Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Menu Planning and freezer cooking Part 1

Husband: "Hey Hun, what's for dinner?    Me: "Umm..... I don't know."   Husband: "You just went shopping yesterday."  Me:"yeah, and man I got some deals!"   Husband: "Well then what's for dinner?"  Me: "I don't know."

After all my grocery shopping each week when I bring in bags upon bags of groceries the question of "What's for dinner?" is often what I'm greeted with upon my return. Have you ever been caught in that little trap of a full pantry and freezer but still nothing to cook? Then you need to start menu planning and stockpiling!

Menu planning is one of the easiest ways to start saving your family money and time. Just like couponing, menu planning takes a little time in the beginning but you will eventually be able to do plan your meals in a snap. First things first:
  1. Go through your freezer and pantry and make a list of what you have
  2. Make a list of all the meals YOUR family loves to eat.
  3. Start a shopping list of what you need to complete your  menu.
Everyone plans their meals differently. I generally plan mine for two weeks at a time because that is our pay schedule and I also base it on what I have on hand. For example, when I look at my list of items on hand and I see ground beef, noodles and spaghetti sauce I know I have a the makings of Cavatini and all I need to do is add mozzarella cheese to my shopping list.  That's one dinner down 13 more to go!

Print out a calendar or go here to download some great menu planning tools provided by Money Saving Mom. Fill in as many of the squares as you can with what you have on hand. Make a list as you go of anything you may need at the store to complete these meals.

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