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MANAGING HOME: HOW TO MENU PLAN

One of the best things that I have started doing this year has been menu planning. Even though it seems like such a small thing, it has saved my family so much money on our food bills and me my sanity in the process. By menu planning I know ahead of time what is for dinner, therefore saving myself the daily stress of trying to figure out what to cook for my family at the last minute.

A lot of people have no idea where to even begin when starting to menu plan. Although it seems overwhelming at first, menu planning can be mastered by anyone. I am going to give you the steps that I take when menu planning and you can modify them to your liking.

  1. SEARCHING THE SALES
    Every Wednesday grocery stores come out with their weekly sales ads. I like to sit down with my sales ads on Thursday or Friday and mark the items that they have on sale for that week. I also go through my coupon binder and see if my coupons will match up to anything that is on sale. Once I have my list, I look through my cabinets and see what I already have stockpiled.
  2. PLANNING THE MENU
    Once I have a list of what is on sale and what I already have stocked up, I start piecing together meals. I try to equally match buying items and using items I already have at home. If I get stuck on a menu or am lacking in recipe ideas, I head to the internet and do a quick recipe search. For example, if I want to use hamburger meat and rice, I’ll type “hamburger meat, rice, recipe” in google and go from there.
  3. WHAT TO BUY
    After I have written down what is on sale and have my menu all planned out, I make my grocery list. I go through each of my meals and write down everything that I will need need to complete them. Once I have my master grocery list I cross out the items I already have in stock. (I do this step because I always like to double check myself. I only like to make one grocery trip a week, so I would rather be safe then sorry.) After I am done crossing out my already stocked items, I double check my coupons and gather together the ones I will need to use.

And there you have it, a quick and simple way to incorporate menu planning into your life.

Here are some extra tips for you to remember:

  • Always keep a copy of your recipes. There have been many times where I have incorporated a new recipe into my menu plan and shopped for it only to find out that I have lost the recipe.
  • Keep a copy of your master grocery list, and any new recipes for the week filed away. Once you have been menu planning for a few months, you can always go to this file and pick out a grocery list and menu plan already put together for a week when you juts don’t feel like putting forth the effort.
  • If you ever get stuck for ideas, try visiting I’m An Organizing Junkie‘s weekly menu planning meme for weekly menu ideas.

I hope that these tips have helped you learn a little bit about menu planning, and hopefully it will give you the encouragement you need to start menu planning at home.

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4 Comments

  1. These are great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love your blog design. It’s so organized and eye catching. I can tell you’ve put a lot of time into it.

    I’m a menu planner too, but I haven’t gotten organized enough to ever have my menu planned in time to link on Organizing Junkie’s site. I’m a procrastinator too.

  3. Okay so can I just hire you to do this for me?

  4. I’m with Christie on this one. how much do you charge? haha

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