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?