Menu Planning Made Easy

I love to plan my menus out a week ahead of time, and I’ve been asked for menu planning tips so I thought I’d share a few.  Planning makes grocery shopping and figuring out what’s for dinner so much easier!  I’ve employed a variety of tools over the years but have found a decent combination of products and services that keeps me on track.  I thought I’d share a few tips with you – you can use all of these, or just one or two – whatever fits your situation and motivation!

  1. Get a good Menu Planner notebook.  I use one from May Designs, but there are quite a few good ones out there.  I really like this one from Lulalu because it has the things I want – a week at a glance on one side, and space for my shopping list on the other.  I don’t think it’s a big deal what brand you use, just make sure it’s handy and fits in your purse or tote to come along to the grocery with you.
  2. If you blog, you’re going to want to share your weekly menus.  I use a combination of a blog post and a Google calendar widget to display my weekly menu on my blog.  This also affords me the opportunity to look back on what we’ve had, or look at what we’re having if I haven’t grabbed my book that day and am not home.  You can also share your Google Calendar with family so they can see what’s for dinner also.
  3. I have a cling on the front of my fridge because I get SO SICK AND TIRED of answering the “What’s for dinner?” question 10x a day.  I have to use a cling because my fridge is not magnetized – but you can use whatever works for you.  This is the Vinyl Sticker I have.
  4. The top tip I have for you is to keep it simple and useful TO YOU, because if you’re not doing it, its not being helpful, and if it’s more complicated than you’d like, you’re not likely to keep up the habit.

I hope you find these menu planning tips helpful and get something useful out of the system I’ve worked out during years of trials and tribulations.  Don’t be afraid to deviate if you need to (some days all I can manage if a frozen pizza – I don’t beat myself up over that, and neither should you.)