I’ve been doing some thinking about my menu planning. While I do love the monthly planning concept, I found that I usually didn’t make at least one meal from the plan per week. That resulted in a lot of leftover ingredients. Also, I didn’t feel like I was utilizing the ingredients I have on hand (or in pantry), or using coupons, since I was planning so far in advance, and with such specific recipes. Since I’m menu planning to save money, this was kind of a fail.
So this month I’m going to do it a little bit differently. How, you ask? Well, let me tell you.
Plan in smaller increments
I’m going to try to plan one week at a time. This way I can assess what’s in my pantry, freezer, etc., and utilize what I have already. Also, I’ll look for coupons and try to plan my meals around what I can get for less.
Include at least one freezer meal per week
Not only does this make dinnertime prep easier, but if I have unexpected leftovers, I’m not out any fresh ingredients. That soup/chili/whatever can probably stay in the freezer another week.
This is kind of in line with the whole freezing thing. It makes it easier in the future. It’s not hard to double a kugel or a soup, so why not do it? Exactly. Also, I’m going to make a BIG NOTE on the recipes I plan on doubling, since last time I kept forgetting which ones I meant to double, and that got pretty frustrating.
Be more flexible
Instead of planning around the yummy, delicious recipes that I have been, I’m going to try to leave a little more wiggle room for whatever may arise that week. The downside of being more vague is that I’m worried that I won’t pick up all the items I need at the store, but I’ll try to find a solution to that. Probably I’ll just have to put more thought into the shopping list.
The Menu Plan for the rest of this week
- Wednesday, the 2nd~ Black Bean Chili (from the freezer – oh yeah), cornbread, salad
- Thursday, the 3rd~ Date night!!
- Friday, the 4th~ Tuna Croquettes (from Kosher by Design Short on Time); Salad; Chicken Soup (from freezer); Curry Chicken (Kosher by Design Lightens Up); Broccoli Kugel (from freezer); Apple-Blueberry Cake (KBDLU).
- Shabbos, the 5th~ all of that, minus the soup and the chicken, plus cholent
and for the 6th-12th
- Sunday, the 6th~ leftovers
- Monday, the 7th~ Cauliflower Soup, salad, potatoes
- Tuesday, the 8th~ Meat lasagne with veggies
- Wednesday, the 9th~ Salmon Burgers (from freezer); sweet potato fries
- Thursday, the 10th~ Homemade Pizza
- Friday, the 11th~ Gefilte fish; Salad; Chicken soup (from freezer); potato kugel (make double); Duck Sauce Chicken (Quick and Kosher); Fudge Brownie Torte (KBDLU)
- Shabbos, the 12th ~ ditto what I said about last Shabbos day meal
There are always the staples for lunch, namely, the cheese and bread for sandwiches and the nosh. Also breakfast food, which I sometimes forget to think about (oops).
I also want to make these carrot kugel muffins from Miriyummy, since I would like my boys to ingest some vegetables, and coating them in carbs seems the most promising strategy.
And there you have it.
Does a long or short plan work best for you? Why?
- Top 5 Ways to Make Meal Planning Easy (foodonthetable.com)
- Tasty Tuesday: Broccoli Kugel (kosheroamc.wordpress.com)
- Kosher Once a Month Cooking Guest Post (kosheronabudget.com)
12 thoughts on “Menu Plan for November 2-12”
I’m happy to see homemade pizza on your list because I want to try making pizza soon. If you have any pizza recipes or tips, please share!
I thought you tried it the other day – did the yeast not cooperate? Tamar Ansh’s Challah book has a pizza recipe that I’m going to try. Also, Leah Schapira’s new cookbook (not out just yet, but I pre-ordered) has pages on pizza. Pages!!
I did start reading that cookbook that I ordered (Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in 5 Minutes a Day) but its master recipe tells you to make a huge batch of dough to store overnight and I realized I didn’t have room in the refrigerator. I think I ended up baking something else that day but I can’t remember what now. So I still have to get around to the pizza. :)
I want to get Leah Schapira’s book too, that looks great! Maybe I’ll experiment with the different recipes and compare.
I usually do about a week at a time, but I”m so bad about actually writing them down, and then tend to forget what I meant to do with that eggplant… We have a food co-op which we order from once a week, so it makes planning much easier (and necessary). Have you tried crock pot meals? I try to make at least 2 per month. It’s easy but it definitely needs prior planning.
Also, if you shop at a Big Name supermarket, you may be able to get a copy of the weekly circulars a week in advance. Publix down here releases the advance week’s copy only in a specific city (forgot which), and there’s a website dedicated to posting the upcoming deals. Definitely helps plan what ingredients to get. I don’t remember what is near you, but Winn Dixie does the same thing.
I need to get some circulars or something. My shopping is still a bit hodgepodge, but I’m slowing learning which stores around here are reasonable, and which ones are exorbitant. I miss Marc’s.
my exact new year’s resolution! i really do hope I can promptly get myself organized and meal planned. Oh, how it would make life so efficient.
great points you made.
It really does make a difference, and can save money, too (I’m still working on that part). Good luck to you!
I really like this approach! I was feeling the so uninspired to think of nearly 30 days of meals and shop all at once (even though I used to do this). So I think for November, I’ll take your approach of doing two weeks at a time. That way I won’t have leftover ingredients either.
Thanks, I really hope it accomplishes what I think it will, for both of us! Let me know how it works out, or if you find any other useful modifications.
Thanks for wanting to try out my recipe. I’ve always tried to disguise the good and healthy in muffins, it’s basically the only way I can get veggies down my picky girls. It works well with the addition of some grated, raw sweet potato too!
I love menu-planning by the week, but I’ve always been curious about doing it by the month. Really, I don’t know how people make it work because of just the issues you mention — especially not being able to use random leftover/pantry items efficiently. Planning for two weeks at a time is interesting, but still feels like too far in advance to me.
As far as the freezer, I really should use mine more often. Other than cooking ahead for the chagim, I really only use it for a month’s worth of challah and Shabbos soup.
The main thing I liked about it is that it was done. For the whole month. Done done done. I’m going with two weeks because I don’t always have the headspace (or physical koach) to sit down with my books and make a plan every week. Hopefully this method will work a little better for me.
I really didn’t use the freezer much before kids. However, I’ve found it’s totally invaluable on those days when either the kids are sick, I’m sick, or just exhausted from the kids, also immediately post-baby. Life saving!