Thursday, April 16, 2009

Menu Planning

Image by iboy_daniel via Flickr
Menu Planning - Meal Planning - Meal Plan
Three Menu Planning Methods
  • The Night Before: This is the method that takes the least forethought. It provides the most control over waste and the opportunity to use up leftovers. Plan at least the dinner you intend to serve the next day and have a good idea for lunch.
  • A Week, Fortnight or Month at a Time: I prefer to plan a fortnight at a time. Others prefer to plan for a week or month. Whichever timespan you choose the process is the same. This method allows you to take good advantage of weekly supermarket sales. It requires you to shop once a week.
  • Rotating Menus: When you are seriously pressed for time and your family is very picky, this is the best method to use. You plan out 10 to 20 complete menus and then rotate them, serving a different one every day. It limits variety, but there are no surprises. Since you are so familiar with each meal you are able to prepare it more quickly, or make and freeze several batches at once and spend the least amount of time in the kitchen.
Hillbilly Housewife talks about three different styles of menu planning. I have to admit, we are a "night before" family. It's more convenient for us to to our grocery shopping in the morning for the entire day. Yes, it might waste a little gas, but honestly the grocery store is very close to our house and we would probably waste more money throwing out wasted food that didn't fit in with our "taste" for the day. A common theme at our dinner table is "What do you want for dinner tomorrow night?" at which time many suggestions come up. I try to pick the healthiest of them, but sometimes I give in.

Like tonight. Tonight we are having frozen pizza.


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