Lately I've been seeing lots of ideas on how to menu plan. I thought I'd share what works for me.
In our house, payday comes every two weeks on a Thursday. That Thursday is also my set Grocery Shopping Day. So I set my menu planning to that schedule. I think it is important to tweak things to make them work for your particular and unique needs.
First, I made a simple table to print out. I made my chart for two weeks and it starts on a Thursday and ends on a Wednesday. I then slid it inside a sheet protector. You can also laminate it if you have the supplies. I use a dry-erase marker so I can easily use this chart over and over. Stick it on the fridge with a magnet and you have a valuable resource.
I start by checking out what I have in the freezer, fridge and pantry.
I then look through my calendar to see what is coming up within the next two weeks that will effect my meal making. (Homecoming was Saturday, therefore I didn't have to cook!)
I then count how many meals I need and also what types of meals. Days that I have a lot going on I may choose to make something quick and easy. I have meetings every Thursday so after a long day of grocery shopping and errand running it is super easy to stick a pizza in the oven.
So I figure out what I'm making on what days and mark them on my chart.
I also look to see if there is anything special I need to make throughout the two week period. Get-togethers, church dinners etc. I also try to plan what I'm making for those.
I then compare what ingredients I have to what ingredients I need and make my grocery list from there.
Actually having a menu to plan my grocery list from really does save money. It is also nice to not have the great debate every day:
"What am I going to make for supper?!?!"