As promised, here is my menu planning process!
Now that I have my awesome Menu Planning Station set up, (https://tinygraces.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/frugal-friday-menu-planning-station/) it’s SUPER easy to do my menu planning!
I grab my file organizer and a surface to write on. I also grab my recipe source, which happened to be in my file organizer this week.
This week all of my recipes were already decided on in my monthly planner, so I quickly jotted them down on my weekly menu planner notepad. If they hadn’t have been there already, I would have grabbed a binder, cookbook or recipe box and searched through for 6-7 varying recipes. I try not to do too many of one type of recipe in a week- ie, I try not to do tacos and fajitas in the same week. This week, however, it seems I was craving Hispanic themed foods- Creamy Chicken Taco Soup, Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake AND Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers. I blame the baby. 😉
I then grabbed my recipes out of my “Week 2 Menu” file folder and went to town writing down the ingredients I would need for this week’s recipes. I make sure to keep in mind the ingredients that I have in stock in my pantry- like flour, sugar, spices, etc. I also keep in mind if I bought an ingredient and didn’t use it in a previous menu, like if we ended up going out to dinner and not making one of the recipes that week. I also sometimes buy in bulk if there is a sale.
I then make sure to double check my fridge, freezer, and pantry to make sure I don’t have any of the ingredients on my list. I put my recipes, menu/grocery list and any coupons I may have for that week into the file folder, ready to grab from on Friday before I make my big shopping trip.
I like having all my recipes in the same spot, too, so that I don’t have to search through all my recipe binders and my recipe box to find the recipe that is on the menu for that day. After I use the recipe, I return it to the correct spot for the next time I’m menu planning.
I’m hoping to get more into couponing, so that I can save more on our weekly budget. I currently do a majority of our shopping at Aldi, so our grocery bill is already pretty low, but every dollar counts when you’re a single income household!
Until next time, friends!