Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Meal planning help...
My dear in-real-life friend, Melissa, is a newlywed and in need of weekly meal planning help. If any of you dear ladies have time, would you mind visiting with her on her blog and helping her out?
I told her that I am no help with weekly menus because I do things differently. I grocery shop twice a month after Mr. U gets paid. Yesterday was one of my grocery shopping days. I LOVE having a houseful of groceries, knowing that I will be able to make meals for my family.
Before I grocery shop, I always make a menu. After I make the menu, I make a list of every single thing I will need for the each recipe. I then head to my pantry, refrigerator and freezer to see what ingredients I already have on hand. I will then mark off the ingredients I do not need to purchase on that shopping trip.
Also, whenever I run out of something, I will quickly put it on my grocery list for the next shopping trip. For example, we just ran out of Vitamin E today. I wrote it down on my grocery list for the next shopping trip (in about 2 weeks). There are some items that cannot wait for the next shopping trip (toilet paper, milk, etc.) but if something can wait, then wait it will. :)
This is what our menu looks like for the next two weeks:
-Chicken sate over pasta with salad
-Picnic Chicken with couscous and green beans
-New Year's Pasta with French bread and creme brulee
-Pancakes and Bacon (breakfast for supper!! FUN!)
-Pumpkin Sausage Pasta with salad
-Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans
-Italian Wedding Soup with some kind of bread
-Grilled Lemon Chicken and roasted broccoli
-Grilled burgers with carmelized onions and roasted tomatoes
-Pizza and salad
-2 days we will eat out (on Saturdays)
-each Monday we have lunch with some friends that have all adopted or are going to adopt
So, there's 14 days of meals!! Yesterday we had pizza and today we are having chicken sate. So, I will cross those off my menu so that I know that I have already used those ingredients.
I do not assign certain meals to certain days. It has never worked for me that way. Also, I decide the night before what we will have the next day. If any meat needs to thaw, I will take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator the night before.
If we find out we will have people over to eat, I will make extra bread, make more salad or green beans and make sure to serve dessert.
This is what works for me and for our family. Often, Mr. U or Joshua will ask for a certain meal that we haven't had in a while or one that they particularly like and I try to make sure that I make it. I love cooking for my family and making sure that they all enjoy what they eat and that it is relatively healthy (notice, I said "relatively" HA!! Homemade IS healthier than eating in a restaurant or eating a frozen meal, though, isn't it?).
So, y'all please share with Melissa how you handle weekly menus. As a new bride, I am sure she will appreciate any and all advice!!
(Yes, the picture is Melissa. The picture is a tad bit overexposed on purpose- to really bring out her pretty blue eyes!! What a lovely bride she was!!)