Saturday, October 1, 2011

Monthly meal planning

Well it is the beginning of another month and around here that means time for me to make another monthly meal plan. Boy do I seem organized!

I started this about 2 years ago. With Chuck in school full time, working, farming, and a young kid, it was hard to find time to grocery shop. I could really make time to go shopping once a month. Knowing what I was going to cook, and what I was going to need to cook those meals became important.

I don't always follow the plan, but it feels good to have one. I don't plan breakfasts or lunches, just dinners hoping to have leftovers for lunch.


I have also given up on cookbooks, but I gave up on those years ago. I found that some cookbooks had maybe two or three recipes that I used otherwise the book just sat around collecting dust. So, I decided to make my own cookbook. I took all my favorite recipe, put them in one place, then donated the cookbooks. I find most of my recipes now online, and when I find one that we like I add it to the cookbook.

Making a monthly meal plan might seem daunting, I have found what works for me is to assign meat or meatless days- so here is what my weeks looks like:

Mondays: Beef
Tuesdays: Fish
Wednesdays: Meatless
Thursdays: Chicken
Fridays: Pork
Saturdays: Soups- now that the weather is getting cooler, in the summertime this could be free choice or salad day
Sundays: Nothing- those are Chuck cooking days!

When I started breaking my weeks down like this it became easy and not so overwhelming. I try not to repeat too many recipes from month to month. And with the change in season this becomes easier.

Having meal time planned has really simplified my life. Doing one big grocery trip knowing what we need and what we don't saves money, not to mention time.

Another site that I like to use while planning my meals is eat the seasons. The site tells me what is in season here in the US. I use it mostly in the winter when we need fresh fruit and we are in a snowy waste land. I have found that just because this site says that it is in season does not mean that the store actually got if from US.

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