Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Menu Planning 101

The excitement over Monday's BIG give-away is still very big!  I hope you all take the opportunity to enter to win a copy.  In fact, if you haven't gotten around to it, stop reading this, click here and enter to win.  It won't take long.  Then you can come back here and continue reading.  It's okay, I'll wait.  Really, I will.  

see, I am waiting. 

still waiting.  

oh good, you're back.  Thanks for going and voting!  I can't wait to read all about your favorite children's book.  And even more thanks, if you shared it with your friends. . . I appreciate it!  I do!  In fact, I am thinking about doing another giveaway in November. . . it's going to be awesome.  But, until then, the topic of my post. . . 

Remember a couple posts back to this post and my families crazy monthly tradition of survivor week?  We had a great conversation about budgeting and so far, my favorite post was that it is really hard to budget food when we love food.  Seriously, food is awesome!  

So, I thought that this week, I would share my weekly chore activity of menu planning and some tips that might help you along the way.  I really do enjoy it. . . most of the time.   Wednesday's are my days to sit down and plan my meals and make my shopping list.  I do the majority of my shopping on Thursdays or Fridays depending on our schedule.  

I love pretty things. . . I am pretty sure that you knew that, right?  Well, I really think that I am motivated more to menu plan when I have something cool/pleasant to the eye to write it on.  So, meet my current menu planner that I found at Anthropology (you can find them other places, too).  You can also find free printable menu planners on Pinterest (click here if you want to go to my board quickly).

My next tip is to use your resources.  Find magazines that you love and peruse them.  Search the things you've pinned onto your food board on Pinterest.  Some of the recipes are not so great and others have been fantastic.

Use your tried and true recipes.  I am constantly trying something new, but the ones that are keepers go inside this box.  I highly recommend these because sometimes blogs disappear and technology fails us, but pen and paper still work.  (sounds kind of old fashioned, doesn't it?)

Here are a few more of my guidelines (including the ones above in list form).

1.  Find a place that is comfortable, so you can peruse your favorite food places. 
2.  Your menu planner should be something you enjoy writing on.  
3.  Make your grocery list as you work on your menu.
4.  Use food magazines, blogs, Pinterest, and your favorite go-to recipes. 
5.  Plan meals with leftovers.
6.  I try to plan at least 2 meals a month that have enough for a freezer meal. . . that at least 2 meals a month I don't have to cook (comes in handy when you are out of money in your food budget and doing your own survivor week).  Soups work great, as well as shredded chicken, shredded pork, and baked pastas. 

What tips to you have for menu planning?  What's your favorite site to go to?

Oh and if you cheated  waited til you finished reading this post click here to go and enter the contest for the free book.

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