Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Heart Menu Planning

Have I ever told you just how much I love menu planning!? Probably not - so I'm going to just go ahead and tell you right now... I LOVE MENU PLANNING! There. Now you know.

If you have never tried menu planning before, you MUST try it. Menu planning has made my life so much easier. Before I met menu planning, one of my least favourite parts of the day was when it was time to ponder the dreaded question, “What should I make for supper?” My thought process would then go something like this. Hmm...Sausage and Perogies. Now that would be tasty. Oops, can’t make that. We’re out of perogies. How about roast beef with all the fixin’s. Nope. Can’t make that today either. It’s already 4 :30 p.m. ALREADY 4:30 PM???? WHAT?? Well I guess it’s gonna be hot dogs and carrot sticks again. Oh, we’re out of carrots, too? Never mind then. Just hot dogs. Hey, they are made with real beef! That’s good, right?

Well with menu planning, you won’t ever have to face that dreaded question again. (Unless, of course, you forget to menu plan. If that happens, take it from me, the dreaded question WILL rear its ugly face again.) But if you are prepared, all you have to do is look at your menu plan and start cooking because you know you have all the groceries on hand already since you planned ahead.

Menu Planning Means NO MORE

  • Frustration about what to cook for supper tonight
  • Wasted food in the fridge
  • Running to the store to buy just one can of tomatoes
  • Hot dogs 3 x a week for supper

Menu Planning Means MORE

  • Money saved on groceries (you can plan according to what's on sale for the week)
  • Variety in the meals you make (more ambition to try new things if you plan ahead)
  • Healthy meals for your family (You will eat out less and have time to plan out well-balance meals)

I have been menu planning for about a year now. I don’t have a set way of doing it really. Sometimes I look at what’s on sale. Sometimes I look at what I already have on hand and need to use up. Sometimes I look through cookbooks. Sometimes I just think of things off the top of my head. Sometimes I don’t follow my menu plan exactly, and most importantly, I don’t worry about it when that happens! I have found, however, that I spend less money on groceries and eating out and that we eat a lot healthier when I more or less stick to my menu plan.

So, I hope you’ll try it! You can use a menu plan template like one of these ones, or just scribble your plan on a piece of paper and stick it on your fridge or in your Home Management Binder (More on that, later). I also plan on participating in Menu Plan Monday hosted by Should be fun!

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