Thursday, July 28, 2011

Simple Menu Planning

I have been doing menu planning off and on for about a year. Recently, I decided to work on doing a weekly menu, and sticking to it.

Menu planning saves you money because you don't have much food waste, and saves you money because you are planning meals first based on what you have, rather than browsing a grocery store to see what you feel like.

Here is how I plan my meals:

  • I get meal ideas from magazines, and write those down. I am not really a recipe follower, so I don't write the whole recipe down. Just the basics.
  • If my pantry and freezer are running low, I go through the ads (most of the time just the front and back pages, since those seem to be the best deals), and write down items that are on sale at a great price.
  • I pull out my freezer/refrigerator/pantry inventory, and look at what meals I can make from what I already have.
  • I then look at what meals I can make using a combination of what I already have and what is on sale.
  • I menu plan on Sunday, and my plan goes from Monday to Saturday. Sunday is a leftover/whatever day.
  • I do plan breakfasts, but they are simple. Oatmeal 3 days a week, cereal 2 days a week, eggs once a week, and Sunday is usually something quick (if anything at all, we are always rushed on Sunday mornings).
I use these printables for my food inventory and menu planning.

Do you menu plan? What is your method, written meals or themes?

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