Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monthly Meal Planning

The thing I am asked most frequently about is my monthly meal planning. It may seem crazy to plan meals for a whole month, in fact it may seem downright daunting. But, once you figure out how to make the system work in your own home, it's really easy peasy!

To start, make a list of all the meals you like to regularly cook for your family. Then seek out some new recipes that you want to try and add them to the list.

Next, take a blank calendar for the month. Write in all the days you have dinner plans elsewhere, will be out of town, have other dinner time obligations, etc. Now you know what days you need to plan for.

Next, take that list of meals and start filling in the blanks. Try to plan meals that have some common ingredients within a week of each other. For example, I make enchiladas and fajitas within a week so that I can use all of the tortillas before they go stale. On the days I know we will have lots left over, I usually write in "leftovers" for the following day.

Once you have your meal plan set for the week, you can start planning your grocery shopping. You can buy all the dry goods and non-perishables for the month on your first shopping trip of the month. Then the remaining weeks' shopping trips are shorter and easier, since you're just buying the fresh items and perishables you'll need for that immediate week. And because you have a menu planned, you are only buying what you truly need. No more wasting produce!

For my how-to on master shopping lists and coupon craziness, stay tuned for the next post!

1 comment:

  1. I'm SO bad at this stuff!!! Can't wait for your coming posts!


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