Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Planning 101

I started Menu Planning for a few reasons....

1.To save money. Not knowing what's for dinner will leave you making more trips to the store, thus you end up spending more money at the Grocery store. Or you end up eating out too much!

2. To be More Organized. I hate the famous question, "What's For Dinner?" So making a Menu Plan eliminates this dreaded question.

3. To also make sure that we are trying to eat well-balanced meals!

Many people have asked me, "How do you do a Menu Plan?" Here I will explain how I write my weekly menu plan.

Tip #1

First, you will need to write a Master list of everything that your family likes, and write down Meals that you eat most often. And keep this list in a convenient place, like your Home Management Binder.

Tip #2

Every week, I go through my Pantry, Fridge, Freezer, and Stockpile. I note items that we might need, or items that need to be used. This is a beginning step in writing your menu.

Tip #3

Base your weekly menu plan by what's on sale for the week. For example, if Chicken is on sale, then I will include Chicken in as many days on the menu plan that I can. I also only buy produce that is "in season" or on sale. This really helps us to stick with our budget!

Tip #4

This is probably the hardest part for me! Now you'll sit down & write your Menu Plan. When I write my menu plan, I write it based on the 3 tips above, what we already have on hand, and what is on sale that week. If I need some inspiration on putting together a meal, I will look into my Recipe Binder for a good recipe to make. I also Use Online resources to find new recipes to try. Some of my favorite recipes sites include, but are not limited to...

All Recipes


Eat Better America

Kraft Foods


Betty Crocker

Campbell's Kitchen

After you find the recipes, and meals that you want to make, start writing it on your Menu Plan. Then you'll need to go back to your shopping list to add anything else that you need for the recipes.

Tip #5

A Few other resources to help with your Menu Planning. I try to post my menu plan on Mondays. You can also find more idea's by checking Org Junkie's Menu Monday. Hundreds of people link up their menu plans every week.

Free Printable Menu Plans:

*Money Saving Mom Free printable Menu Planners & More!

*Mom Advice - Weekly Menu Planner

*Organized Home - Several Printables

*Org Junkie Printables

You can also get a printable Here.

*If you just type in "Printable Menu Planner" in your Swagbucks toolbar, there are a lot of printables available on the web, these are just a few of my favorites. Or you could make your own!

Do you have any Menu Planning Tips to add to my list? Leave a comment below & share!

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