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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Meal planning

Planning out your meals for the week is a real time saver. By meal planning the week out you ensure that you know what to cook, that you have the ingredients on hand, and that you have meals that fit the time your schedule allots. This save time, and money since we are less likely to do take out if there is a plan!

On busy nights with sporting events we opt for easy meals like spaghetti and meat sauce with garlic bread. On free nights when everyone is home early we like to try out new, and more complex recipes. Same goes for busy mornings. On busy days we may do cereal, or pre-made frozen pancakes, while on lazy days we may do homemade waffles, or eggs & sausage w/toast.

My husband and I plan our meals every weekend. We shop on Sunday, so I try to have the list ready by Sunday, late morning. We look at our calendars, and decide what days we will need quick and easy meals.

We write the meals on our weekly calendar, and we review what ingriedients are needed and see what we already have on hand in the pantry. We make a list of what we don't have, and then add to it. Things we check each weekend to see if it needs replenished are laundry materials, health and beauty items, cleaners, snacks, and paper goods.

I use a printed shopping list. Mine is sorted by departmen (Dairy, meat, produce, dry goods, frozen, etc.). I'm not reinventing the wheel here...you can find templates from MSWord for shopping lists, or do a Google search for "grocery shopping lists", and customize it yourself to make it work for you!

Happy shopping, and saving!

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