I have been menu planning since before I knew there was a catch phrase like “menu planning” for the idea. In the beginning, the reasons I planned were simple. I am a list maker, I am a planner, and I was new to cooking so I thought I’d better have a plan or I was sure to fail at the new venture of mine: making home cooked meals for my new husband who, by the way, loved to eat.
I caught on to cooking easy; after all, I had watched my mom cook for years and helped a bit here and there. The decision of what to make took a little more thought, and pleasing my husband even a little more effort, as he is a big eater and I cooked like my mom did, in small portions and thought three veggies for dinner was enough, not my husband, he wanted to know “Where’s the meat?” Now nightly our meal revolves around that “meat.”
Therefore, meal planning or menu planning was just about a necessity for me as a young newlywed because I had to be sure I had that all-important ingredient in every meal -- meat -- to satisfy my hungry husband’s craving.
Now, if you haven’t checked the local grocery store’s meat section lately then you may not realize but meat can be quite pricey and we were on a tight budget (as we still are -- and most families today can relate). That’s where menu planning became yet another plus for me. Planning ahead helped me to be able to buy meat in larger quantities, or when it was on sale, and plan ahead its uses so that I’d have enough, but I’d save some cash at the same time.
In addition, I learned that I could alternate my meals in my menu plan to not only satisfy the husband’s cravings, but also keep my budget in check. With that handy list of meals I knew that my husband enjoyed I could quickly find enough for a week’s worth that would work within the amount of cash I had available. This became especially helpful when I seemed to have more month left than money.
So, if you deal with any of these issues, or maybe some that are similar, then you could probably benefit from menu planning. It really is simple to get started and will save you time, energy, sanity and most importantly the green stuff we call cash!