Monday, February 17, 2014

Meal Planning

This is the memo board that is on my fridge that I use for menu planning. There is space for each day for me to list what is for dinner. I like this board too, because it has that extra space on the left side. To keep me for forgetting about leftovers, I write what is in there to choose from so that I am not throwing away food. We both eat leftovers and leftovers typically make up our lunches. I only plan for five meals generally and that leaves two nights open for leftovers, a meal out or a fend for yourself night.

I try and plan out meals a week in advance. I do this for several reasons:

***I am not one that can shop on the fly. If I go to the grocery store without a plan and a list, I will spend twice as much and be missing at least one major ingredient for each meal I would try and make. 

*** I spend way less money at the store if I have a list in hand. I still pick up any bargains I find and I usually have an impulse purchase or two, but shopping with a list helps me stay within my budget.

***It saves me time. It doesn't take me that long to plan for the week, I do it all at once so there is no "what's for dinner tonight?", because I have already decided. It also allows me to combine prep work. If I know I am going to use brown rice twice that week, I can make it once and then I am one step ahead of dinner later in the week. In the menu above, I have pulled pork sandwiches and BBQ Chicken Pizza scheduled. I will be making BBQ sauce for both, but I will just make extra sauce the first time so assembling the pizza later in the week will be pretty quick.

We use Cozi for our shared calendar, meal planning, recipe storage and shopping lists. The one thing that really sold me on this system is the meal planning. I can enter my recipes, drag them to the calendar to plan meals, then with one click I can add the ingredients to my shopping list. And because we both have the app on our phones, if Kip goes to the store, he can see the list and doesn't have to call and I don't have to text him a huge list.

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