Monday, 16 February 2015

Menu Planning

Menu planning can be such a bore and also a really big pain! Sometimes its like a chore but after I'm done, I'm so glad that I did! Many of you may have resolutions to eat better, save money on groceries or just plan your week in advance on what to eat so you're not stressing. Whatever your goal is, I hope I can share my tips and tricks on what I do for menu planning to make it quick, fun and easy!

Some of the benefits that I have found by menu planning are:
-I buy what I need - not more, not less. This helps me to save money by not overspending.
-By planning what meals I'm going to prepare for dinner, it saves me the stress of thinking, "What should I cook tonight?" Instead, I can go home and get started on dinner right away!
-I personally think meals made at home are healthier and they save you money in the long run!
-It helps with maintaining healthy eating habits
-Encourages you to try new recipes and improve on your cooking skills

Here's how I menu plan:
-Every Thursday my husband and I sit down and think of dishes we would like to eat for the upcoming week. We write down our ideas and include what day of the week we want to eat a specific dish. Of course if you menu plan, you can always switch up what you cook on what day since you already have all the ingredients on hand.
-To make it seem as if our entire evening is not spent menu planning, we do this on commercial breaks in between watching Scandal!
-We get our ideas from cook books, recipes online and bookmarks on my iPad. If I cook something we really like I take a picture of it. That way, when menu planning, I can look back at my phone and pick something to make.
-After we decide what recipes we're going to make, we make a grocery list based on this. I divide my grocery list by fruits and vegetables, meat, diary and packaged items. The categories are completely customized. Do what works for you!
-We go through each recipe and write down the ingredients we need.
-Next, we take a visit to the fridge and pantry and decide what items are expired and need replenishing. We decide on breakfast items, our green juice ingredients and snack items. That's pretty much what our grocery list consist of.
-If I have the opportunity to price match I will take a look at the grocery flyers and see what I can take advantage of. I won't lie in saying that most of the time I skip this step because of time. But I definitely encourage it!
-Another tip: if I run out of a specific item during the week, then I keep a running list on the fridge. That way when I am making my grocery list I can remember what that item is.

That's it! If this has been a really big stress point in your life, I hope these tips can offer a little relief!

Do you have any tips for menu planning?


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