Monday, August 27, 2012

My Basic Menu Planning Tools

Menu-Planning Mondays couldn't possibly kick off without me sharing with you my most basic menu planning tools.  Obviously my growing cookbook collection and endless internet resources are very helpful, but today I am going to share with you the printables that I have made or gotten from others that make my menu planning easier.  I am kind of transitioning from once a week shopping and planning to once a month shopping and planning, so I will show you both sides of my transition.

Weekly Planning Tool
When I was doing once a week planning and shopping, this was my absolute favorite tool.  In fact, if I had not made the decision to start shopping monthly I would still be using it now.  I love the reference to Proverbs 31 in the center of the page.  I am soon going to adapt the top part to be my weekly plan cards which I will tell you about later in the post.  I got this awesome menu planner from She has lots of great tools in addition to this one too.  Basically you just fill in the top part with what dishes you plan to serve, complete with sides.  Then you fill in the bottom area with the shopping list that you will use for that week's shopping trip.  I keep these in my Menu section of my Household Management binder which is currently under construction for renovations.  Once again...I will share that at a later date.

Monthly Planning Tools

Scroll down for free printable

Now that I am shopping/planning once a month I use these really high tech things called index cards to write down the menu for each week.  Then I use this sheet for my grocery list.  I created this one myself with inspiration from another blogger out there somewhere.  It has headers for each section of the grocery store.  I don't know about you, but I desperately needed these headers to keep me from aimlessly wandering around the aisles forgetting things. 

For the free printable of this grocery list, click here.

If you share this, please direct people here to print.

Once I have planned and purchased all items needed for the month, I label and organize the items like this.

Each week has its little area in my kitchen pantry.  In the area I also store the menu card for that week and any corresponding recipe cards so that everything I need is right there when I get ready to start dinner.  Anything that is pre-made and stored in the freezer has an "(F)" next to it on the menu card to remind me to thaw the item out.  You probably noticed that my weekly areas are getting a little bit bare.  That is because we are in the last week of a round of monthly shopping.

Next week's edition of Menu-Plan Mondays will contain my monthly menu for the month along with the shopping list I used and the way that I prepped and stored everything for the month (complete with pictures), so make sure you are here for that.  Sneak Preview, you say? Next month I will use my crockpot a TON!  If you are looking for crockpot recipes, you aren't going to want to miss it.

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1 comment:

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