Sunday, 19 January 2014

Not As Hard As It Seems

Not As Hard As It Seems

Ive noticed that a lot more people are talking about menu planning here lately. Some have been doing this for years, others a few weeks/months, and still others just flat out refuse! I love the excuses that Ive heard for NOT planning a menu:

Those are just a few that I LOVE to hear! Menu planning is not that hard, and it takes very little of your time! I have made plans for 1 week, 2 weeks, and for 1 month. I really like to do the monthly menu plan because I like not having to think about what were going to have for dinner for a whole month. To do this, even for 1 week, you need to know what meals your fixing for your family. Track your meals on a calendar for a whole month. See what patterns develop and then plan around that with a few new meals thrown in for variety.

The real key to monthly menu planning can be summed up in one word: FLEXIBILITY. If youre not willing to be flexible, youre going to become frustrated and give up. Dont forget about your slow cooker. It can really make your meals a lot more manageable and easier to get dinner on the table. Most meals that you cook in the oven can be adapted to cook in your slow cooker.

Make sure that you cook meals that you know your family will eat. Youre not going to save any money by fixing meals that you end up throwing out because your family doesnt like them. Also, prep ahead. Chop extra veggies. It doesnt take any more time to chop 4 carrots instead of 2, or 2 onions instead of 1. The extras can be kept in the fridge for a few days, or the freezer for longer term storage. This helps shave a few minutes off your prep time later in the week when it matters the most.

One more thing to remember is to keep staples on hand. If you have staples, then all you need to do is pick up the ingredients you need to fill in the gaps with those ingredients you dont use as often. Also, if your family likes spaghetti, keep all the ingredients for a quick spaghetti meal on hand for those nights when theres very little time to get a meal on the table. You can have spaghetti with sauce, garlic bread, and even salad on the table within 30 minutes. There are other meals that can be pulled together just as quickly, it just depends on your familys tastes.

If youve never tried menu planning, give it a try. Its not that hard, and it will help make a busy schedule a little easier to manage by knowing that dinner is already planned. Read our full Terms of Service.

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