Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Menu Planning

Ok, I'll start out saying that there are times when I need this advise as much as anyone.  But, when I'm good....I'm good.  When the boys were younger, I had to be more organized to make it through each day!  Menu planning has been a strength of mine at times, and I'm getting back into it, so I thought I would pass some tips along!  Yea!  :)

First, think about the meals that you and your family like.  Make a list of as many dishes as you can think of.  Suggestions...
  • spaghetti
  • roast in crock pot
  • tuna casserole
  • chicken pot pie
  • salmon patties
  • lettuce wraps
  • Irish meat & potatoes
Now, what side dishes accompany your meals?  Make a list of all of them.  You will want options!!  Suggestions...
  • roasted potatoes
  • green beans
  • broccoli rice casserole
  • corn on the cob
  • macaroni & cheese
Now, I type out a list of dates, keeping in mind any that I know we will not be home for dinner (birthdays, nights you have functions away from home).  These nights, obviously, you don't need to prepare a menu.

Then, I fill in a main course, and a couple of side dishes for each date.  Each week needs to be varied in style, such as Italian, Mexican, Greek (hehehe--I wouldn't know a Greek meal if she bit me in the callipygous!).  Also, I try to schedule a seafood, a chicken, a beef, a meatless, etc. for diversity. 

Grocery shopping is a piece o' cake with this weekly list!  And if you said you're having chicken pot pie tonight, and you're not feeling it, switch it with another night.  Who's to care??  This is meant to help simplify your evenings!That's the beauty! 

I encourage and challenge you to try menu planning for a week or a month!  It takes a bit of time & energy up front, but, daily, is well worth it.  Let me know if you try it & how it goes! 

~That's All I Know!

1 comment:

  1. I'm late to the party commenting on this one, but this is EXACTLY how I plan my menus for the pay period. I do it by how many days until our next paycheck! :)
    I even made a spread sheet of every meal I like to make and what ingredients I need to have on hand to make it. I like to look at it for inspiration, but mostly it helps me remember what all I need for each meal.
    I do one step further, I take each meal and write down what I don't have for that meal already and add it to my grocery list. But you have to have a good memory because you have to know what you have in your pantry/freezer already! :) Us Mom's usually do have a good memory, so that's no problem right?!

    Thanks for sharing your tips! A little work ahead of time makes planning and cooking a lot easier!