September 5, 2011

Mom’s Tips Monday–Weekly Meal Planning

September 5, 2011

There are many days when five o’clock rolls around and I have no clue what I am going to make for dinner.  This is not good considering we prefer to eat between 5:30 and 6pm.  I have been thinking about menu planning for a while and I even made up a cute little printable to use as my weekly meal planner and grocery shopping list – I have attached it at the bottom of this post.  I ask some fellow mommy bloggers about menu planning and here is what they had to say:

  • Carey author of Trust In The Journey - Yes!  Its the only way I make it through my shopping without spending a fortune.  I hate that time of night when we ask whats for dinner as well.  We usually sit down as a family and everyone (hubby and 2 boys) pick one meal a piece and I come up with the rest.  I really like the EZ Meals site.  They do the menus and recipes for you and match it to what is on sale that week.  Its 5.00 a month but totally worth it for me. 
  • Melissa author of A Heavenly Journey - What I did was make a calendar type chart to put on my refrigerator and fill in each day of the week with the meals we wanted to have, and cross out each day as it passes. I also left enough space to make notes - if one of us was going to be out or if we were going somewhere or having company.  For grocery shopping, I made a list on the computer of the things we most often buy. We shop at several stores to get the best prices, so I divided the list by store. Then when it's time to grocery shop, I just print out the list and use a highlighter to mark what we need that week
  • Jennifer author of I Am Not Superwoman - I do it most weeks.  Every now and again I fall of the wagon and then it is just chaos around dinner time.  I love to meal plan it helps to insure that I am cooking dinner every night and not running through a fast food place.  It also helps stretch our food budget.  I subscribed to e-mealz this past month testing it out but I also do the Menu Plan Monday over at I Am An Organizing Junkie where you can get *lots* of inspiration on the dinners you make.
  • The Mommy author of Long Daze Short Years - Yes!  I usually do the grocery shopping on Thursday so menu planning takes place on Wednesday (I follow the flylady and use her calendar/stickers so it's on my schedule).  I really like the Organizing Junkie who hosts "Menu Plan Monday" - a linky with literally hundreds of folks linking their menus and recipes for the week.  I participated for awhile but, like I said, I do my planning on Wednesday and I just couldn't make Mondays work for me.  BUT I start printing recipes from that blog carnival so that I have something new to try every week.  I find that I even plan take-out into our menu about every other weekend.  Planning most definitely saves me money at the store (and I just started couponing, too).
  • Jamie author of Toys In The Dryer - I (Jamie) try to make a weekly meal plan.  Some weeks are better than others but life if definitely easier when I don't have to think about dinner!  The question I HATE most: "what's for dinner?" I try to do my meal plans based on the grocery store sales that week.  I love when our grocery store has buy one, get one free for meat!! Lindsi makes a MONTHLY meal plan!  She's trying to convince me to do the same but I have a hard enough time with just a week!  I am secretly jealous of her though.  I go to her house and up on the wall is dinners for the entire month!!  No thinking about what to make for a full 30 days!!  Her goal is to make 6-9 months of meals and then just repeat them so she never has to think again!  She doesn't make the same meal in the same month so potentially she has at least one month before she repeats a meal!  I may just have to steal her menus!
  • Kyle author of Socks In The Dishwasher - We meal plan for the week too!!  Makes my life so much easier when I can look at the menu and know what is in store for dinner.  I try to plan meals to be cost effective (this week we needed to save money at the grocery store so I went to my freezer and planned the meals around the frozen foods I already have), a few nights with less time needed (like crock pot meals or our go to spaghetti), etc..  It has made my life so much easier.
this weeks menu

If you would like this printable for yourself just click on it and it will open in a new window, then right click and choose to save it to your computer.

If you have additional menu planning tips please leave them in the comment section below!  We would all love to hear and see the successes of other busy moms!

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