So with only one last minute rearranging for a birthday party, we pretty much stuck to our meal plan this month. With the exceptions of the two birthday dinners out, we ate dinner at home this month 29 times and we didn't repeat any meals. I learned a lot this month of experimentation and planning:
1. It isn't that difficult to cook dinner when you don't feel like it when you already know what you are having and have the ingredients.
2. My grocery bill was a lot smaller since I was only buying what I knew we were having, not things we "might' need. I have read you should always shop the sales and coupon, but I have better luck just buying what we need. I like to have food on reserve, but on months when I am trying to keep the spending down, this works better for me.
3. The kids are getting better at trying things before they decide they don't like it.
4. Meal planning for the month helps to keep things different and keeps me from making the same 10 meals on repeat.
5. It is okay to be flexible and rearrange the week if necessary, I won't lose my momentum.
6. We eat a variety of foods and flavors when we cook at home instead of going out.
7. Setting a monthly plan and goal keeps me motivated and I look forward to the "easy" night off.
8. Trying a new recipe and it being a total flop can be just as much fun as discovering a new one because we all have something to talk about at the dinner table and something to laugh about later.
9. The kids really enjoy on voting on new meals or side dishes. They like having a voice on whether something gets repeated or hopefully forgotten.
10.We don't have to get stuck in a dinner rut, dinner can be fun again.