Jen’s Steps to Meal Planning….

1.   I take a notebook and go to the freezer and write down all the meat I have for meals. 

Currently in our freezer:
Fish Fillets
Hot Dogs – 2

Steak (3 petite)
Seasoned Enchilada Meat – 1
Seasoned Cubed Steak – 1
Hamburger – 1lb pack – 1
Hamburger – 2 lb pack -1

Cooked Cubed Chicken – 2 cup bags – 7
Filled Chicken Breasts – 2
Whole Chicken – 2
Drumsticks – 1 bag

Cubed Ham – 1
Pork Loin -BBQ – 1
Bacon – 1
Pork Country Ribs – 1
BBQ Back Ribs -1
Pork Chops -1

2.  Now I make my menu utilizing the meat on hand.   I make a list of what to make with each item.   I look if there were meals from the last 2 weeks of menu’s that I didn’t make and reschedule those meals.   I plan on purchasing groceries again on Sept. 28th so I need to plan 14 meals.

When I need inspiration I go to some of the following websites:

Organizing Junkie – Host of Menu Plan Monday – last week there were over 300 particpants.  Review their menus and get some ideas!

Grocery Cart Challenge – Great Blog for Frugal Menu Ideas – Menu Plan Monday Particpant

Our Online Cookbook – Find family favorites that require the ingredients I have. 

Menus4Moms – Great site with menus for every week.   I use this one alot!!  (site not currently loading)

3.  Next I make my menu and assign a day for each meal.  I need easy meals for Tuesday and Wednesdays as we have to be somewhere after supper.  I plan a kid friendly recipe for Friday Night as we usually do Family Movie Night.

4.  I then go through each recipe and see if I have all the ingredients.  I add any needed items to my shopping list.  I try to buy as much as I can at Aldi.   Any items that aren’t available at Aldi, I look for coupons for. 

5.  I put my list on my clipboard and head off to get my groceries.  I also start shopping at Aldi.  Whatever wasn’t available at Aldi I purchase at Festival or Cub Foods. 

Happy Menu Planning…..

3 thoughts on “Jen’s Steps to Meal Planning….

  1. That sounds like such an efficient way of planning ahead!

    We do things differently, but it works for us. We buy (in bulk) meat (or whatever) when it is marked at a good price and stock our pantry. As we use the last jar of mayonnaise, it is put on the next week’s grocery list, etc. Usually, this keeps me from running out of anything.

    I make up meals based on what is in the pantry or freezer.

    The only items I splurge on is a few frozen things (which cost more) that I can pull out when it’s been a hectic day and I am too tired to stand on my feet in the kitchen . . . like that family size Stouffer’s lasagne last week! What a life saver!

  2. @cherylyn_p – 

    We do the same. I keep frozen fish sticks, chicken nuggets and Corn Doggettes for something quick, but we have not bought any in a while (no money and tomato season).

    I can’t shop at Aldi’s because they don’t have scooters. I shop at Sam’s, BJs and Costco as well as Kroger. I am the queen of coupons, and at Kroger it has to be on sale and have a coupon to buy it, unless it is a store brand. I occasionally do Harris-Teeter, especially when they have triple coupons.

  3. You were recommended by Divine Diva.  I pretty much do the same thing.  You end up buying alot less at the store.  Great post.  Sandy

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