Mar 29
How to: Menu Plan1 Comment

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A little while ago I asked fans on Facebook if they were interested in learning about how I menu plan for the week so here is your how-to! I am going to first say that if I could be a professional menu planner/grocery shopper I would definitely jump at that opportunity. I get so much joy from planning out and shopping as I do doing the actual baking/cooking. I know that it is one thing that most people dread doing, but I secretly love it. I go to the grocery store once a week, and usually plan out at least 4 meals. After work the only thing I want to do is come home, workout, relax, and cook so going to the store never fits into that plan. I have found that this process helps to save time and money. My plan might not work for everyone, and you need to see what parts of it would work for you. Also keep in mind that I am only feeding two people most nights and do not have the crazy schedules that some of you do. We will see if I can keep this up once we have babies.

First of all I hate trying to maneuver my shopping cart through crowds so I grocery shop on Fridays immediately after work. I used to go on the weekends, but the area where I do my shopping gets a lot of traffic from Philadelphia on the weekends. Blair makes fun of me because on Fridays after work while most people are happy houring I go into full cleaning mode. I would rather get it done on a work day than on my two free days off. Another key to success is shop with a list! Below I share with you what I do on a weekly basis. I have found that this really prevents me from impulse buying. My grocery bill each week is anywhere from $90-$115. I don’t coupon clip, this is something I need to work on. It will be on the higher end if I need to stock up on meat or if we are entertaining. Ever since we bought our house we have cut back to eating only one meal out. We try to work in leftovers as much as possible.

The one thing that I have learned is that you must be organized. If you know me in real life, there are definitely areas in my life that I plan out a little too much. I have certain things that must get done each night before I go to bed and before I leave work. In the end, I think that it helps me stay stress-free. Usually on Thursday nights after work, I make up my menu plan for the following week so that I can go shopping on Friday. If we have plans on Friday to go out with friends or co-workers, I usually shift everything to a day earlier.

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I scour my favorite blogs, my Pinterest boards, and my cooking magazines to see what I would like to make. Sometimes if Blair is lucky, he gets some input. I first take into consideration the week coming up, and how busy it is going to be. Some nights I have Zumba, a class I am taking for work, or tutoring. On those nights, I either turn to leftovers, a quick meal, or a crockpot meal. If I have spotted something that catches my eye that immediately goes on the list. If I have a particular craving for something then that goes on it as well. I try to take into consideration the produce that is in season so that I am not spending a fortune. I also like to make sure I am eating different types of meats throughout the week and we have one meatless meal a week. Not only is it healthier, it also saves money! Recently, I have been trying to also consider leftover items/ingredients from the week before and to use them in another recipe. For example, last week we had chicken tacos. I used the leftover chicken to make quesadillas later in the week. I am very fortunate to have a husband that is not that picky!

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I have found that using Google calendar has been extremely helpful for planning. I plug everything into the calendar for the week and get an email reminder the previous day. This is helpful since it reminds me if I need to dig something out of the freezer. I also have a dry erase calendar in the kitchen where I have my menu posted as well. Once everything is plugged into the calendar, I open up my Google documents where I have my grocery list saved from the previous week. I used to hand write it out every week, but there are certain things that I buy every week so it is nice to go in and have those staple items already on there. If I am not sure that I have a particular item, I place a question mark next to it. Once I finish the list, I check the pantry/fridge to see if I need to buy it, make any changes, and then print it out. I also keep a running list of things I need on my dry erase board throughout the week once we run out of something (pictured near the beginning). I plan to swap this one out for a prettier something soon.

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After I shop, I come home and put everything away. I make sure to check expiration dates on meats, and place them in the freezer depending on when I plan on using them. If a particular dish seems complicated, I may try and prep the night before. I mix up all my crockpot meals the night before so all I have to do in the morning is take it out and plug it in. Hopefully this inspires and helps some of you with your meal planning! If you have any further questions, leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer it!

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One Response to How to: Menu Plan

  1. Betsy says:

    Krissy,
    You are so organized! One of these days I’ll plan out my menu for the week, But I have to deal with fussy eaters!

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