Thursday, August 14, 2008

Newlywed Tip #2: Menu Planning

Countless blogs advertise the merits of menu planning. I, too, have seen how great a help it can be.

Why menu plan?
  • It cuts down on stress. There's no more "What's for dinner tonight??" panic at 5:00.
  • It lowers the grocery bill. You can plan your menu around what is on sale and grocery shop more efficiently. You also don't have to shop as often if you plan for a whole week, so it reduces impulse buys at the store.
  • It reduces eating out or ordering take out. If you already know what's for dinner, you aren't as likely to go out. You'll go out when you've planned it and know that it's in your budget.
  • You can plan healthier meals. You may be able to eat very healthy when you don't menu plan, but by planning it out you can see that you're eating balanced meals.

I learned from Simple Mom that one good approach is to have different categories that you plan by - this can help you keep the same basic plan for several weeks, just by changing the meal in the category. For example, you can fix something Mexican on Monday, have breakfast for dinner on Tuesday, have a pasta dish on Wednesday, etc.

Stay tuned - I'll be posting my menu plans here as part of Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

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