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!!