Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Menu planning

Planning meals in this house is a MUST!!
This is my menu board that I made to keep track of the meals I am making for the week.
If you don't already plan out your meals for the week then I really hope you will consider it. You will save yourself so much time and money!!
In our house everyone has one day out of the week where they get to pick what we have to eat. Every meal is planned ahead of time, breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides and dessert! We started letting everyone having their own day about 6 months ago and it works out great! Since starting this I have noticed that the complaining about what we are having for dinner is almost non-existant. They all eat whatever is served that night and I don't ever hear anyone complain. I think the fact that they know they are going to exactly what they want one day makes them happy :)
My chart is color coordinated by meal
Every Sunday we sit down and everyone picks out their meals for the day. Then, I go through each meal and make my grocery list. I check to make sure I have EVERYTHING I will need for the week (don't forget to check your spices to make sure you have what you need). The point is to make ONE trip to the store for the week. THAT'S IT!!!!! Did you hear me?? THAT'S IT!!! You spend SO much more money when you go to the store and you don't follow a list or if you go more than once a week. You will make more implulse buys when you don't have a list or if you go more than once. Your list includes everything that you will need for the week so there is no need to buy anything extra. If it is not on your list then you do not need it. Also, you waste a lot of your precious time going to the store. There are a lot of things that I personally need to get done in a day. My time is treasured and I don't need to waste time or gas going to the store to pick up just a couple of things for dinner that night.
(As a side note, I do have to do to the store more than once a week. We go through a gallon of milk a day here and there is no possible way currently that I can store 7 gallons of milk at a time!! BUT when I go in the middle of the week I go for milk ONLY and usually it is when I am out doing something else that needed to be done, not just a special trip to the store.)
Meal planning will also cut down on your drive-thru and eating out money. When everything is planned it is less likely you will make a stop at Burger King or Applebees because you don't know what to do for dinner.
You don't need a huge chart like mine in order to plan your meals. You can write it down on paper, it doesn't have to be fancy. Just do it! I am a crafty person and I wanted to make a nice big one that I could hang on my wall. 
If you are interested in making one, it isn't all that hard.
I used a poster board and then I glued scrapbook paper around on it.
I used contruction paper and sticker letters for the days of the week.
A little construction paper and my label maker for the days.
Then I took it to Staples and had it laminated! (Side note... If you use a label maker and want something laminated tell them they need to use the BIG laminator, NOT the small one. If you use the small one it gets too hot and your white labels will turn black from the heat! Yes, I know this from experience.)
After it was laminated I put velco circles that I bought at Wal-mart on each day/meal.
Kinda hard to see them, but they are there.
 I also laminated all of our meal cards (I used colored index cards) and put velcro on the backs of them. This is how I easily switch out my menu for the week.
As I make new recipes, I make a new label and card up then add it in with the others. Easy peasy :)


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