Saturday, February 21, 2009

Menu Planning tips

There are tons of menu planning tips and tricks out there. Whole websites are dedicated to helping you plan your meals. The most important thing IMO is to plan your meals. You don't have to get all fancy and organized just write down what you will make and then make sure you have the ingredients to make your meals.

My personal menu planning style is to start with the weekly sale ads. I have four main grocery stores I shop at. I don't hit all four stores every week, but if there is an exceptional sale I try and stock up. I am fortunate because we have a full sized stand up freezer in our basement. We also have a small fridge in the basement that stores soda/beer and an overflow of any refrigerated items that don't fit in our main fridge. One thing I love about my chain stores is that they now do an online grocery list that I can click on items and then print out what to buy right from the sale ad. Easy peasy!

We have a decent sized pantry in our kitchen and a large pantry storage area in our basement. I try to stock up on things when they are on sale and also on things we use frequently. I tend to plan my weekly menu based on what is on sale that week or what I want to use out of the freezer.

Menus for moms is a great website for menu planning. They have tons of tips and links to check out. I also love to print out their menu planner for my weekly menu.

Organizing junkie's menu plan Monday is a link to hundreds (I am not exaggerating) of weekly menu plans that people have linked. If you are bored or looking for something new you could spend hours perusing people's menus. Many people post recipes or links to recipes. If you are looking for some menu planning inspiration start here.

All recipes is my favorite website to search for recipes. You can type in whatever ingredient you are looking for and it will show you recipes for that. I always have them list the recipes by rating and have never made anything with under 4 1/2 stars. If you find a recipe be sure to read the comments as they can be quite helpful. All recipes is definitely my go to recipe site. There are many other great ones out there. What is your favorite?

Hopefully this gives you some ideas as a starting point for your menu planning. Please feel free to add any tips.

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