Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How I Meal Plan

Hello ladies!  I am going to be starting a series of posts on the system I have been developing for planning, organizing, and saving money on food purchasing, storing, and preparing.  I find that this skill set is so important to keeping a well-running, sane, and loving home (not to mention a frugal one!).  I’m calling the series The Old Fashioned Kitchen and while I dont claim to be an expert in these areas I hope to have some fun passing on the little system I have begun to call my own. This will be the first in said series, and I want to share with you how I do my weekly meal planning.

The first thing to say is that I am still doing my meal planning weekly.  I know many organized homemakers like to plan further ahead, say for the month, but I find that I am far too fickle to plan meals for a month and actually stick to my choices three weeks in.  Right or wrong, I like to have a little more choice as to what takes my fancy week to week, have the opportunity to use a new recipe without having to wait a fortnight, and as my current schedule allows for it, weekly it is. 
Here are the key points of my meal planning:
1. I meal plan primarily based on the food I already have in my home.  As I will discuss in future posts, I try to do my best to shop sales and take advantage of discount prices and as such I like to meal plan for the week ahead based primarily on food I already have in my freezer and pantry.  This frees me to buy whatever might be on sale each week as I dont have to be as concerned about buying expensive items at full price just to make my week’s meals. 
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2.  I keep white boards on my refrigerator itemising what foods I have in both of our freezers as a way to use up what I already have in the house and to have a convenient visual aid to help me meal plan.  I got these thin magnetic whiteboards at the dollar store for- you guessed it- a dollar each, and I highly recommend this system- its cheap and easy as pie.
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3. I browse through my recipe book and, based on our current food stockpile, I plan lunch and dinner meals for the week ahead, making sure at least two of the dinners are meatless.
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4. I keep a white board on the front of my refrigerator where I detail important food prep steps needed for each day of the week.
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5. I add any items we do not have to our shopping list.
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6. Finally, I use a decorative chalk board in my dining room to display the menu for the week for our family.
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Thank you so much for stopping by, ladies.  I want you to know that I love and appreciate your comments and please do leave one if you stop by so I can check out your blog, too!  And be sure to find me on Facebook if you hang out there as much as I do. :)  God bless you and see you soon! Happy Homemaking!


Anonymous said...

Very nice, organized and nutritous OFH. For me, I have tried meal planning and just can't stick to it. I may plan a day or two in advance or I may fly by the seat of my jeans. For some reason it works for me and no waste either, maybe very little.

Keep up the good work!

The Old-Fashioned Housewife said...

Its true that some of you really awesome ladies manage to keep the family fed with little to no meal planning and I say Bravo! Im just not that organized or capable in my own right. I NEED to plan. :)

Pink Fairy Vicky said...

Hello! I am a new Follower :-)
I love the idea of writing the Menu board for the Family, thats so cute!
x x

The Old-Fashioned Housewife said...

Thanks so much, Vicky! And thanks for following!

Anonymous said...

Wow Nicole! That is so organized! I am envious. I wish I had that much control over my food. I'm taking notes :) xoxo, Courtney

Mackenzie said...

Thank you for posting on Saturday Show and Tell. This organization is a great tool! I hope you'll share with us this week.