Meal Planning 101

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I love meal planning, it has saved my hunny and I loads of money on groceries and eliminates foods that used to go to waste in our refrigerator/pantry.

I have put together a list of 10 different ways to make meal planning less stressful for you.

 

  1. Number 1 is, of course, talk to your spouse/family/roommates and find out some of their favourite meals.
  2. Don’t just look for recipes when it’s time to meal plan.  Be looking, saving, and writing down recipes throughout the weeks so that when it comes time to plan you already have a head start.
  3. Keep a record of your previous meals to help you remember which ones were a hit and which ones were, uh, not such a hit.  It also allows you to space out certain meals so you are not repeating meals more than necessary.  Some people have a special meal journal for this purpose.
  4. Some people meal plan just by jotting stuff down on a regular piece of paper.  I find it much easier to keep track of when I have it written down on my calendar.  It makes it super easy to glance at and see what you’re having that day.
  5. Don’t forget leftover nights.  When making a list of your meals don’t forget to count in leftovers.

    I print off a blank one-month calendar to meal plan.
  6. Write on your calendar which days are your shopping days.  My shopping days are Fridays as that is the day that all sales start at our local grocery stores.
  7. Go through fliers before going shopping.  This is especially important to help you save money by seeing which stores have stuff on sale that you need.  You may choose the store that has a majority of the stuff you need on sale to do all your shopping at, or you may choose to go to several different stores to get more stuff at the sale price.
  8. ALWAYS GO SHOPPING WITH A LIST.  Always.  Always.  Always.  This ensures you get everything you need and nothing you don’t.
  9. Your freezer is your friend.  There are certain foods I will stock up on when they come on sale.  One of these is cheese.  If I can help it I will never buy cheese at regular price.  But when it comes on a good sale I stock up.  In Canada, a good deal on cheese is when the price is less than the grams.  For instance, a block of cheese that is 700 grams is a great price at $6.99 and less.  850 grams for $8.49 and less.  There is no way my husband and I would be able to finish all the cheese I get before it goes bad, so after I get the cheese I come home and stick it in the freezer.  Before I had ever frozen my cheese I read up on it and got different answers, some articles had encouraged freezing cheese while others highly discouraged it.  I thought
    How my calendar looks when I’m done.

    I’d give it a shot and I’ve been doing it ever since.  It works great (it is a little bit crumbly when you try to cut/grate it after removing it from the freezer but that has never bothered me), and I always have cheese on hand, when I need cheese I don’t have to go to the store and buy it at regular price since I stocked up when it was on sale.  Just remember it needs time to defrost after removing it from the freezer before it can be cut/grated.

  10. Pinterest and Allrecipes are great tools for finding scrumptious recipes.  But don’t assume everything you find on there is going to be delicious.  Trial and error and good common sense come into play here.

I love my “The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes” cookbook.

Find it here:

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The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes

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The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes

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