Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Plan Series - Part III

  • Each month, I go through my lists and my cookbooks (occasionally – honestly, I don’t go through those as often as my lists) and pick 20 mail course meal ideas from both lists. These recipes go into a new document titled “20 Day Menu.” At the beginning of each meal idea, I list it’s main ingredient (much like the column headers I mentioned above) and then alphabetize them so I can see how my balance is (for example, I’d list a meal idea like this: “Pasta: Cheesy Stuffed Shells (to try)” – the “(to try)” at the end tells me where to find the recipe and the “pasta” at the beginning tells me what the main ingredient is). I’ll share a 20-day menu with you later {and I’ll include the shopping list and try to include as many recipes as possible}!
  • After the 20 day menu is planned, I create a shopping list. This is perhaps the most tedious part of the process, but I promise it’s really not that bad. I take each meal idea and write down its ingredients {or just copy & paste them since all my recipes are typed up on my computer}, separating them into columns that make my shopping easier (my columns are: Produce, Dairy, Canned Goods, Meats, Frozen, Baked Goods, Breads, and Spices). Then I consolidate all the ingredients (for example, if I have 3 recipes that each call for 2 cloves of garlic, instead of writing “2 cloves of garlic” 3 times I will write “6 cloves of garlic”) and I then have one big shopping list. I do this whole process on a word document which helps prevent lots of writing and erasing and it makes consolidating the ingredients really easy.
  • After I make up both lists, I’ll print out my shopping list and make one big shopping trip each month. On this main shopping trip I’ll purchase all the non-perishable items, and some of the perishable items I know I’ll use within the next week. I usually make this main trip to Winco, though you could shop at any store. I just found that many of the prices at Winco are much better than at my local grocery store or even Wal-Mart (though you should always try to price compare if saving money is your goal – sometimes you’ll think you’re getting a deal when you really aren’t). You could easily shop at Costco or Sam’s Club for this monthly trip.

Check back on Wednesday for Part IV of the Menu Plan Series!

1 comment:

Brian and Kayla said...

Wow! I have so much to learn from you! I really find this blog helpful.


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