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Sunday, May 6, 2012

meal planning

For those of you who missed my talk last week at the Self Reliance Prepardness fair, here it is:

"It’s witching hour…You know, dinner hour. Kids whining, dog barking, hubby walks thru the door and asks.. What’s for dinner? Sound like your house?

It’s dinner time. You look in the fridge and while it’s full of food, but you don’t know what to cook!
Does this sound familiar to you?
I can help… my little secret is MENU PLANNING.
Don’t know how or where to start with planning a menu? Let me help.

Here are some easy steps:
1) Write down every meal your family likes… mac & cheese, tacos, hot dogs, lasagna etc.
2) If you plan your meals with same ingredients you can save on time and shopping. IE lettce, cheese, tomatoes all good for tacos, hamburgers, salad night.
3) Make a calendar – 1 week/2 week whichever you want. ( I use 1 week- since I shop every week)
4) Plug in the meals into each day- take into account evening activities that your family may have. IE mutual, scouts, activity days, working late, date night etc.
5) You can do this for 1 week up to 4 weeks at a time. By making a menu, and writing your ingredients down, you can then plan shopping list.

When you make your shopping list, group all like ingredients together- i.e. dairy, produce, meat etc. Make sure you check your cupboards, pantry and freezer, frig when making list. You might find that extra can of tomato sauce you didn’t remember you had.. 1 less thing to buy.
I make a list and don’t stray from list. I do budget $10-15 per week is for “loss leaders. ” These are on sale items not on my list, but a real good buy to stock up on.
I also spend an hour or so on Sunday afternoon chopping veggies and making "snack bags" for lunches. This saves time and effort. Also, prevents me from buying that expensive lunch because I didn't have time to put one together in the morning.

Every little bit helps to save time, money and effort.. How do you menu plan?

Thanks to Laura for hosting Meal Plan Monday