Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Meal Planning With Your Calendar



I am really into meal planning. Years ago, before I did this, I would haphazardly shop at the grocery store and just kind of fling things in the cart as I went along, and make up my meals as I was shopping. I've been trying to plan better though, so a couple days before I go grocery shopping, I decide what I want to make for the next 2-2.5 weeks. I make my meal list and grocery list, and then I download one of these:



I then look at our regular calendar and figure out our schedule and decide what to cook what days. I know that Tuesday and Thursday are designated Karate nights, so I always need something easy for those nights, like grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, or tator tot casserole. Friday or Saturday nights are usually homemade Pizza nights. Not everything is easy though; The next couple weeks will see Cabbage rolls, Goulash, Beef Roast and Beef stew (yaay for leftovers!) and Rubber Chicken (roast chicken, chicken pot pie and then chicken soup!). I currently have 17 different meal options, so I almost did 3 weeks this time.

After I am done deciding what to cook when, I pencil it in on the calendar. Voila! I now have 2-2.5 weeks of menu planning. I can look at each day and figure out what needs to be made, or I can prepare the day before if I am making something like a Roast Chicken for instance. Of course I am free to substitute if something doesn't work out, but usually we pretty much stick to the schedule. It also really helps me stay on budget as well, because I only stick to what meals I am making. I always allow for some extras, because I never fail to forget a few things that I needed.

It Works for me! Check out the other great ideas at Works For Me Wednesday!!

8 comments:

Cheri-Beri said...

I do something similar, only it's four weeks worth of menus that don't change. And we have karate on Tuesdays and Thursdays, too!

Jane Anne said...

I am right there with you on this one (in fact, see my WFMW post!). This simple thing - a menu calendar - has helped my budget and my attitude toward grocery shopping. I enjoyed your tips.

KrustyTheCat said...

I would love to be able to plan for 4 weeks, but unfortunately, we just don't have the fridge or freezer space for that much food. I'm jealous!!! LOL

FromThe Creek said...

I really need to plan way ahead like that too. I have been trying to weekly...but then I get busy. I would love to be able to go to the grocery only twice a month! That is one of my other goals!

Brooke said...

i usually do mine a month at a time - its addictive!

Wani said...

I've been doing something like this. Only I usually do a week at a time.

Wanda said...

YOU'RE THE INSPIRATION!!!!
I needed to see this tonight. Thanks.

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Doing this helps me so much!