Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How to Make a Monthly (or Weekly) Menu Plan.

I've been "winging it" for supper since October (partly because of this little guy). My food budget and husband's waist show the effects of my lack of meal planning. Well, no more! It's a new year and a fresh start for home management!

To motivate myself to return to menu planning (and you to join me!) I decided to write a step-by-step post on how I make a monthly or weekly menu plan.
How to Make a Monthly (Weekly) Menu

Will you join me? The benefits of meal planning are numerous. More nutritious meals. Spend less money on food. Less stressed at meal time. To get started planning your meals just download and print this pdf file. I plan to place this guide in my Home Management Binder.

Please leave a comment if you found this Guide helpful. If you Menu Plan already I'd love to learn about it about the system you use.

* For more tips on menu planning be sure to read Monthly Menu: A Work in Progress.
* You can also find monthly menus, weekly menus and recipes at Stephanie's Mommy Brain in the Kitchen.
* For more tips and ideas visit Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.

15 comments:

carol ~ i throw like a girl said...

I was just thinking that I REALLY need to do this. I am so tired of going to the grocery store every day and spending waaaay to much money by going to the grocery store every day! Thanks for sharing!

wherever HE leads we'll go said...

We DEFINITELY use a meal plan for dinners. We do 2 week increments & do our shopping for 2 weeks based on that. We usually just list the meat that we will have, not usually the sides. We don't usually schedule nights out - we may just skip that meal or shift things around depending on how we are feeling.

The menu plans makes life so much easier! No more "What do you want to have for dinner" "I don't know what do you want to have". : )

Lorie said...

I so so SO need to get back on track with my meal planning as well! Thanks for the ideas.

Wani said...

I'm still trying to find my groove as far as meal planning goes so I'm always looking to see what works for other families. Thanks for sharing your tips!

Jane Anne said...

This is exactly what I have been doing this week. I printed out a free printable calendar. I looked at my meal list. I pretty much follow your list with one additional step- coupons. I take time to look at my clipped coupons. I also search online for specific items on my list. This is a quick way to find coupons and save.

ajourneyinmommying said...

Steph, Have you gotten into the coupon thing? ...online coupons combined with store sales and Sunday newspaper coupons....There is this whole other language out there for the coupon world...who knew??? :)

ajourneyinmommying.blogspot.com (Hey, the comment section is different than usual...not letting me choose my name??...so I typed it...???)

ajourneyinmommying said...

OOOh...figured out the name thing. :)

ajourneyinmommying said...

OH! Stephanie, you just made my night!!!!! I just found the recipe for Penne Rustica (Macaroni Grill) in your recipes. That is my FAVORITE thing to eat out!! We go there about once a year...if that...but I LOVE it. I can't wait to try it!! I'm sorry I've just been chatting about other things while I wait to feed my little man in a few minutes and haven't answered your question. I haven't found an organizational chart for meals that I love so I'm definitely going to go back and check out your ideas. I HAVE started just writing what we're having each night on my bill calendar...so it's all handy when I'm working on budget stuff...but I haven't found a "post it on the front of the fridge" type chart that I like...but then I haven't looked at yours yet so maybe I will....:) ...got side-tracked with your recipes. Thank you thank you thank you for the recipe for my favorite dish! :) Got the Macaroni Grill bread recipe??? :)

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I googled for the penne rustica. It's my favorite dish from Macaroni Grill which we loved because of the food and family friendly atmosphere but the one near us closed up shop suddenly. Very sad! I don't have the bread recipe but you could try googling it.

I don't really do coupons any more. Price Rite (grocery store) doesn't take them and they are about as cheap w/o coupons as Stop & Shop (supermarket) with a coupon and on sale. So I don't bother. I should for stuff I get at Walmart but it's a time thing at this point. .... Blog? or Coupons?.... hmmm.... = )

Jenn said...

Thanks for the links & ideas. I have printed & saved a few that I like and intend to try. I don't have a very efficient way of planning our dinners, so hopefully this will help out. I'll post my attempt-- I have some new recipes to try and will let you know.

Ann said...

I would add one thing...inventory your freezer and cabinets before you menu plan! We started doing that eight or nine months ago, and it made an even greater difference in our budget! And, we've found many months where we have to buy much less than we expected. This also reminds us of times when a recipe has made more than expected (or we expected to share it with guests and didn't for whatever reason) and we have frozen half - an unexpected ready made meal that we don't have to shop for or cook!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

These are all great ideas, Ladies! Keep 'em coming.

I didn't mention "shopping" in your own pantry and freezer but I definitely do when I'm making my menu and list. Also, freezer cooking is something I'm hoping to do more of this year. I don't think I can do the big once-a-month cooking thing (lack of freezer and prep space). I'm thinking more along the lines of doubling recipes and freezing half for a later meal.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

To see an example of my menus go to http://stephaniesmommybraininthekitchen.blogspot.com/2009/01/january-2009-monthly-menu-plan-with.html

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Oh Steph! Thanks for this post. (obviously, I am very behind on your blog again because I'm just now reading it!) but I want to link to you.

I'm a big fan of doing what works for you. I think we do a lot of things alike.

Now...I've gotta find that recipe for penne rustica. Sounds delish.

Anonymous said...

i am so glad i found this website . i homeschool 3 kids . one has ciliac's and the other is allergic to wheat, so we have to be very planned at meals. we also have pet chickens so we use alot of eggs ( our resources)lol and whatevers in the garden. but i will be starting this next week!!!

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