From Planning A Menu To Food On The Table, Bringing It All Together!
I hope you have enjoyed our Menu Planning Series. I find that menu planning not only will help you to put food on your table, but it will also help keep you sane . Saving money, saving time, eating healthy and saving my sanity is why I strive to menu plan every week.
Feeling more organized during meal times encourages me to continue searching out new recipes to cook for my family. Before menu planning, I found dinner time to be aggravating. It was a hassle! I find myself saying: “It is that time again” and digging thought the fridge for something that would feed my family. This is not the case anymore.
We all have to eat, so why not choose to plan meals that can fill your family with nutrition, keep money in your wallets, and give you more time in the day for yourself.
For our last post, I thought it would be fitting it go over some frequently asked questions.
Here are frequently asked questions about menu planning:
- What if I skip a day on my menu because something came up? Like all good plans, we always have to improvise to make them work. Sometimes events happen on the “fly” and I adjust my menu by either: bumping everything ahead one day, or saving “that Meal” for next week.
- Why don’t you plan a menu for a whole month? I find that a once a week system works for me. I can only predict so much in the future and I would hate to waste food and energy on the unknown for the month. Assuming you shop once a week as well, this type of planning works for those who have the time to head into the store each week. Fresh food only has a small time frame to be used up before it will spoil not saving you money. I love my fresh veggies and fruit. So we sop once a week.
- Do you prepare all your food for the week in advance? Yes and No. It really depends on what I am cooking. If I need to defrost meat from the freezer I usually do it the night before. Some types of meats require more defrost time, so yes I prep it a few days in advance. I do tend to plan meals that use the same type of meat. For example: I will cook two pounds of ground beef for tacos one night and store the other one pound of ground beef for lasagna the next night. Why waste your time cleaning a frying pan each night? I don’t however prepare any of my “sides”. I usually have ample time to make our sides. When our family goes to Maine each year, I prepare all our meals in advance, so little to no “fussing” is needed for meal times. We rent a house out and I bring what we will need and purchase fresh items at the store when we arrive.
- Do you assemble the meal and meal plan by yourself? I would like to call this a family event. I enjoy giving my “helpers” (7 year old son & 6 year old daughter) a small task in preparing dinner and meals. It gets them motivated. The biggest plus with their involvement is they will eat dinner better knowing they helped planned it. . My husband on the other hand, gives me ideas on what he would like to see on the menu for the week. He often comes home with recipes from co-workers, or recipes for different resources that he would like to try out. While he doesn’t often cook, he does bring a bit of randomness to the menu.
As always, please feel free to leave a comment for those questions I know your dying to ask about meal planning.