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 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 prepared yet at the same time I don’t feel pressured to make what’s planned if I’m not feeling good 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 crock pot 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.