7 Tips For Menu Making!

We redo our weekly menu every Monday.

It has worked out incredibly well for us! We always have food, know what’s for dinner, and we stay { for the most part } within budget. Here are some things that I’ve learned about menu planning since we began doing it last year. I highly recommend it. Having your meals planned ahead of the time really cuts down on refrigerator coma and unsatisfying dinners.

| 7 tips for menu making |

 

Pick one day of the week for menu making + grocery shopping. We do ours on Mondays. We wake up, have breakfast, then pull down our menu boards and re-do them for the week. I write down the meals on the menu, and Ryan writes down the ingredients we’ll need on the shopping list. Immediately after, he runs out to the store to stock up!

 

Before you pick meals for the week, look through your pantry + fridge to see what you already have to work with. This will cut down on your grocery bill and also ensure that your food doesn’t spoil or pile up in your pantry unused. If you have leftovers from last week or a surplus of rice, you can plan meals around these and spend less at the store.

 

Consider which days you’ll be tired from a long day, or have lots of time and energy. Place quick meals or very involved meals accordingly so you are more likely to stick to the planned menu. If Wednesdays are a long day for you with work, classes, or other plans, you’re probably not going to have the time or energy to make a huge meal from scratch, so pick something simple that you can whip together without a lot of trouble.

 

Use up the fresh stuff in the first few days’ meals so it doesn’t have a chance to go bad. Save pasta, lentils, take-out { yes, you can put that on your menu! } or anything of this sort for later in the week. We’ve definitely purchased greens for a meal on Saturday, but they’re wilted by Thursday. That doesn’t make much sense, does it?

 

Make extra food at dinner to take for lunch the next day! We do this almost every night. Then we really only have to plan a couple of lunches for the week, and the rest are just leftovers from a dinner. We pack it up after we finish dinner and the food has had time to cool. In the morning we just grab it and go!

 

Make a cute menu board to inspire you to plan! Here’s how we made ours. I had so much fun coming up with the design last Christmas and always feel excited to plan each week. It helps to keep our lives in order and also looks pretty on our wall! Having a menu board is such a relief because I never have to wonder what’s for dinner!

 

Balance each meal when you’re planning, not when you’re cooking. Taking the time to realize what you’re missing ahead of time will ensure that you are getting all of the nourishment you actually need. I made this image of the well-balanced plate to demonstrate how much of each food group adults should be getting. Compare your dinner plate to this one. Are you getting all of your nutrients? Make sure that each meal has enough proteins, whole grains, and fruits/veggies. It’s so important!

If you have more tips, add them in the comments below!

xx.

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