Friday, August 10, 2012

MAKE-A-MENU - Baby Step #2 - Making a Menu in 3 easy steps!

Hi y'all!  So glad you're here today to tackle the Make-a-Menu Plan - Baby Step #2!  This is super easy, so let's get right to work:

To get started, here’s what you’ll need:
1. Your Make-a-Menu Binder which should have your Make-a-Menu Calendar, list of Family Favorites, and list of what’s already in your freezer.
2. Family Calendar.


Let's Make-a-Menu in 3 easy steps!

STEP #1:
Get your blank Make-a-Menu Calendar. Choose a meal theme for each day of the week. Write down the themes above the day-of-the-week columns on your calendar. Here's mine:

Sunday – casseroles, some type of big meal like a roast or roasted chicken, grilled meats
Monday – sandwiches, salads, soups
Tuesday – Italian, pasta, beef
Wednesday – Mexican, beans
Thursday – Chicken, fish
Friday – hot dogs, hamburgers
Saturday – Calzones, pizza, or another day of grilled food

STEP #2:
Get your family’s calendar. Look at the schedule. Are there any nights that will be too busy for cooking? Plan for using the slow cooker, using leftovers, having sandwiches or some other quick meal, or you’ll need to have something ready to cook straight from the freezer. Note this on your Menu Calendar. Put the Family Calendar away.

STEP #3:
It's time to Make-a-Menu! Get your list of “Family Favorites” and your list of and meats or meals “Already in the Freezer”. Using those two lists, start filling in your calendar with what you already have. To save time, try to cook meat one night and use it again on another night. As you use a "Favorite", check it off the "Family Favorites" list.

Try to get the current week and maybe the next week filled in. Keep on going and fill in as much of the month and the upcoming month as you can, using the ingredients you already have.

(Here, I have the daily theme and menu items highlighted in yellow. The notes to myself (crockpot, vacation) are highlighted in pink. I wish I new how to download a document the right way so you could really see this. At least it gives you a general idea.)

When you're done, check your fridge and pantry and see if you have all the other ingredients needed to comlete each meal. What about extras like garlic toast or rolls, salads and other side dishes? Make notes of any groceries that you will need to complete the meals. You should pick those items up this weekend, and then your week will be on autopilot!!!


Congratulations! You’re done! Put all your lists back in your Make-a-Menu Binder. Hang your Menu Calendar where you can see it. With this menu you’ll be able to use what you already have, save time, save money, and not end up at the junk-food store.

Don’t forget to check your calendar each evening after the evening meal is over and the kitchen is cleaned. Do you need to take some meat out for tomorrow? Set up the slow cooker? Chop onions?

Stay tuned for Baby Step #3, when we’ll talk about SAVING MOOLAH with loss leaders to stock the freezer and fill up our Make-a-Menu Calendar at the same time.

Until then...
Peace to you all,
The Menu Maker Mom
Feeding the family ~ One menu at a time