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Flylady has it as the monthly habit this month…and what I am sharing with you is her introduction to focus this month. You know that I do it – it really helps the budget knowing what you have in the house and really avoids the time crunch at dinner time. Check it out
This month’s new habit is menu planning. Now don’t go running to the
closet and hide. This is quite simple when you take just a few minutes
each week to do this.
First, I need to explain to you why menu planning is so important to
us. You can’t eat what you don’t have in the house. Just the simple
act of sitting down and thinking about what to fix for the next week
then going to the grocery store and purchasing the food will give you
more freedom than almost anything. This will save you time and money
and put good food in your pantry. When you have nutritious food in
your home you will feel better about what you and your family are eating.
With the extra cost of heating our homes and driving our cars we have
to find a way to save a few bucks here and there. The easiest place to
do this is with our food budgets. Oh you don’t have a budget? You have
been doing whatever it takes to get food on the table and your family fed.
When we are in a hurry the first thing that comes to mind is the
closest fast food joint or picking up the phone to order pizza once
again. A little menu plan and a clean kitchen can go a long way toward
feeding your family and saving money at the same time.
Now we are heading into a busy and expensive holiday season. We want
to help you use your time and your money in an efficient way to feed
your family and at the same time release the guilt. Menu Planning will
Now I am not just talking about dinner time. We have to eat snacks,
breakfasts and lunches too. This has to be in our menu planning and on
our grocery list. My friend Leanne, the Dinner Diva from SavingDinner.com
helped me to develop a pantry from feeding myself good food.
We all have to do this too.
It started with the first meal of the day. I am not a breakfast person
unless it is a full blown meal eaten out. I don’t feel like eating in
the morning. But in order to get fuel my body I needed to have good
food in my home. I have learned that I have to eat to live and I no
longer live to eat. I couldn’t starve myself all day and then pig out
for dinner. Leanne helped me put together a list of foods that are
perpetually on my grocery list. I always have them in my refrigerator
and my pantry. For me these are high protein snack type foods;
Yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, almonds, deli ham and eggs. You have
to adapt this list for your family and your dietary needs.
Then you have lunches. If you take your lunch then you will need items
that can easily pack or use one of Leanne’s Sample Menu Mailer to
produce glorious leftovers that you co-workers will beg you for. Put
these things on your perpetual grocery list. Keep your pantry and
refrigerator stocked so you will not have spend extra money, that we
don’t have right now, to eat out.
Next, we have to think about what we are going to cook for the next
week’s evening meals. Establish a Basic Weekly Plan and make it fun.
You could use an Ethnic theme: Monday could be Italian, Tuesday
Mexican, and Wednesday Chinese. You get the picture or you could use
another formula: Monday chicken, Tuesday beef, Wednesday pork. Or you
could mix it all up and say; Monday is ethnic day, Tuesday Crock Pot
day, Wednesday Soup and Sandwiches, Thursday Leftovers, Friday Kid
cook day, Saturday Picnic, Sunday Special dinner.
So, you see menu planning does not have to be boring. You just need a
template to do the scheduling. You can use your calendar for this too.
Just pencil in what you have eaten this last week to give you
something to go by.
It is time to start working on your menus and your grocery list. Get
out your pen and paper and set your timer for 15 minutes. I am not
asking you to drag out all your cookbooks, we are just working on a plan.
Are you ready to save money and feed your family by establishing this
new habit? Who knows it may just help you get rid of some of that Body
Clutter that is in your head! You know the “I don’t have time to cook
tonight” thought that comes into your head every evening at 6:00pm.
New habits are fun!