Monday, February 2, 2009

My Weekly Menus

One of the absolute best decisions that I made in "upper level management" (by that, I mean managing our home :P ) was to start writing out my week's menu for every meal that we eat. When I learned about this, I was very skeptical. At first, I limited this only to supper. I was amazed at the time, money and energy I saved by planning out all three meals.

I designed a simple chart using OpenOffice (my choice for just about everything...great free software). When I first started, I printed a menu out every week, filled it by hand, and hung it on the refrigerator. Now I fill out the menus on the computer and save them every week. I found myself staring at the chart thinking, "what can we eat for supper on Friday?" or "didn't we just eat tacos 2 weeks ago?" Now those situations are remedied!

I also can't believe how much money I've been saving. When I'm planning meals for the week, I look at the pantry/freezer/fridge and see what we already have on hand. Using careful planning, I hope to spend only about $40-$50 to buy groceries this week. Before I used a menu I always spent over $100 a week for what we needed.

How about time saved? I don't know if anyone out there is like this, but before the switch to the menu I was making at least 3 trips to the grocery store a week. I just kept finding stuff that I needed to make a meal. You add up how much time it takes to get my small children ready to go out, getting out and into the store and back home. They are very well-behaved in the store, but face it, they're kids and they have short legs and lots of questions about everything! My time is precious and it's imperative to use it wisely.

Below is the simple chart that really made my life much easier! You'll notice that each meal is appropriately named to fit "Southern-speak."

edited to add:
I left the image a bit large just in case anyone would like to borrow mine. It would save time designing one. Just click the image, then right click and save to your PC!

3 edifying expressions:

Tammy said...

This is so good! I have heard many good things about meal planning, but the one that appeals to me most (after saving $$) is that it eliminates scrambling around the kitchen, trying to figure out what to fix for dinner. I dread that!

I have started myself a notebook with lists and menu ideas, and am going to use that as a springboard to plan our meals.

Thanks for the encouraging post! :o)

Courtney, Jer.33:3 said...

Just wanted to let you know that I tried out your cornbread recipe last week and thought it was GREAT! Lord willing, I'll be making it again tomorrow. :)

Michele said...

I've just started again with meal planning. I seem to do well for a while and then slip back into old patterns. When I fail to plan our meals become monotonous and repetitive. Not to mention the money that gets wasted when I don't use the produce I purchased for the week. Meal planning is a must for me!