What's for dinner?
Most of the time I know this answer and we have a healthy dinner. Sometimes the day gets away from me and ordering out is the nicest thing I can do for my family but no the most economical. We have stopped eating out significantly and I have stopped my drive-thru visits for lunch. We have buckled down quite a bit and that came from menu planning.
I began by making just a menu for the dinner during the week and then made my grocery list accordingly, using what we already have on hand as much as possible. I have tried to find recipes that match the ones that we enjoy when we eat out and that has been fun. I also have tried to find recipes to replace any convenience foods we eat. This has been fun too!
Next, I decided to move into planning Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks. This also helped in using what we have already in the pantry. (I will post my menu later:))
Earlier in the year I was looking for a recipe software program that would take all my own recipes along with ones that I get online, make a menu and shopping list. I found it in Big Oven. I am able to input all my own recipes, have access to tons of recipes from there own website and import recipes from other online locations. With this I can create a menu that includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks. Then I can go through and create a grocery list.
We are trying our hand at freezer meals and in the last month I have doubled many recipes and having a meal in the freezer was a lifesaver on the days that were more hectic. So I am using this software to better plan this new adventure. I am streamlining our recipes, finding what will freeze and what won't and looking for further ways to cut expenses but save time as well. It has been fun and I hope to share more specifics as I learn more!
Happy Menu Planning!