Wednesday, January 19, 2011

5 Menu Planning Tips

Luna of Submissive Guide is doing a month of Domestic Service posts. She asked me to participate in it. And I was thrilled to be able to provide 2 posts. One was on menu planning which she posted last week and the other is a recipe that will be posted soon. But I did want to follow up with a few more menu planning tips.

1. No need to be extravagant - I remember when I first started meal planning and was looking through cookbooks and recipes online. I had big dreams of making wonderful meals every night. But one, our budget can't handle that and two, I can't handle that. I don't have the time to always cook a big meal. So sometimes grilled cheese and soup is good.

2. Theme Nights - Friday nights here is pizza or hamburgers and fries. Basically homemade junk food. Sunday often is a meat and potatoes meal or soup so that we can eat it for lunch during the week. Wednesday we usually have several appointments so it is left overs or something from the crockpot. I want to start doing Monday's as meatless nights. But think about what your family likes and make it a theme - Mexican, sandwiches, stir fry, breakfast for dinner, soup and salad or whatever theme you want.

3. Go-to-Recipes - spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, tuna casserole, pizza, goulash, chicken noodle soup, meatloaf and so on. They are your go-to-recipes because they are things you can make with your eyes closed so use them. No doubt the people in your household love them - so make your life easy and use those meals in your menus.

4. Repeat - When making a month menu, having spaghetti twice in one month isn't a big deal. Have your go to meals that you repeat a couple times a month. If you do repeat, think about making a double batch and freezing so that you don't have to cook down the road.

5. Use the Web - use google calendar, the resources I listed in the essay I wrote for Luna's site, recipes online, delicious to bookmark and keep things organized. It just cuts down losing paper menus, recipes and such when everything is organized online.

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