Planning A Practical Weekly/Monthly Menu
You might have read a lot about how important it is to make a list. I’d say that it’s more important to learn how to do make a list the right way, otherwise you will not be able to make it a consistent habit. With a little practice you can put together a menu plan for an entire month in less than 10 minutes. Let’s take a look at what you need to do.
If you shop at a number of stores, make sure that you’ve got each store’s weekly sales ad flier ready with you before you start planning. Also go through all your cabinets, the supplies you have in your fridge and freezer, to find out what you have in stock and what you need to buy more of.
(Tip: This gets much easier to do if you have some kind of order to stocking your cabinets and fridge) Now that you are aware of what supplies you have at home and what will be on sale for the coming week, plan your menus for the rest of the week based on these two factors. Get creative!
Begin making your shopping list by listing out all the staple items you need such as milk, sugar, flour, bread etc. and any other products you will need that are on sale, to cook the items on your weekly menu.
Your list should consist of all the items and ingredients you need along with the quantities needed. Check off all the items you already have in stock!
Planning ahead this way will allow you to save a ton of money on groceries simply because you won’t be making a mad dash your nearby store to pick up items you don’t have at the last minute. It’ll also save you hurried trips to the local McDonalds because you ran out of options.
You’ll also avoid ‘impulse buying’ this way. Save the menu for the week in a separate file along with the grocery list, just for the record.
Once you get more used to planning your weekly meals, you can tackle a monthly menu. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Once you get used to buying items in bulk you can cycle a number of your weekly menus into a workable monthly menu. (Save the file on your computer with the month attached; for example, Octoberlist.doc for the month of October).
You can establish a whole new tradition of having a few standard meals on certain days every month, which your family will look forward to or even one or two nights a week with the same meal plan.
Planning a weekly or monthly menu will help you ensure that your family eats well, with proper balanced nutrition and you can recycle menus or use parts of old menus to make new ones each month.
If you recycle menus this way, your grocery list is done, since all you have to do is print out your previous lists. Saves a ton of time!