Planning Meals for a Blended Family

Large-family-mealsIt’s Thursday evening, and in my world, that means time to go grocery shopping.  Our family is the modern-day Brady Bunch, but unlike the television show, we share custody of the children.  With one son out of college and living on his own and three daughters away at college, we really only have the two youngest home with us on a regular basis.  The younger children switch homes every Friday. So on Thursday night I try to get the shopping done for the coming week.

I have been making weekly menus for years.  I once tried to set monthly menus, but that didn’t last too long. Two months to be exact.  The monthly big shopping trip (for all the staples, non-perisables, and items to be frozen) took a whole Sunday!  Plus the cart was too hard to push through the store! So after two months I threw in the towel! On the plus side, I did save money doing a big monthly shopping trip, but I could not keep it up. I have found that having a weekly menu is doable and very beneficial to running our household.  If I have the meals planned and the food items in the house, I go on auto-pilot after work and get dinner on the table in a much smoother fashion.  Between homework, after-school activities, and dogs running underfoot, our evenings – like most families – are hectic! My stepchildren were at first surprised by the menus, but my three just rolled their eyes, and said, “Yep, it’s what she does.”

With a blended family, kids come and go.  The routines at the different houses are, well…different.  My three share their time between their father and me; my stepchildren share their time between our home and their mom’s. Summertime and holidays get especially hectic. I am all for anything that helps build a sense of regularity.  I post the weekly menu inside a cabinet door or right on the front of the refrigerator for all to see.  The children quickly got used to looking at the menu to see what’s in store. No more asking, “What’s for dinner?”

Positively Kid Friendly Menu 2

 

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