How do you menu plan?
Do you shop based on your menu or do you shop and then plan your menu based on what’s in your pantry?
I actually do it a little of both ways… When I grocery shop, I have a standard list of items I like to keep in stock. Things like chicken, black beans, green chilies, rice tortillas, eggs, potatoes, pasta, shredded cheese, sour cream, plain yogurt, the list goes on…
I have a big list of meals everyone likes to eat. (Some easy and not some so easy.) I usually plan my meals out about two weeks at a time based on what I have in the pantry and freezer.
I leave little gaps in my plan for easy nights or in case I want to try something new, then when I grocery shop, I add the items needed for anything new to my list.
I keep my menu plan on this little dry erase board that is supposed to hang on my pantry door (but most of the time just sits here on my desk.) I feel like this dry-erase system keeps me prepared, yet at the same time, I don’t feel pressured to make what’s planned if I’m not feeling well or if I decide to make something else.
I just erase it and rearrange it or move it to the end of the list. (Ok, I really need to invest in a fine tip dry erase marker – do they even make those?)
One other thing I like to do to make meal prep easy is to batch cook the meats (mostly chicken in the crockpot or oven, or when rotisserie chickens are on sale, I’ll buy 2 and freeze the meat for later.) I also double the recipes for some meals, then package them up in the freezer to eat on another day.
I would love to hear about your meal planning methods, be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
On to the meal plan…
Here is our menu for the week:
Monday: We have a makeup Baseball game today, so something easy from the freezer, meatballs, and mashed potatoes.
Tuesday: Sausage w/ Yellow Rice and veggies
Wednesday: Out with the kids this night
Thursday: Hamburger Bun Mini-Pizzas
Friday: Steak Fajitas
Saturday: Frozen Lasagna (I picked several of these up on sale a few weeks back)
Sunday: Pot Roast (recipe coming soon)