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One of our biggest challenges is to do a Menu plan for the week. 

Menu planning is worth it! There are so many advantages:

1. Saves money. (potentially a ton of money).

2. Less food gets wasted. (we waste too much).

3. Eat healthier. (yeah, beats ordering Pizza).

4. Less stress. (no panic for “what’s for dinner?”)

5. Eat a better variety.

6. Saves time.

Well, geez with all of those perks why wouldn’t you  we plan each week?

1. It can be overwhelming.

2. It takes discipline to take the time to sit each Sunday and plan.

3. You must think about the week ahead on your day off…

4. It takes effort, and some creative thinking.

I guess I finally got “sick and tired of being sick and tired” of being unorganized and then doing something quick on the fly. So I made the commitment to take the time this weekend to tackle this area of our lives. I found this amazing menu planner page.

 

It is from bakedbree.com. I love the menu planning template for several reasons.

1. It is on one page.

2. It only has dinners on it.

3. It has a large area to “inventory” food we have on hand for planning as well as for a grocery list.

4. It is simple and straight forward.

Here is the process I went through:

1. Print out the template. Click here for link.

bree menu lise 2

2. Inventory your food on hand. Start with the refrigerator. Write down on your menu planning sheet everything you have on hand. ( as you can see from mine I did this on Bree’s sheet to the right). This is a great time to clean out the frig as wel–get rid of food that has gone bad.

3. Inventory the freezer (or both if you have multiple).

4. I didn’t take the time to  Inventory the pantry. (I worked my menu around the frigerator first because those foods have a use by date, then freezer). I then “shopped” in my pantry when I was trying to make menu.

5. I then went to the allrecipes.com  and used their search by ingredients function. It is at the very top of their web page.  It is awesome you put in a few ingredients and a list of recipes with those ingredients appear. Here is the link to their page. Click here. 

6. You base your recipes on most of the ingredients that you have on hand, then make a list of what you need to buy.

bree 4

As you can see from this week, after doing the menu planning I only needed to go get 5 things from the grocery store for the week. That is truly amazing.  I was ready to get in the car and do a full shop which for me usually is about 150.00- 200.00 dollars. What a waste of money and effort when I really can get buy with only 5 grocery items. And the funny thing is we will eat healthier, and with more variety. Another plus is the kids are home for the summer and the leftovers can be eaten for lunch.

Another tip- I printed the recipes I got from allrecipes.com  and attached them to the back of the menu planner for the week and after I got back from the store I hung this  page and recipes on the refrigerator door.

If we love a new recipe I will make a recipe card and file it away for meal planning.

Hope this helps with your menu planning and getting organized in the kitchen.  I will give you an update next week.