How To Menu Plan
Have you heard about menu planning lately? It seems families are busy and getting busier all the time. (I know mine is!) As families work on getting organized, many home managers are turning to meal planning as a way to eliminate the evening stress in their homes. I am finding personally that it is essential for both time and budget reasons.
If you have ever tried menu planning, you may have discovered that it can seem overwhelming! Sometimes you can sit down, and not even know where to start. The way to go about it is to figure out what system works best for you.
The first option would be to go by the sale ads. Grab the flier of the store you shop at each week and take a peek at what is one sale. Using the sale items, you can create a menu that will help you save money at the same time!
Another idea is to weekly grab a recipe book or two and browse. Pick out what recipes you would like to cook and formulate a grocery shopping list accordingly. This is the method I use the most often. I enjoy trying new recipes and then I write notes in my cookbook as to how the family enjoyed each recipe. That way, when I return to that same book I can pick some tried and true favorites along with a couple new things.
If you aren’t adventuresome with trying new recipes, this idea may be best for you. Sit down by yourself, or with your family, and list out 15-30 of your favorite meals. Pin these up on your refrigerator or bulletin board. Each week choose which meals you plan to make, write up a quick grocery list and you’re done!
Of course you could also combine all three methods – whatever works! Now you might be thinking – this sounds like a lot of work! The truth of the matter is, yes it can take some time. However, it will go faster for you as you get into the routine. Also, let’s think about the benefits for a moment.
- Less money spent eating out
- You’ll be eating less unhealthy pre-packaged preservative packed food
- You won’t stand in front of your refrigerator every evening stressing about what to cook
- You won’t throw away tons of food each week because you bought it but never cooked it
- You won’t have to constantly run to the grocery store – which will save you money in the long run
- And most importantly to me, you will spend quality time with your family around the dinner table each evening.
In the long run, yes it takes a bit of time, but it also saves time each evening as you don’t have to think about what to make or take the time to run to the store. I think you will also be surprised how much money you will save by menu planning. If it helps, keep track for a month and put all that extra money towards a fun savings goal.
I challenge you to try menu planning for at least a month. You can do this!
I’d love to help you even more! Take a moment to stop by http://www.menuplanningcentral.com. When you visit, you can grab a copy of “Menu Planning Basics” – Our Quick and Easy Guide to Menu Planning, which includes a printable menu template and grocery shopping list along with many more menu planning tips.