Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Monday, March 27, 2006

My Master Menu Planner

Menu planning had become a major hassle! I would spend forever flipping through cookbooks, trying to figure out what to make that week and wondering whether I would be going over budget.

Well, I've finally put together a Master Menu Planner and I'm thrilled with the way it's working! First of all, I decided upon five dinner categories for the weeknights:

  • Beef Night (Generally lean ground beef or ground turkey) Examples: Greek-style Turkey burgers, Picante Cranberry Meatballs, Taco Salad
  • Other "Meat" Night (Choose from Chicken, fish, pork, sausage--try to get on sale) Examples: Lebanese Chicken Skewers, Easy Red Beans and Rice (contains sausage), Homemade Fish and Chips (Fries:o)
  • Breakfast-for-Dinner Night (Protein is generally eggs) Examples: Crustless Vegetable Quiche, Muffins or pancakes, fruit and yogurt
  • Produce and Non-Meat Protein Night (Protein is generally cheese or beans) Examples: Baked Potatoes, Falafels, Vegetarian Quesadillas
  • Pasta Night (Some pasta dishes may include leftover beef, chicken or sausage, or tuna. Others have no meat, but contain cheese and/or beans) Examples: Spaghetti, Stuffed (Vegetarian) Manicotti, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
I decided on the above categories in attempts to limit the amount of meat I will purchase (for budgetary reasons). Some recipes may not call for much meat, in which case I will have some left over to freeze or add to other dishes. I will not plan unique meals for weekends, except for special occaisions or company (In which case I will plan for less meals during the week and we will fill in with leftovers then). I've tried planning out seven days a week before, and we usually end up with too much food that goes to waste! On weekends we will generally eat leftovers, make homemade pizza on Friday or Saturday night and eat out (cheaply!).

I have also put together lists of my recipes according the above categories. Now I can simply look at my list and quickly decide which dish to choose for each category. This might seem like a "duh" idea, but it's a new innovation in my life!:o)


Blogger Mrs. Wilt said...

How fantastic! I need to do the same thing for Mr. Wilt and myself. Your menu sounds so delicious- you'll have to start posting some of your recipes for us to see!

7:27 PM, March 27, 2006  

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