Sunday, July 31, 2011

Menu Planning Keeps Mommy Sane

I am a HUGE fan of menu planning.

My grocery budget is teenie weenie, about $102/week for all four of us. When I sat down and did the math I nearly fainted and I did cry - honestly.

I am a foodie. I have always been a foodie. I refuse to resort to eating hot dogs and EasyMac to stay within budget.
Here's where menu planning kicks in,

Each day of the week has a "theme" and, in almost every case, the leftovers from one meal work in the next day's meal. 
For example: On "Fish Friday" we had fish tacos which used red cabbage in the recipe. Later, on "Soul Food Sunday" we used the rest of the cabbage in coleslaw. The roasted potatoes that accompanied our meatloaf from "Meat Monday" became potato soup for "Soup Tuesday." 

Before meal planning, making dinner felt like being on an episode of Chopped.

I would open my pantry and I could hear Ted Allen warning me: "Ok Jessica in your kitchen you have: mirin, bananas, tilapia, brussel sprouts, and cheetos. You have 30 minutes. Your time starts now!"

Now I sail through the week, knowing exactly what I am making for dinner, having everything I need to make it, with plenty for us and a little extra for when MEH decides to drop in and make himself at home. 

Here is our weekly line up. What's yours?
Meat Monday
Soup Tuesday
Brinner Wednesday - Breakfast for Dinner
Leftover Thursday
Fish Friday
Sammich Saturday
Soul Food Sunday - this usually includes cajun food for when I am feeling homesick

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