Saturdays I will post my weekly menu. For those of you who like to get your shopping done on Saturdays. Personally, I like to shop Sunday mornings, I feel my stores are less crowded at that time. On the first of every month, I usually stock up on things I need constantly throughout the entire month. (For example, bread, diapers, chicken, etc.) Near the first of the month I scan my cupboards and see what of my essentials I am missing. I compile a list and then head to where I find the best deal for the biggest bulk package I can buy. I usually go to Costco, Wal-Mart, and our local Franz bread store. These stores have what my family requires for day-to-day living, and usually for the best prices.
Next, I look at our local store ads to see what is on sale for the week. After seeing if I can come up with some great dinner ideas based off of what is on sale, I create my weeks menu. I pull out all recipes that I will need and add them to my Kitchen Binder, under "This Week" tab. I see what ingredients I already have on hand, then make a list of what's missing. Finally, I head to the store, usually I return feeling very proud of the money I have saved.
Our weekly menu usually only has a plan for dinners. I work Monday thru Friday, my husband works Saturdays thru Wednesdays. So, Monday thru Wednesday we tend to eat a lite breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and then I make what is planned out on the menu for dinner. Thursdays and Fridays, Jason is home with the boys. He usually makes a breakfast for everyone, a small lunch and then I make dinner when I get home, of course, using what is planned on the menu. Saturdays and Sundays I make breakfast, lunch and dinner.
My menus will be posted on Saturdays with their recipes. These menus will include dinner Monday thru Sunday. I try to mix it up often and add new recipes in whenever I can. I, also, try not to repeat the same meat more then two days in a row. This can be difficult because we eat a lot of chicken and rarely eat red meat. I do not like to cook with hamburger; so that is another ingredient you may want to incorporate into your meals more often then mine. I know for some of you, you will save more money where I do not, because I only buy boneless/skinless meat. (Something feels wrong to me about eating meat off a bone. :)) If you are willing to buy bone-in and skin-on meat you will definitely save more and I definitely encourage you to do so. I am trying hard to use more fresh and organic foods, less canned and processed ingredients. If you have any suggestions on how you have changed some of my recipes to include more fresh ingredients I would love to hear.
Remember, menu planning is difficult for some and easier for others. I love to plan a menu. With our hectic lives I appreciate the ease of knowing what I am making for dinner. I hate when 5:00 rolls around and I am left scrambling for what to feed my hungry family. I noticed on these nights I tend to cook less healthy or resort to eating fast food, yuck! Also, remember to be flexible. We all get special cravings for something you just gotta have, and we all like to go out on occasion, so I encourage you to mix up the menu, add to it, move things around, do what you need to do to suit you and your families needs.
I have used menu planning in phases, off and on for the last two years. I always go back and realize how much happier I am when using a menu. They sure make my life less complicated and I hope they will bring balance to your life as well!
Best wishes in your menu planning adventure!
Your Homemade Momma of 2,