menu planning 101

When I started menu planning the kids were in high school and our schedules were crazy.  There were nights, I am ashamed to say, that we ate nachos from the basketball game.  I knew right away that would not work.  So….menu planning it was.  It was full of trials and errors. 

My first menu was on a clip board.  I would print of two weeks to a month at a time.  I would clip it on the board make my shopping list and then go shopping. I would come home and everyone would complain about a certain item on the menu.  One kid did not like fish, another hated something else.  I kept notes on the clip board of what we liked, disliked, what I did not end up cooking, and what was a hit. 

Over the years I have tweaked here and there and now I have a great system now.  I think it is personal and I think it takes time to see what works for you and what works for your family.  It will save you time, you will waste less and save you money.  You will love it, I promise.

My System

I have guide I use when planning the menu.  I change it from time to time.

Monday — Meatless
Tuesday — Tacos
Wednesday — Wild (anything goes)
Thursday — Lettuce Wraps
Friday — Pizza
Saturday — Soup
Sunday — Meat

I plan my menu for two weeks.  Then I make a grocery list, post the recipe for my family to complain about (POST the menu for everyone to see), and if no one complains I grocery shop. 

Each night I take the items for the following day and place them on the counter or a shelf in the pantry.  I make sure I take the meat out or any frozen items so that it is ready for me to prepare the meal. 

Note ::: build your menu from your schedule.  I normally have my planner out when I plan the menu.  When the kids were in high school we ate a lot of crock pot meals.  They were fast and I could put them together in the morning on low and when we finally made it back home the meal was hot and ready for us. 

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