Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tightwad Tuesday: Menu Planning

Menu planning can be overwhelming at times, but I find when I don't plan, we don't eat well. I wind up relying on fast food or we eat too much junk unless I plan. Everyone has a different planning style but here is what works for me:

1. Ask the family if there is anything they are hungry for or anything they do not want that week. Sometimes this will fill the majority of my week with little effort, sometimes it doesn't help a bit.

2. Dig through my cabinets and freezer and see what I need to use up then search the internet for a recipe.

3. Go through my recipe binder and see what appeals to me. This one works the best when I'm in a rut. I have a 3-ring binder where I stash all of the recipes I print off the internet or find in a magazine. Most of the recipes are stuffed in the pockets and then every few months I sort them by category and put them in the appropriate section of the binder. I did that this weekend and I was amazed at how many yummy recipes I wanted to put on the menu in the next few weeks. In fact, I was able to plan for more than one week so that was nice.

How do you plan your meals?


Picaflora said...

I make sure to keep my previous menus that are dated, and go back through them. It helps me recycle dishes that I've forgotten about, and make sure I don't "bore" the family by eating something too often.

Julie said...

Great idea!

Jenn said...

I plan monthly and use seasonal produce in my menu. I try to rotate meats and vegetarian meals throughout each week and have plenty of leftover meals. I double or triple or quadruple anything that will freeze. I also keep a freezer inventory and use the meats I already have as a base for my menus. I love hearing how other people plan their meals. I definitely could not go back to winging it. It's rather expensive and takes up too much time making too many trips to the store.

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