5 Tips On Menu Planning – I have had many questions lately about menu planning and grocery shopping so I wanted to take some time this week to discuss a few “how to’s”. Planning out a menu for the week, even if you only plan out dinners, will save you both time and money. Not to mention save you from the dreaded “WTF’s for dinner” question. FOOD, I meant what’s the FOOD for dinner!
All it takes is a little time and planning up front and you can save yourself time during the week when you need it most. Here are my top five recommendations when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping!
- Sit down and plan out your meals and snacks for the week. Plan out 2 or 3 options that you can cycle for lunch, and 3 to 4 dinner options that you can have for a few nights. Once you have your meals laid out you can plan your grocery list based on what you need for those meals. Then you can start prepping! Remember to think about all the aspects of your meal and break it down.
Example: I want to have a teriyaki chicken stir-fry for dinner; I need to buy teriyaki sauce, chicken, veggies I like (peppers, broccoli, carrots, baby corn, red onion, celery, etc.), enough for a stir-fry big enough for 2 meals. I will need coconut oil to cook my chicken and veggies in. Stir-fry is usually on a bed of rice, noodles or cabbage so I need to buy rice, noodles or cabbage.
In addition to groceries you will need sturdy sealable containers and freezers bags. When making your menu, remember to reference any recipes, pages numbers or Pinterest pins that you will need.
- Once you have your menu plan, go through each recipe and add what you do not already have in your pantry or fridge to your list. This keeps you from buying unnecessary items at the grocery store. Once you have all the items needed for your recipes, then go through your fridge and pantry and add any extra items that you may need such as staples like flour, milk, and school lunch snacks.
- Once you have created your list you can go ahead and do your shopping. If you are someone like me who hates grocery shopping and don’t have time for it, I recommend trying out online ordering and delivery of groceries if this is offered in your area. Huge time saver and well worth the cost of delivery!
- Spend some time pre-prepping some of your menu items for the week. You can pre cut many fruits and veggies. Get lunch items ready for the week. Pre cook or marinate any meat. You can even prepare a few slow cooker meals and have them ready in a container to dump into your crockpot before work. If you are looking for further help with how to food prep check out my mini course, Back 2 Basics Food Prep: 5 Time Saving Tips!
- Put your menu up on your fridge or somewhere where it is easily accessible to reference as needed. I don’t plan out each day of the week. I just plan out the meals we are going to have that week and pick one each day. With our busy schedule and some picky eaters in the house we prefer to be flexible. If planning out each day in a more structured way works better for you, go for it! Remember to have fun with it, be creative, and tailor this idea to work for you and your family.
That’s my 5 Tips On Menu Planning! If you use these time saving tips to take the guess work out of menu planing you will always have an answer to the “what’s for dinner?” question. Want a more in depth look at menu planning and food prep? Check out my Back 2 Basics Fast and Health Food Prep; 5 Time Saving Tips!