The first call to order is to plan the family meals for the week; that is breakfast, lunch and dinner, including snacks, and desserts.
When developing your menu, pay attention to nutrition, your family likes and dislikes, and what fresh foods are in season. Plan, too, for "leftover" nights. They stretch the budget and save time. Especially yours. If you get stuck on what to plan for each day, pull out your favorite cookbook and work from it.
For variety and fun, you could have different ethnic food weeks where all the recipes you prepare are either Italian, Mexican, Greek...or whatever! Use your imagination!
Don't forget to plan on a meal out once in a while too!
Tip: while you are planning your menu, you are also noting the items you need to prepare all your meals. Don't forget about Any parties or holidays, special occasions and work or school functions that might be happening that week. (I like to do 2 weeks at a time, But that is what works for my household.)
How to Do it:
- plan our meals for the following week, this is called meal or menu planning. It sounds intimidating, but it really is a simple task that takes 5-10 minutes to plan 1 week of meals.
- write down all your families favorite meals. This will be an easy reference when you can’t think of something to cook. (For me i have a Recipe box that i put everything my husband like in it)
- Almost every family has after School Activities or Religious Events during the week. Organize your menu around the activities knowing you can start dinner throughout the day to have it ready in time when you get home (I love my slow cooker), or perhaps an easy meal is required on these nights or even plan on having that your leftover night.
- Glance through your fridge and pantry, are there any food that may need to be cooked soon? If so plan a meal that you can use it in.
- Have a look through the grocery junk mail and plan your meals around the meats and veg that are on special, this will help reduce your grocery bill.
- Perhaps you may cook up a double batch and you have left overs for the next day, don’t forget to include this in your planner.
- Now complete the planner with meals you would like to cook. Don’t forget you can get some great meal ideas from my blog.
Once you have your menu in hand, you can now make your grocery shopping list. For while you are planning your menu, you are also noting the items you need to prepare all your meals. Next you will make your grocery list then your ready to hit the grocery store!! see Blog Post Making a Grocery List