Hey Everyone! Long time, no blog! But I have so many blogs planned, I hope I don't have a very long pause!
Anyway, I wanted to give you all a post today about something I get asked about ALL THE TIME....Menu Planning!
I think sometimes we are at a loss with menu planning and just don't know where to start. We all know we should do it, but we just don't! So I wanted to put all of your questions together that you have sent me and tell you what I do! :)
Q: How long does it take you to plan a menu?
A: Well, I plan 3 meals a day for 4 people, so it takes me about an hour and a half to plan a menu and get a shopping list together.
Q: How do you decide what you will eat?
A: First, I search through all the local store ads and write down all the good deals, so I know to make my meals out of those products. Then, I ask everyone in the family if there is anything in particular that they would like to eat this week, and try to take those suggestions into consideration.
Q: Where do you find recipes?
A: Well, I don't really use "recipes", but I use ideas from them, more as a guideline I guess. I love searching other blog's, my old site, Gourmet Momma, the girls over at cook it, blog it (another cooking site I run...I think I am seeing a pattern here) I also use cook books, books from my culinary school, and sometimes, I just make stuff up! GET CREATIVE!!!
Q: do you use coupons to determine your meals?
A: yes and no. If I have a coupon that is for something we will eat, I will save it, if its for something I know we wont like or that is really bad for you, even if it makes it free, I don't use it. So I write down my coupons along with the sales flyer info so I know what to use.
Q: where do you keep your menu plan?
A: Well, on that little pad up there at the top, its on my fridge!
TIPS WORTH NOTING:
--make sure you plan our side dishes with all your meals
--have plenty of fruit and healthy snacks on hand so people dont eat things that are supposed to be cooked into dinner!
--look through your fridge, freezer, cabinets, pantry, etc. BEFORE you shop, so you know that you have three bottles of dressing already and you dont need anymore for that salad you want on Tuesday.
--HAVE FUN...this is menu planning, not brain surgery! If you try something new and your family doesn't like it, keep some pasta and sauce in the pantry at all times to whip up a simple meal you know they will all love! :)
I hope this helps! If you have any menu planning strategies, let me know in the comments section below! :)