... "what's for supper?"... we simply point to the sign on the wall!