Menu Planning

I need organization to function. By nature, I’m scatterbrained and chaotic, so I’ve found that if I organize my life things run much smoother.

One of the things that I learned while working in restaurant kitchens was how to plan and prep. Think about it: restaurants have menus, right? So why not make your own menu so you know what you’re having for the week? I think it’s rather useful for budget planning whether you’re by yourself, or feed a larger family.

Click here to look at a sample PDF I made up. With a family of five, three of which are kids in school, I planned every meal and snack so they know exactly what’s available. (Also, because I hate it when people whine, “There’s nothing to eeeeeat!”) My other goal was to make it easy for each of my three kids to pack their own lunches. They get to choose an item from each “category” for their lunch that’s already been prepared and packaged ahead of time. (More on that in another post.)

Once you’ve got yourself a menu plan for the next week, two weeks, etc. start making a list. Go by each recipe and jot down what you’ll need. Personally, I like to use the Listonic app on my phone. It organizes the items into categories for me as I enter them in and I can share the list with my husband if we need to split up in the store. Makes shopping much easier!

Another thing I try to do is the bulk of my shopping at Costco or place pick-up orders from Wal-Mart for the days when I just don’t have the time. This also allows me to better monitor my spending and run to the store less often.

What about you? Where are some places you like to shop for groceries? Do you have a particular list-making app that you like to use? Comment below for suggestions!

Also, stay tuned for a few posts on food prepping for the week!


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