Sunday, September 18, 2011

Meal Planning

A lot of  people say they don't use a meal planner because they don't know how busy their days are going to be when they make the plan or they don't know what they want to eat till that day.  One solution I have found  for this is to just plan seven meals in no particular order.  You can have 1 or 2 nice  meals planned, 3-4 easy but nutritious meals and even give yourself a take out option if your budget can afford it.  When you plan like this you have the ability to customize your meal around your day and activities.  Just pick one that fits that days circumstances.  This also helps you save time and money when you go to the grocery store. 

  • Start by making your menu for the seven days( use your meal list if you have one) see below
  • Take an inventory of your pantry, refrigerator & freezer
  • Buy only the ingredients necessary to create your menu items that may be missing from your pantry
  • If life gets in the way and you are not able to cook one of the meals you listed on your menu just re-list it next week

For those of us who coupon I know we base our menus on whats on sale a lot of the time, but I tend to stockpile with my coupon purchases that way I have plenty to choose from when planning.

Another tip I can share that helps me is to make a list of all the meals (a.k.a. meal list) you cook in one column, and side dishes in another.  When you sit down to plan your menu just look at your meal list to help think of things to cook.  You could even let your kids pick one of their favorite meals to go on the menu that week.

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