Thursday, June 17, 2010

Menu Planning

I started menu planning this year out of necessity. Because we live about 30 minutes from town, and because it is NOT FUN to take 3 children under 5 with you to the grocery store. So, I try very hard to limit my shopping to only 1 day a week. This means no last minute runs to the store, which means I have to know exactly what I am going to need for the week, thus the menu planning. Oh man I wish I had done this before!

I dont know what made me think I didnt need to menu plan. Probably because I didnt think that I knew how to cook. I'm still not a chef, but apparently I CAN follow a recipe IF I know which one to use, where its at, and have all the ingredients! Amazingly enough, we have actually started eating real meals in addition to pizza.

I write our menu in a spreadsheet I downloaded from Then I can refer to last weeks when making this weeks. I also have a file for downloaded recipes that I hyperlink with my menu plan. I use it to write my list each week, that and my price list.

Now, there are times I leave my list on the kitchen table, or times that I forgot to write something on my list-its not fool proof ;), but it has been a real life saver!!

This is my menu for this week {I currently only plan evening meals}:

Day 1: Pizza {I always serve a large deli style Aldi pizza when we get home from shopping, I cant shop and cook in the same day-yet}
Day 2: Corndog Casserole {our new recipe for the week, I try to do one a week}
Day 3: Sloppy Joes, French fries, baked beans
Day 4: Frozen pizza {we dont usually have pizza 2x a week, but its Father's Day weekend and we will be in and out}
Day 5: Hamburger Helper & Salad {from our garden!}

*Normally a 7 day plan, but we will be celebrating a few meals with family this weekend. It's Father's Day and my birthday :).

Do you have any good tips for menu planning? I'm still a bit new to this!!


KateO said...

Yes, I've begun menu planning this year as well. I found that if I don't do it, I get so anxious mid afternoon, if I don't have a plan.
I have a big running list of meals we like to eat and add to it when I find a recipe I like. Then I plan 5 meals but and pick what to make based on the day I'm having. One good shopping day meal is a rotiserrie chicken from the grocery store, healthy and tasty and makes for good leftovers.

Autumn Living said...

I've done menu planning for years now...kind of have it down to a science. I sit down once a week and figure out our dinners. Breakfast and lunches are easier because we have our own eggs and other staple type items that makes those meals easier. You can see what I do here...


Anonymous said...

I try hard to make out a month or at least two weeks at a time. Then the day before I go I grab the menu and make my shop list for the week. Usually, I take a recipe magazine (taste of home, Kraft) and pick 1 or 2 recipes for the week. I also make a casserole every wednesday because of church. We always have Friday Pizza and Wings.

I have tried so many different ways (who knew there was so many ways to menu planning) but at the time this is what works.