Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Menu Planning

Menu Planning

Well it's cold here.  Really cold.  And when it's really cold I just like to stay inside.  That's why I decided to do weekly menu planning and only grocery shop once per week.  Not only am I saving myself multiple trips to the store, I'm also saving $$$ by decreasing my impulse buys.  This girl cannot make a trip to Target without spending at least $50!  Here's how I've had success with weekly menu planning:

-make the list!  I like to start my list the day before shopping day.  I search for a few different types of recipes, one that I know will make a lot so we can have lefties, one that I've been craving or meaning to try out, and one that takes a lot of pantry ingredients and less fresh ingredients to make at the end of the week.  I really only make about 3-4 meals per week since it's just M and me eating.  I also make sure we have lots of frozen veggies, breads, pizzas, and also from the pantry soup for easy sides and quick lunches if my meal planning gets off track (which it will!).  Things that also go on the list - breakfast items and whatever is on the running tally of things that we're out of that I update during the week.

-shop!  This part is easy.  Especially since I've got a great list!  One perk of menu planning is I can also look for coupons and sales since I'm planning ahead ~ saving more $$!!

-get cooking!  Now that I know what I'm making for dinner, the rest of the week is easy.  I don't have the 'it's 4 o'clock what should I make' problem anymore.  Stick to the menu plan as much as possible but if the leftovers didn't stretch as far as you thought they would or you just didn't have time to make stew today but you will tomorrow, there's the back up soup and pizza that you have ready to go!

Do you menu plan?  What are they keys to your mean planning wins?