My sister asked for some help with menu planning, so I thought I’d write out how I do it.
First, I like the third page of this printable from Money Saving Mom. It has spots for breakfast, lunch, snack & dinner for each day, and a shopping list down the right side.
Second, I go through my pantry, freezer and fridge to see what is in there that I need to use, and make notes of that so I use it all up during the week.
Third, I put notes about what is going on each night right on my menu plan – so I can do a quick meal if we have something shortly after dinner, or something more involved if there is nothing going on.
Fourth, I pick something for breakfast for the week. It’s not set in stone, but we tend to eat the same thing every morning for a week, then switch it up after that. And, I write that in the breakfast spot each week. Anything I need to buy for breakfast, I add to the shopping list.
Fifth, I think through lunches. Usually, we do the same thing for lunch for a whole week, too. So, I check out our supplies, and make a plan for lunch for the week. Anything I need to buy for lunch, I add to the shopping list.
Sixth, I start planning the dinners. I tend to like to vary the flavors through the week, so Mexican one night, Asian another, Italian, etc. anything I need to buy for dinners I add to the shopping list. I make sure I put the sides that will go with it, too – so I don’t realize I don’t have a side when I’m in the middle of cooking.
If I need some inspiration, I scroll through the My Recipe Book app – which has my most frequently used recipes in it, and finish picking the meals. We tend to make homemade pizza on Friday nights, so that one is pretty easy to fill in.
That’s it, pretty simple. I like doing it a week at a time because our schedule shifts sometimes, and that affects what I make.