Planning a menu for your family saves you the the time of figuring out what’s for dinner and trying to accommodate a families different palettes. It’s also the number one way to save money on groceries. Menu Planning can be as extensive or as easy as you make it. It is not hard at all to get overwhelmed in trying to dive in and create a menu and shopping list, but following a few simple tips can help make menu planning a breeze.
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1. Discuss Dishes With Your Family
Whether you are cooking for yourself, just you and your spouse, or for a family of 10, getting everyone’s input on what their favorite dishes are can save you a lot of headache and stress when meal time comes. It’s always a good idea to throw in a fun new side dish, or a new entree no one has tried, but having something in the meal that is familiar with everyone will keep the tears off the dining table and help ease the transition into trying new foods.
2. Websites and Pinterest
Looking up easy recipes have now become easier thanks to the Internet. You can simply type in a dish and search through which recipes you think you could create. Another tip to try iis to create a Pinterest board specific for your week’s meals. Pin your favorite recipes and new things that you’d like to try for your family.
3. Create A List
After getting your recipes for the week, be sure to go through the ingredients in your home to see what items you will be missing for the week. Write down everything you’d need to buy and go shopping for the whole week in that one trip (except for fresh produce which you can stop by in the middle of the week.) You can do this with a simple pen and paper, or by using a planning app on your phone.
4. Check Coupons
Even if you are not a big couponer, go to your grocery store’s website and see if they have any of the items you are going to buy, on sale. This is also a good step to take even before you check out recipes to plan on saving the most amount of money.
5. Eat Out!
Planning on eating out at least once a week, or ordering in, can actually do wonders on your sanity and budget. If you plan on eating out, you are more likely to put that money away at the beginning of the week to actually eat out. Having a no cook day is also a good time to reconnect with the family and spend less time in the kitchen and making memories with your children.
Menu Planning is a great tool for a busy household. You’ll have plenty of time to not only create healthy dishes for your family, but finally have an answer every time the question is asked, “What’s for dinner?”