Andrea Deckard is a stay-at-home mommy with an amazing husband and three energetic boys. In her *spare* time she loves to shop with coupons and make files to track her savings and organize her home. Stop by Mommy Snacks for zero-calorie Snacks to Save, Earn, Live and Learn.
It's 5 o'clock. You are exhausted. The last thing you want to figure out is what you are going to eat. And, oh yeah, you have to make it too! So, in an effort to maintain the energy you have left, you opt for take-out.
Does this sound like you?
I've been there more than I care to admit! For me, to avoid the overspending of either take-out or grocery shopping at the last minute, I started Menu Planning. Menu Planning is simply creating a menu for your family meals. Here's what it will do for you.
- Prevent headaches
- Save money
- Save time
What does your family eat?
What they *actually* eat. I have a Menu Planning Recipe Box that includes the meals my family eats the most. This is a great resource to utilize as you are creating the meal ideas for your family and will be helpful as you plan too.
What is on sale?
With the list of your family favorites, look at the grocery ads to find ingredients you can prepare on the cheap. You will probably have items in your pantry or freezer that you can use as well (stockpiling items at low, low prices is a good thing to consider). Your menu plan will help to prevent last minute trips to the store.
How often will you Menu Plan?
I personally plan my menu by the week, but some plan by the month. Just pick a frequency that works for you and start! With your list of meal ideas and grocery list of menu ingredients, creating your actual menu plan will be an easy step.
Creating your Menu Plan
Keeping a written/printed menu plan is the easiest thing to do. Each Sunday, I print off our Menu Plan for the upcoming week and pull or print required recipes. I then clip all recipes together and hang on the fridge so I know where they are when I'm ready to cook. This step helps to execute your plan. I can quickly look at the menu plan and get meat thawing in the fridge or bring items up from our stockpile. So, when it's time to cook, the prep is done and I just prepare our feast!
Menu Planning helps tremendously, but sometimes life gets in the way and I don't prepare each meal as planned. But, at least I have a plan in place so I don't overspend trying to pull something together on the fly. I feel better about what I do accomplish because at least I took the time to prepare a plan. And, knowing I saved time, money and a few headaches makes it worth it for me! * Photo Credits: Cocobucket29, autumlovr
Note: This coming Tuesday will be the First
MomItForward's "#GNO Gab & Give" on Twitter!
What does that mean? STAY TUNED!!