>Teachin’ Ya Tuesdays – Making Menu Planning Work for You

> Last week my fabulous friend Kate repeated the same lament I have heard from girlfriends and ED&BK readers alike: “My freezer is full but I don’t see anything to actually cook!” Every week groceries get bought and put away, and every night full pantries and fridges are met with blank, overwhelmed stares.
The answer to this? Menu planning. Regardless of how you attack your grocery shopping, menu planning can make the most of your time and money and make getting dinner on the table each night oh-so-easy.
Each week I take a peak in the freezer and pantry cabinet to see what I have, I consider any new recipes I have found that I want to try, what favorite recipes we haven’t had in a while, and any time commitments that might affect dinner plans during the week. Then I make a list of meals for the week which hangs on the side of the fridge where I can easily see it.
But there is one more step, and this is a biggie – it can make or break the whole thing: I gather the frozen meat I will need for the week and I put it all in a bottom drawer in my fridge (in a glass dish just in case there is any leaking) so it will at least begin to thaw. (The picture above was from this menu plan.) I pull any canned items I want to use to the front of the pantry cabinet, and I make sure any fresh fruit or veggies are washed and easily seen and accessed in the produce drawer. If I have any other prep that I can do (making bread crumbs, grating cheese, etc, ) I get that done as well.
With all of that done, I know what I am making, and I know I have everything I need to make it. There are no surprises that way, and no excuses needed. Dinners are ready in a snap.
I encouraged Kate to give it a try, and to take it a step further and start out with an “eat from the freezer” week – a week of menus planned using ONLY what they already have in the house.
Taking less than an hour a week to do just a little bit of planning can transform dinner preparation from a dreaded chore to a quick and enjoyable activity each evening.

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2 Comments

Filed under Picture, Teachin' Ya Tuesdays, Time Crunch Tested

2 responses to “>Teachin’ Ya Tuesdays – Making Menu Planning Work for You

  1. >Love it!! I'm on day three of the plan I set up on Sunday (right after I inventoried everything in the fridge, freezer, and pantry). So far, so good. I'll be checking back in on this blog for more inspiration. 🙂 anyway, awesome post… Thanks!

  2. >YAY – you are doin' it!!

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