Menu Planning. I don’t know why I hadn’t done this earlier. It’s possible it even saved my marriage!
I think we’ve argued more about what to make for dinner than any other topic. Here’s the problem.
Most days we don’t know what we want for dinner until closer to meal time. By then it takes too long to defrost whatever meat I need for my recipe. Or worse, I take something out and Greg decides he wants something else.
Notice I said ‘Greg’ changes his mind. He should be a poster child for fickle taste buds everywhere. With options fading fast, nine times out of ten, we end up eating out. Not healthy and not frugal.
Recently, I started seeing a few bloggers post their meal plans for the week. It would remind me of recipes I hadn’t tried in a while, or new ones I hadn’t tried yet. That light bulb over my head finally came on.
I wasn’t sure where to start, so I started at the beginning, jotting down every meal we’d had and enjoyed. Some were variations of a theme, but when I was done it was quite a long list. From here I began pulling ideas for each week’s menu.
Now, I have an added burden that many of you won’t have. Greg is a real gourmet when it comes to food. It’s not that he won’t eat a hot dog, but it has to be the best quality sausage, and if he had his way, on a homemade bun. Luckily, he understands that baking isn’t my forte and settles for store bought bread.
That aside, I discovered three things from following a menu:
- Our grocery bill went WAY down. I mean, way, way, down. I was shocked that not only were we grocery shopping less, but our expenses were lower too.
- As I make my menu, I shop from my pantry and freezer first. I have a lot in storage so the only thing I have to shop for are veggies and fruit (at least until the harvest).
- We’re eating healthier. No more pigging out at buffets or overeating at home. We eat only what I serve and I’ve been cutting the portions down to mere mortal standards.
I try to vary our meals. We have fish at least once a week, but I’d be glad to eat it more often. Greg has also graciously allowed one vegetarian dish 2-3 times a month. That’s a big sacrifice on his part and I appreciate it.
Starting this Sunday, this blog will post our menu for the week. From time to time I’ll also post some of the recipes I use. If Greg doesn’t read any other post on my blog, I know he’ll read Sunday’s just to know what he’ll be eating.
I hope you’ll find it useful too. Maybe we can start sharing meal ideas.
Do you menu plan for the week? Do you share cooking duties with others in the family?
In the spirit of full disclosure, as I’m writing this post, Greg is in the kitchen right now making croissants from scratch. I’ll keep cooking if he keeps baking.