Sunday, January 27, 2013

Menu Planning Makes Life Easier

I wanted to share my story concerning meal planning
before I start posting all my recipes.
I hope you will find it helpful and
maybe consider meal planning for you and your family!

Menu planning had always been something I wanted
to do for my house.
However, it always seemed so tedious and I
never could seem to stay with it if I did make one.
I am proud to say though, I have finally done it and
for several weeks now!

I am telling you, it has made my life so much simpler!
It is so nice to come home from work and
know exactly what is for dinner.
It is so nice to have everything already done in the
slow cooker or have all the ingredients on hand.
No more going out to eat because I don't 
either feel like cooking or having nothing at home
to cook.  Thankfully, that has all changed.

Now, I know that there are days you still want
to eat out with family and friends.  So, do we!
However, I build these days into the planning.
Also, we were honestly getting something out 
to eat 3 to 4 times a week.
Do you realize how much money that adds up to?
Let me tell you it is A LOT!!
Plus, with Johnny having had gastric bypass surgery,
all that eating out was not doing him any good!
Also, it was doing nothing for my and JJ's weight loss either!
(You can read about his surgery and success here.)
Now, I take that money and get enough groceries
for a couple of days of meals!

If you have not given meal planning a chance,
I would tell you right now GO FOR IT!
Try it for one week.  Believe me, you will thank me!

To get started, gather up all your recipes.
Use ones you have used before, ones from different websites,
or from different cookbooks you have around the house.

Now, get a calendar.  Any old calender will work.
This is what mine looks like:

I mark everything down in the full calendar section.
Then each week, I transfer over what is going on that week.
If you notice, I have drawn a line down the middle.
On the other side, I write down my menus.
After I have complied my recipes, I write out my shopping list.
I then go through my cabinets to see what I already have and 
what I need to purchase.
That is it.  No special print outs.
No planning around coupons and such.
Just an hour or two and I have everything done.

I hope you will give this a try if you haven't already.
It really has changed my life and I definitely
don't want to go back to how it was before!

Love to you all from the
Busy Cookin' WV Momma!

PS - I wanted to add this note!
A well stocked kitchen/pantry makes a world of difference!
I suggest going through your cabinets and taking
stock of what you have on hand.
Then stock up on things you use quite frequently.
Makes things much simpler in my opinion!

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