Although I’ve tried menu planning in the past it usually only lasted a week or two. When my daughter moved home for a couple months after college we made menu planning a fun event.
I plan 5 menus for the week- I don’t assign them to any particular day but by pre-planning the menus and shopping for the needed ingredients I can do any meal, any night. My husband is a picky eater but I have learned that by pre planning my meals I can eat all the wonderful things I enjoy and have a substitution for him (esp the veggies & sometimes, the salads).
Firstly, I had no idea that by shopping blindly each week I had accumulated enough meat in my deep freezer for about 30 meals!! My daughter & I inventoried the freezer and planned meals around the meat (& frozen vegetables) we already had. This has freed up so much space in my freezer that I can now actually see what I have left.
Secondly, even 4 months later, my grocery bill is about $80 a week and we are eating wonderful meals. No more “What does everyone want for dinner tonight? (at 4:15)”, followed by “I don’t know. What do we have in the freezer?”
When I sit down to do the next week’s menus I take last weeks list and write all the menus that we enjoyed from the previous week in my weekly menu planner. My planner is divided by types of meat with a page for entrée, another for soups, and another for casseroles for each type of meat. For every recipe that’s out of a cook book, I include the name of the book & page number. I can use my planner by simply turning to the type of meat & picking a menu I’ve already used and know the family enjoys.
One last tip: When I use a new recipe my family enjoys (especially out of a cookbook) I put a star in the book by the recipe name so I know it’s a recipe we tried and liked.
PS My DD moved to another country 2 weeks ago and I’ve done menu planning & shopping both weeks for just my DH & myself. I’m really proud of myself for Finally Loving Myself enough to plan meals I enjoy, and not sulking because my DH won’t eat all the foods I enjoy.
FlyLady here: I am so proud of you! When you take what you have and use it up; you have less guilt. My little system was easy like yours. I made out a sheet of paper for each week. (This is in our Control Journal) I followed a basic weekly plan. I just rotated the weeks. When you have 5 or 6 weeks you never have to repeat anything; unless it is something you all love like pizza.
I challenge each of your to use what you have for the next few weeks. Let’s inventory our freezers and make a menu plan!
Then make out your grocery list. Do you have what you need for Thanksgiving yet? You might just save enough by menu planning to have thanksgiving dinner without feeling a pinch in your pocketbook.
Do you have your Grocery Bags ready for shopping? Put them in your car.
Leanne started Menu Mailer in 2001. Back then it was priced at 9.95 for three months. Right now Menu Mailer is at 2001 prices!