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How To Menu Plan

August 26, 2011 by  
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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.

Claim Your Complimentary Copy of Menu Planning Basics We’ll walk you through Menu Planning - Start to Finish

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2 Responses to How To Menu Plan

  1. michelle says:

    I have learned that the only sure fire way for me to stop wasting money and food, is to menu plan only one day at a time. I live in a big city so its easy for me to go to the grocery store every day- not fun but easy enough. If I plan for a full week, I always have left overs which throw my whole menu planned week off, leaving me with out a plan and to much food. I hate to waste and I seem to be to ADD to get back on track if a day gets slipped up. So if you have failed with a weekly menu plan you might try doing a daily menu plan/shopping trip like me. LOL!

    • Nika says:

      My mother used to cook a different meal every evening. Then on Fridays we’d have what she called ‘Hors d’oeuvres’ and she’d serve all the left overs on attractives dishes and we could choose whatever we wanted. Of course she only did this with food that could keep for 4 days and she added a salad or scrambled eggs or something. It was fun!

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