Do you eat every day? Then you probably need a menu plan for you and your family. If you cook at least three times a week it makes sense to know what to prepare beforehand. Otherwise, you will probably default to fast food or local pizza and that is less nutritional and more expensive than cooking yourself. And if you are organized with a menu plan you can prep and whip up scrumptious, easy and healthy meals for your family! Here’s why I menu plan…
I love the feeling of being efficient and in control of my day! And menu planning gives us just that. Here’s why I menu plan and you should too.
see the recipe for Perfectly Roasted Asparagus HERE.
I think one of the biggest reasons for me to menu plan is my health. If I did not have a menu plan I would probably default to food that was not as good for me and my family.
Setting up a weekly menu makes me aware of providing my family with variety and good whole food! Especially when it comes to fruit and veggies.
see Magic BBQ Rub HERE
When I don’t menu plan I might as well throw money out the car window going 80 mph down the interstate! Really! My freezer becomes a graveyard of baggies filled with unidentified pieces of meat! And in my pantry, I have five jumbo bottles of ketchup! And let’s not talk about the sour milk and half used bottles of dressing in my refrigerator!
Food is expensive so I want to be purposeful about what I buy and what I eat!
At StoneGable Bobby and I usually eat leftovers for lunch and maybe another dinner that week. Very economical!
see Baja Fish Tacos HERE
When I’m not meal planning I default to the same few recipes that I can make in my sleep… or to the diner for takeout or our local drive thru fast food restaurant.
When I meal plan I look for amazing new recipes that my family will love. No more boring dinners! Just lots of new-to-us culinary treats!
see Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake HERE
One of the mantras I live by is IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN YOU PLAN TO FAIL! So true and so right when it comes to eating delicious, nutritious meals.
Meal planning has become one of the most enjoyable “chores” I do each week. I know what I’m having for dinner a week in advance or maybe two. I can make my grocery list while I meal plan and take a visual inventory of what I need to restock my pantry and refrigerator.
I know that on Thursday I’m making Nani’s Sauteed Chicken so I need to take the chicken thighs out of the freezer and put them into the refrigerator on Tuesday. Or I’m having company on Saturday so I will want to make as much of the dinner ahead of time so I can enjoy my family.
I can save time by chopping all the onions I’ll need at one time or start dinner prep after breakfast when I have more time.
Saving time is a big perk of menu planning!
see Scrumptious Clam Chowder HERE
Have you ever said at 5:00 pm “What will make for dinner”? Avoid the stress and angst of having to feed your family when you have no idea what you will make!
A bowl of cereal does not a dinner make!
When we know in advance it becomes so much easier! Dinner is not a surprise it is planned for. And because a meal plan is a PLAN, if things in our lives change our meal plans are not written in stone and we can adjust. But at least we have a plan and a purpose and a guide to make a great meal for our families.
see Roasted Organic Carrots With Thyme HERE
I hate food waste. Having a full belly is a great blessing! And wasting food is so sad. A meal plan helps us to use what we have. I’ve talked about my freezer being full of spoiled food. Sooooo sad!
Also, I have learned to use every bit of a chicken. We eat the meat and I save the carcass, wings, and bones for stock. I also use the celery tops in the stock as well! All leftover veggies make great FRITATAS. And extra bread can be croutons or homemade breadcrumbs.
Less waste often means saving money too!
IT’S A FUN HABIT
see Cherry Pie In Jars With Stars HERE
Menu planning can be a bit addictive. Once I started, a whole new world of food and ways to eat has opened up for me. I’ve always read cookbooks like romance novels but Pinterest has become quite an obsession. My FOODIE FUN Pinterest board has over 3,000 delicious pins! I hope you follow me there. You will find AMAZING recipe ideas!
ENCOURAGES NEW CULINARY SKILLS
see 10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets HERE
As a life-long learner, nothing tickles me more than to learn a new skill or fact or something useful. And when we menu plan and have a meal to cook every day (or maybe not EVERY day) we learn so much!
I have found the wonderful world of YouTube cooks who are more than delighted, for free, to give me a lesson on how to cut an onion or the best ways to debone a fish. Really fun!
I have also found so many great videos that literally show me how to make a dish. All I have to do is follow along. And the more I practice the better I get and you will too!
EAT NEW TO YOU FOODS
see Perfect Roast Chicken HERE
There is a whole world of food in our local grocers or online. Food that you will probably love but have never tried. And I don’t know about you but when I leave this earth I would have liked to at least tried most of them!
Aren’t you curious about Aish Baldi or Paella or Marmite or Marzipan or Pho or Pierogi or Galaktoboureko? Maybe one of these will be your new foodie favorite!
Expand your culinary palate and enjoy new foods!
If you are not a planner you can have a weekly menu plan, new each week, by joining me every Monday when I share my menu plan for the week. It’s called On The Menu and features loads of brilliant recipes and delicious food!
You can find ready made menus in the “recipe +menus” tab in the bar under the StoneGable heading at the top of the page.
As I always say On The Menu… have a scrumptious week!