A plan can help you take advantage of sales at your grocery store. You can check your local newspaper for sales that fit your budget. Pay special attention to meat sales because you can plan your sides around them. Also, remember to buy produce that is in season. A plan can also help cut down on impulse buying. Usually, those buys aren’t very healthy choices. Saving time and cutting down waste are both benefits to the plan. Once you have your plan then you need to put it all together. Make sure you know your budget for the week. Make sure to shop around for best deals.
Tips to Follow-Thru Menu Planning:
- Create a record: Write down every evening’s meal and date you would like it in the week.
- Plan: Pick one day a week and take time to go thru recipes, and brainstorm menu ideas.
- Think about your portions. Restaurants often serve portions that are enough to feed two or three people. To help you avoid overeating, order smaller portions, split a meal with someone else, or save part of your meal for later.
- Shop your house first: Fridge, pantry, garden, and freezer. You want to know what you already have on hand. Think about what ingredients you have on hand that can be used as substitutes for ingredients in recipes.
- Pick one protein: Meat is expensive so figure out one meat you can meal plan with. A whole chicken could be used to make a roast, sandwich, Asian stir fry or a soup.
- Pick recipes that you reuse ingredients: Just like with the meat, try to buy enough to use for multiple meals.
- Substitute in recipes: If you have certain herbs leftover from last week use up next week instead of buying more.
- Stay away from processed foods: A good way to remember is to only shop the outside aisles of the store. Ignore the entire center where all of processed and prepackaged foods would be.