When you’re a working mother, no matter whether you work outside the home or you’re a work-at-home mom, dinner is always an issue you deal with every day. What will you fix for dinner that will be healthy and the family will enjoy? Menu planning will make dinner easier – here’s how to do it.
Decide which day you’ll sit down and make your plans. Will you make a menu plan for a week, two weeks, or a month at a time? The further out you plan, the more prepared you can be. You can also choose to make a list of regularly-served meals and rotate them throughout the month.
Start out by making a list of main dishes, vegetables, starches, and desserts that you know your family enjoys. You may want to include a few new dishes that you’ve wanted to try. Break your lists, especially meats, down into sub-categories such as beef, chicken, casseroles, etc. You should be able to mix and match each type of food to create a number of different meals your family will love.
After you have your list of dishes that you know will be eaten, you can make a list of items you need from the grocery store. By knowing what you’re going to have to eat, maybe weeks in advance, you’ll be able to take advantage of any sales your local stores may have. You can also plan to use the items you already have in your pantry or freezer.
If you know you’re planning on several chicken meals in the coming weeks and the store has chicken on sale, now would be a great time to stock up on them. You can use the same line of reasoning with any item that you know you’ll be using. Of course, you may find that other items you need have increased in price, but if you stick to items that are on sale, you could save a good amount during each time you go shopping.
Besides helping you save money on your food budget, menu planning will make dinner easier by enabling you to feed your family healthier meals and snacks. This process will also allow you to save time because you won’t have to run out to the store during the week. You’ll know what you need well in advance so you should have everything you need when the time comes to fix each meal.
Post your menu plan on your refrigerator to help you prepare meals each day. You’ll know which items to take out of the freezer to defrost. You can put planned meals into the crock pot. Menu planning will make dinner so much easier than deciding each day what you will have. The plan has been made – now all you have to do is cook.