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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Meal Planning

Part 3 in my home organization!

Cooking is fun!!!  As long as I don't have to think about "What's for dinner?" or "Man, I have to go to the grocery store, what am I going buy??"

To overcome those two hurdles, I started making menus.  Once again, I just make a simple spreadsheet with a menu item and the supplies that have to be purchased to make that meal.  Currently, I have 10 weeks of menus.  I keep them in page protectors since cooking is a messy job.

After the spreadsheet, I have copies of all of the recipes.

When I plan menus, I consider a couple things:
1. I vary my meats each week.  Who wants to eat chicken every day???
2. I include at least one quick and easy meal each week.
3. I include one "family favorite" each week.  (like meatloaf or spaghetti or tacos. . .)
4. I don't plan to eat things on specific days, but you should plan to eat things with fresh produce or bakery goods early in the week for obvious reasons.
5. If a meal takes more than 30 minutes or needs to be marinated, I make a note of that on the menu page.
6. I also try to balance the nutrition.  I love me some Pioneer Woman, but I am not a rancher so I don't need all of those calories, so I balance my butter recipes with healthy recipes.

To avoid overwhelming yourself, plan no more than 2 weeks in one shot.  If you would like a starting point, I would be more than happy to share my current plans.

You might also notice that I have only planned 5 meals for the week.  We usually have one left over night/ a night that we eat out/ or a night where we eat sandwiches or pasta or something super simple.

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