It has been a year since I started weekly/monthly menus and I have to say… It’s pretty incredible how much differently we eat. Before we would just eat something quick and not necessarily the healthiest and it made me unhappy. Now we eat only (mostly!) homemade meals that are not only better for us but healthier. Everyone is so much happier with more variety and we’ve all never felt better.
Planning weekly menus is NOT the easiest thing though. Sometimes it will take me hours to come up with something new and it can be a bit frustrating. I’ve gotten better and better at it though as time has gone by. Now I am sharing how I plan weekly menus and tips and tricks that can help you!
The beginning of it all! The shopping list! I am an extremely organized person so my methods may seem a bit much but it works for me. It’ll be important to find the way that works best for you.
I start with an empty template that I have saved in my “Shopping Lists” folders. Every shopping list starts on a Sunday and is labeled year-month-date.
I have to plan 6 meals every week, sometimes less if we have plans. I depend a lot on Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Google, and blogs that I have used previous recipes from. Probably my biggest search term is “easy dinners” or “easy recipes”. I’m a mom of two and don’t have a lot of time to stand at the stove so the less time I have to spend in the kitchen, the better.
I will fill in the entree for every night as well as an applicable side. Then I will go through the kitchen and see what we do and do not have. Then going day by day I will enter each ingredient under each appropriate category as well as the day suffix so I know which day it belongs to. Most of my shopping is generally done at Wal-Mart but I do browse some of the grocer weekly ads as sometimes they have good deals on meat. If I see something, I will annotate it.
After my shopping list for the week is done, I have to update Parenting Bass Ackwards™. All of my menus are done in Photoshop CS CC and I save all my raw files in a specific folder then save a .JPEG onto my desktop. After the prior week’s menu is deleted from my media folder on WordPress and replaced by the new menu.
Keeping Track Of It All
It can be confusing keeping track of everything. Menus, shopping lists, recipes. Everything having its own designated folder helps me a lot. Also saving everything under its own specific name helps. I also have an Excel spreadsheet of every recipe I have used.
In my opinion meal planning can be difficult but totally worth it. I am so happy that we do it, I couldn’t imagine otherwise now.