Here is how I do my monthly menu planning. (It will help if you have a deep freezer, but you can still do it without that luxury.)
1. I watch the meat sales. When I find something on sale that we use frequently, I stock up and put it in my deep freezer.
2. Once I get my monthly work schedule, I write my shifts on a calendar for that month.
3. Next, I will take an inventory of the meat I have in the freezer. I use stroke tallies (omitting the diagonal one when I reach five). The reason for this is that as I start plugging in meals on my calendar, I use a diagonal stroke to mark off each meat so that I know what I have left for my menu planning.
Here is an example of my inventory sheet:
4. I get my recipe books together, my calendar, a blank sheet for my grocery list, and a cup of coffee. I head to my favorite spot in the family room and get busy planning.
5. As I write in a meal for each day, I check the recipe books to see what ingredients I still need from the store. I write that on my grocery list.
Here is a photo of my menu plan, once finished:
It doesn’t take too long to do this, and it GREATLY reduces my stress level for the month because:
- I don’t have to think about what I’m going to make.
- Once I do my monthly grocery shopping, I have most of the ingredients for the month (minus things like milk, bread, produce, that I have to buy frequently.)
- I save time, money, and energy because I’m not running to the store several times a week.
- Menu Planning (creatingmybalancedlife.wordpress.com)
- Grocery game (makingthetrek.wordpress.com)