I implemented the lessons learned about menu planning today! Yonea shared many great ideas....some I already had in practice, but some of her ideas were new to me.
Here are some of Yonea's tips.
1. Shop every two weeks.
2. Use a four column page to plan your menus for two weeks. The headings of the columns are: Breakfast, Lunch, Supper, Your Schedule.
3. Fill out the Your Schedule column first. Make note of the days you will be out of the home and the times. That way you won't plan a meal that requires 1 hour of prep time on a day that you won't be home from some activity until 5:30 PM!
4. Make a list of the supper meals that your family likes to eat. Divide these into 3 categories--fast prep, budget friendly, time consuming. When you fill in the suppers on your planning sheet, you will have meals to choose from that fit your day.
5. Plan to serve the same type meals for breakfast and lunch each day. Yonea shared her plan...again the menus reflected the days that she needed to leave the home early for appointments, and days that needed a sack lunch (for co ops, etc.). She serves muffins on Mondays, cereal on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, eggs and toast on Thursdays, convenience foods (Pop Tarts, bars, etc.) on Fridays, a big breakfast on Saturdays, and pancakes, waffles or French Toast on Sundays. I looked at our daily schedule, and I made a breakfast and lunch plan for us as well. On the mornings that I run, I planned easy breakfasts like cereal and pop tarts, on the other mornings, I planned things that I need to cook. She suggested we make a similar meal schedule for lunch. Lunches are harder for me. I don't want to stop teaching school to fix lunch, and my girls don't want to stop their schoolwork either. I am planning pasta with sauce or Ranch dressing, leftovers, PBJ, quick pizzas made on bread, and tortilla roll-ups.
6. After you have made your list, shop in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator first. This prevents you from buying items you already have, and reminds you of what meals you have previously frozen that you can put on your menu.
I had gotten out of the habit of posting my weekly menu for my family to see. I have been just writing it in my personal planner. Today, I made my two week menu plan, and I taped both pages inside our pantry door.
Now, I am off to Kroger!