Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to Meal Plan

Are you scared of your kitchen?  Do you fear supper time and the dreaded question from the family, "What's for supper"?

Well you need to get on the meal planning train!  And that's what this blog post is all about!

Some people like to plan a whole month. I like to actually get everything I need and not have to go back to the grocery store within my meal planning time frame.

Some people do it for one week, but that goes to quickly and I don't want to go to the store quite that frequently.  So I've settled on 2 weeks.  Or 14-16 days approximately. :)

1.
First of all,  I use my specialty homemade cook book.
Click here to see the details on how and why I made this.  Then click here to see the easy version of this cookbook. :)  The one I started with.

2.
Then pick 12-14 meals you would like to eat.  Yes, you only pick 12-14 meals because there is some leeway for left overs, and an occasional out to eat night.

3. (short version) for the get it done no matter how people
Write down all the ingredients you need for these meals.  Then go to the store.
Now you know you have the ability to make all these things.  (read on)


3. (long version) for the get it done but make it organized in the process people.  (That's me.)
I write down all the ingredients for these chosen recipes.  Then I take this list and look through my pantry, fridge and freezer.  Next I cross off the things that are on that list that I already have on hand.  Now you know the things you have, and the exact things you need.  Don't buy more than you need or will use within a reasonable amount of time. :)
Next because I'm picky, I make a new "grocery store acceptable list" in order of where things are at the store, so I group together canned goods, frozen, meats, dairy, baking goods, etc.

4.
Make sure to write down these recipe names on a dry erase board of some sort.
You could also use a chart in a sheet protector because it will be just like dry erase. :)
Now you know you have enough ingredients to make those things that are written down.  This takes the stress out of supper time.  You have a list to choose from.  You don't have to make them on the specific day you wrote it down though, it's just nice to know you have a list to choose from where you actually have every ingredient needed!
I have a calendar board on the side of my fridge that I use.  But here is a link for a quick sheet you could print out and put in a sheet protector to have the same idea.


* Extra Details....
1. I buy extra loaves of bread and put them in the freezer to pull out whenever needed to save extra trips to the store just for bread.
2. I also add some desserts and treats that sound good to make in the next couple weeks, to that list.  That way I get those things on the list and don't have to run to the store (or the neighbors) for the flour, sugar, etc. :)
3. Don't forget to write down some side dishes and extra fruits to add to your meal.
4. If you want a little help getting started I have some weekly meal plans all set up, with easy click the links for the recipes.  Click here to see some of them.


Scrapbook Cookbook
Quick and Easy Cookbook



 

1 comment:

Randi said...

Great post Steph! I do meal plan a little, usually just one week at a time, but I've love to get better at doing 2 weeks. Our grocery store is only 1.5 blocks down the street, so I don't mind going 2-3 times a week when the weather is nice because it gives us something outside the house to do! But with winter coming soon enough, I probably won't want to bundle everybody up so often...ha!

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