Monday, January 08, 2018

How to Menu Plan...

(image found here)

I did not fully appreciate all that my mom taught me while growing up.  Nor did I truly appreciate all the things she did that I simply watched her do and learned by her example.  One such example is menu planning. 

I remember watching her on Friday nights. She'd get some paper and pen and sit down in her favorite chair, turn on a TV show, and start writing down her grocery list to be shopped for the following day.  My sweet dad always went on Saturdays and got whatever my mom had written on her list for him to buy.  I will admit to truly wishing she'd write down 5 boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts or several boxes Lucky Charms cereal, but somehow neither ever appeared on her lists.  :)

She started by listing the days of the week like this...

... and beside each day she listed a dinner idea.  Now that did NOT mean that we would have what was listed on each day on THAT particular day. It just showed her what was available to cook that week.  For example, the above list shows Ham and Black Bean Soup for Monday.  We had it on Thursday because it ended up being easier on my schedule this particular week.  

After making the menu out, my mom would then list all that she needed to prepare each dish.  Then she'd add in stuff needed for breakfasts and lunches, as well.  Here in our home, we eat leftovers or simple sandwiches for lunch. Our breakfasts are eggs or oatmeal of some kind of homemade muffin or pancakes.

After the menu is made, she would go to her pantry (well, I think she USUALLY did this... Mom, if you're reading this, please correct me!!!) and if she found she already had an ingredient, she would scratch it off her list.  I do this and it works really well for me because who wants to end up with 8 cans of cream of chicken soup because you forgot to check and see if you already had it on hand?!?! (Yes, totally speaking from experience here!!!)

The end result looks something like this photo above.  Nothing fancy.  No beautiful handwriting needed.  Just a list of what is needed to feed your family for the upcoming week.  I personally shop every Saturday. Mr. U usually works on Saturdays, but if he is off on Saturday, I will make sure I get groceries on Friday so that we can have family time together.  :) 

(By the way, there are plenty of people who shop every two weeks or even once a month!!!)

After your list is complete, it's just a matter of heading to the store (or stores) to purchase what's needed.  I always head to Aldi first and then Publix to get whatever Aldi did not have that I needed.   This particular day, I also needed to stop at Sprouts for a few things (their coffee is THE BOMB!!!!!!).  Then I headed home, put away all the groceries, and sat back and relaxed knowing that our food was taken care of for the upcoming week.  

THANK YOU, Mom, for teaching me how to menu plan!!  I've met soooo many ladies who have no clue where to start and I am so sooo thankful for your example!!

If y'all have any questions, PLEASE feel free to ask!!  And if y'all have any ideas to share that work for you, please share that, too!!  


Jennifer said...

This is such a wonderful way to menu plan! I love that you had your Mom to teach you this!
I'm not great at menu planning...something I'm working on. I usually just stock the basics and figure out something from there. I make most everything from scratch.
I love the make a list and scratch out what you don't need....I'm going to try that part. Since I've already started making a meal plan for each day of the week already.
Hope you have a great day!

Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie said...

Great minds think alike! I have just posted about menu planning too!! I was not taught by my mum, but rather self taught...but it seems we have a very similar system. I honestly don't know how people manage without a meal would stress me out so much. I love having it all written out...and no last minute panics or dithering! Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare. Eb :-)

Rechelle said...

I meal plan almost this exact same way and it works out so well for us!!! The only thing I would add is that when I create my grocery list I write the items out in the order that I know I will find them throughout the store - which really only works if you know where you are shopping well but I like to look down my list and cross things off as I go.

I do NOT know how people can live without meal planning & a grocery list lol

Happy Friday :)

Miz Helen said...

I have been a meal planner for over 40 years, it really is a way of life. You are right it doesn't have to be fancy, just do it. It save time and money, plus I think the family gets better meals. Every week on Saturday, I publish Whats For Dinner Next Week, complete meal plans with recipes for the week. Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a great day and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Kate said...

Such a great way of doing it. Meal Planning is on my list to really get to grips with this year. Thanks for sharing.

Ashley @ Sweetpea Lifestyle said...

I really like this method of meal planning -- something I am not very good at....! Thanks for sharing with #HomeMattersParty!

Linda at Apron Strings & other things said...

Moms do know a thing or two, don't they?
It was fun to read through your menu planning session - I plan out my meals for the month in a similar fashion.
Thanks for sharing this at our Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your post with us on Whisk It Wednesday this week. Hope you have a great week and come back soon! Carrie

Heather said...

I am enjoying catching up with your blog! I have been menu planning for almost all of our 30 years of marriage. We were dirt poor when first married and I was blessed with some older godly women at church who taught me how to meal plan and make filling meals for less. I actually taught my mother in law how! My brother in law came to stay with us for a month one summer and he went home and told my mother in law that she needed to ask me how to do it. 🙈 I have a list of everything that I buy by aisle, and just print one out each time. I shop every two weeks, but when we lived in Arizona it was Once a month.


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