I’m a diligent meal planner. Every weekend I sit with my spiral notebook and calendar and plan the next week’s meals. It’s a labor of love, trying to select meals that everyone will enjoy, but there are many benefits. Planning reduces waste, because I’m only buying what it part of the plan. Planning saves money, and it saves time. I do not run for in-between shopping trips, because, you know, I have a plan and I stick with it.

It’s all good, but I have to say I’m tired of planning. At least this weekend.

I got it done and I got my grocery order today. (Thankfully we watched the weather and scheduled pick up for today instead of tomorrow, beating the big snow storm.) But it was painful.

Because, after almost a year of not going out to eat, of planning pretty much ALL of our meals, I’m tired. Tired of trying to come up with new recipes. Tired of trying to be creative and interesting. Tired of asking for input, only to hear “whatever”. It’s certainly nice that my husband and son will eat anything I put in front of them, but occasionally, it would be nice to have some input. When I really, really push them, I might get one suggestion from each of them. But that is so rare.

I suppose I could go back and just re-use prior meal plans. It’ll get boring after a while, but maybe it’ll lower my aggravation in the meantime! They say that most people only know how to cook 5-10 recipes, and that most only try a new recipe once a year. I definitely know how to cook many more, and I try for at least one new recipe…every week. So maybe I need to lower my own expectations: Stop searching for new recipes every week. Re-use prior menus from time to time. Plan for take-out a bit more (I think we have only done take-out, maybe, 20 times since last March). Stop making it harder than in needs to be.

Because, you know, “whatever” is ok!

What do YOU do for meal planning?

IMDb: Whatever (1998)

5 thoughts on “Whatever

  1. I have become a better planner because of the pandemic. I do my shopping every Saturdays when I am almost alone in the shop. I stick to fish every other day but I find it hard to come up with some new recipes…..

  2. So funny that you raised this issue. We are having the same experience in my house. Because we have extra time on our hands and are mostly housebound due to COVID, we have been willing to try many new recipes, some of which are terrific. In addition, sometimes when I go to find a favorite recipe, I have a hard time recalling whether it came from Pinterest, the internet or one of my dozens of cookbooks. One weekend, I sat down and hand-wrote a list of our family’s favorite recipes by category and where to find them. Frank typed up the list (for convenience and maybe, if we’re lucky, posterity), and we keep it handy. As we try a new “keeper” recipe, we add it to the list. Now, when we need a meal idea, we simply pull out the list and select one, interspersing the old reliables with the new finds. Not sure why it took so long to develop this system, but now everyone can help select a dish each week. No more “whatevers!”

    • That’s a great idea! I keep a notebook and I do note where the recipe is from (what cookbook, what website, what page). But it’d still be nice to have input once in a while. Since I post a lot of recipes on my page, maybe I’ll make David and Ethan each pick one recipe from that site every week! Thanks for sharing!!

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