Friday, September 10, 2010

Menu Planning

Menu planning can save you alot of time and money.  It can also help ensure that you are eating a well-balanced diet.  Here are a few ways that menu-planning can save you time and money:
  • If you can sit down with your weekly grocery circulars and plan what meals you will serve that week based on whats on sale, you are bound to save money.
  • Menu-planning forces you to think ahead about what you are going to do with the produce, meat, ect.. that you have on hand or will be buying.  This helps prevent food waste.  I don't know how many times in the past that I would buy meat and produce with the best of intentions, only to discover it spoiled a couple weeks later in the bottom of my fridge.
  • Planning out your weekly menu helps prevent that problem I know all too well, of 6 o' clock rolling around and I still don't know what we are having for dinner, so we end up getting take out.
  • Menu-planning helps eliminate the need to run to the store for necessary ingredients at the last minute, if you could have purchased those same items on sale earlier that week, with your other grocery shopping.
  • If you plan your meals out, you can save time with kitchen prep work.  If on both Monday and Tuesday you are having meals calling for chopped onion (or some other ingredient requiring prep work), you can go ahead and chop up all the onion you will need for both nights on Monday and store the rest in the fridge for Tuesday.
And lets face it, it is really difficult to consume all the fruits, vegetables, grains, fiber ect.. that your body needs without making a concerted effort.  Since menu planning forces you to think ahead, it will be easier to see what days you need to fit in some more fruits and vegetables (or whatever it may be)- avoiding the realization after dinner that you forgot to eat any fruit that day.
Next week, I will share some ideas on how to plan healthy meals for your family.

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