Not to beat a dead horse, but as promised, this week I’m all about menu planning. Yawn, right? But no! Hear me out (errr, read me out?).
I’m not one to sit down with all the coupon books and websites, search out the deals, and plan my menu accordingly. I know many who do that and they do save a lot of money. But to me that takes way too much time and it makes me resent the menu-planning task.
I cook what I want to eat. All week, I surf different food blogs and bookmark along the way. At the end of the week, I pull a few recipes I want to try (or the ones I know I love) and sit down to make a plan.
Let's get started.
First thing’s first, get your goods together. Whatever you need to make a menu and grocery list, round it up. For me, this includes my computer, a few copies of Everyday Food, a pen, and paper.
(Right now is when I would insert a picture, but we’re moving in two days and the camera is packed. Just imagination some super cute, well composed, brilliantly lit photo.)
Next for the fun part, what sounds good this week? You do have a couple things to consider when picking your recipes.
Obviously, who’s eating? Are you hosting any friends or family this week? Any picky eaters? Children? Anyone with allergies?
Another thing to consider, what’s your week look like? If you’re super busy, plan quick dinners or arrange your leftover nights accordingly.
Alright, you’ve got an idea of what to cook, now it’s time to make the grocery list. I do this all at once, leaving stars next to the ingredients I think I may have. After I’m done with my list, I check the kitchen.
Once I’m done, I head to the store and get what I need. I mentioned I don’t make a plan to save money, however I end up saving a lot. I don’t get all the random things that look good, I stick to my list and get what I know will get used and not thrown away. I save a lot of time during the week, because I’m not having to run to the store to get something forgotten.
A typical weekly menu in our house:
Monday – Stirfry Beef and Snow Peas
Wednesday – Leftovers
Friday – Curry Chicken Pot Pie
Saturday – Leftovers
Sunday – Baked Ziti with Ground Turkey Meat Sauce
Doesn’t all sound healthy up front, right? That’s where the doctoring comes in… milk for cream, low-sodium chicken broth for wine (we don’t drink and I’m certainly not buying a bottle to cook with), olive or canola oil for butter. But I’ll talk more about that in another post.