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