Monday, October 04, 2010

Menu Monday 10/4- Tips


Well, since we're on vacation this week I gave you the menu for our trip last week. This week I thought I'd give you some menu planning tips and I'd really like it if you'd leave a comment here on the blog with any other tips you'd like to share with the other readers.

  • To reduce costs incorporate 1 soup night, 1 breakfast night, and 1 snack dinner night into your menu.
  • Try to create a plan that allows you to cook once for two meals, for example, when I make ham and scalloped potatoes I cut up the left over ham into bite size chunks and put it in the freezer with the left over scalloped potatoes.  Then I use that mixture for a morning after breakfast, either for breakfast or for dinner.
  • Freezer cooking is awesome.  There are so many things you can freeze and eat later.  Some of our favorites:  Burritos, Pizza Pockets, Steak Fingers, Mini Apple Pies
  • Cook once, eat twice...  If you have a casserole to make, make two- one for that night and one for the freezer.  Just do the prep work on the second and throw it into a disposable pan.  Seal it up and stick it in the freezer!
  • Ok, this may sound stupid, but plan your menu.  Some people plan what they're going to eat each day, some people make a list.  I do both- I plan the dinners, but list breakfast and lunch.
  • Be flexible!  If you end up diverting from your menu plan, don't worry about it!  You just already have what you need for a meal for next week!
  • Inventory your pantry and freezer.  I actually haven't done this yet, but it's on my to do list for when I get home.  I can't tell you how many times I've re-bought the same stuff because I didn't know I had it!
  • Get your kids involved!  Make them cook a meal once a week!  Husbands too!  Gives you a break :)
  • Find a way to keep yourself accountable.  It's so easy to just fall off the planning wagon, that's why I blog mine!
  • Share your menu with friends, and read other people's menus.  It helps you to get ideas and not get stuck in a rut.
  • Have 3 weeks worth of menus and grocery lists ready for back up.  That way if you have a busy period of time where you just can't think, or if you get sick and someone else has to cook for you it's already done :)
  • Don't be afraid to try new things.  Just have Pizza Hut on speed dial in case it doesn't work out!  ;)
That's about all I can think of right now, but I'm really looking forward to reading your tips too!

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