MENU PLANNING 101 from ecOnonmicalmom and check out this article, Menu Planning 101, on Associated Content.
Menu planning can be very economical. In the beginning I was hesitant...thinking that it would take up too much of my time. One afternoon, after spending over 30 minutes trying to decide what to have for dinner, I took the plunge and began planning my menus. Since I do my grocery shopping every two weeks, I create a two week menu. On average, I spend about an hour and a half. I gather my menu plan notepad, cookbooks, and my computer. I use recipe sites and view online grocery store sales fliers. I use the fliers to find special deals on meats and plan my meals accordingly. Everything I need is at my fingertips.
Why is this economical? First, I save a considerable amount of time. Second, I no longer waste money on items that have gone bad before I use them. Planning my menu allows me to stock up on only the items that I will be using in the next two weeks. I still keep my cupboards stocked. I just no longer have the unwanted waste. Lastly, I always have everything I need on hand. No more last minutes trips that waste gas and time!
TIPS: When planning my menu, I base our meals on what is happening during the week. Some days, when my husband will be home, I need to plan for lunch. If we will be away during the day, I know to plan a crock pot meal.
Dinner: Easy chicken bake
Dinner: New England Boiled Dinner (crockpot)
Dinner: Hearty Hashbrown Dinner
Dessert: I will be choosing a recipe from my Hershey's Chocolate Treasures cookbook!
Dinner: Pasta night
Lunch: Chicken nuggets & FF
Dinner: Fish fillets w/ w.rice and broccoli
Lunch: PB&J; Sandwiches
Dinner: Left Overs Dinner
Lunch: Spaghetti O's
Dinner: Shredded Venison Sloppy Joes (sounds yummy!), FF, and mixed veggies.
Thanks Casey! As you can see, menu planning doesn't have to be elaborate. It just requires time and thought. A small investment on a Sunday or Saturday pays off big the rest of the week. And here's my tip. I use my momAgenda to joy down menus for the week.