There’s nothing like a new year to rekindle the desire to be more organized, keep better tabs on the budget, and to be more efficient with my time (so we can do more fun things with our evenings together).
*Cue up the broken record*
Menu planning is a great way to get your grocery budget under control, prevent unnecessary trips to the store, and to reduce the amount of brain power you have to use on decision making. Remember when we talked about the book Your Brain at Work? Who couldn’t do with a little extra mental energy in their day? I’ll take all the help I can get, even if it means spending a little time on Sunday planning out the week ahead.
Here’s a menu planning printable to make writing up your menu plan a little bit easier. One of my colleagues has turned me on to the Commit30 Planner and I’m giving it a serious try. The serious try includes some ridiculous things like trying to not get discouraged by my terrible handwriting. I say these things because I really do get just how easy it is to find excuses to not do the things that benefit us in the long run. If you find yourself coming up with a hundred reasons not tackle your menu for the week, stop. Take a breath and list three reasons it will help and then just do it. Here, I’ll help:
- you won’t have to think when you’re tired
- you’ll have an answer when someone asks what’s for dinner
- you’ll have a head start on your grocery list for the week
So what are we having this week? And what are you having? Please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments.
- Monday – Albondigas
- Tuesday – Simple Sausage Skillet
- Wednesday – Clean Out Refrigerator Night
- Thursday – Dilled Salmon, Lentil Pilaf, Roast Broccoli
- Friday – Falafel, but I’ll be doing a Tex Mex twist, subbing out chili powder and increasing the amount of cumin, serving them as tacos with cabbage slaw and chipotle sauce. When I make the chipotle for a sauce, I add an equivalent amount of sour cream to the recipe.
- Saturday – Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, Caesar Salads
- Sunday – Meatloaf, rice, roasted carrots
If you want to get the most bang out of your menu planning, take a tour of your refrigerator and pantry before brainstorming. This way you’ll know what needs to be used and you’ll reduce the overwhelm of unlimited choice. Looking at the weekly grocery circular helps, too as you can limit your choices to what’s on sale.