Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Meal Planning

My sister commented that she would have like more practical advice in my post about planning, so I thought I would collect some resources on meal planning to share.

For an overview of meal planning, Money Saving Mom had a good guest post last week. I liked this post because it broke down the planning into simple steps. I am still working on a good system for meal planning, but I have noticed that it gets easier and quicker the more you do it. Yesterday, Money Saving Mom also pointed out a free printable menu planner from Mom Advice, which you can check out here.

One of the commenters on the post suggested using menus4moms. This is a site that sends you a week's worth of menus and shopping lists each week for a small monthly fee. This might be a really good option if you're short on time. You would probably recoup the cost of the monthly fee just by confining your shopping list to your planned meals. Also, Real Simple has a review of six similar sites here.

For more inspiration, OrgJunkie has a bloggy event called Menu Planning Mondays. Check it out on Mondays for dozens of blogs with their menus posted for the week.

To find recipes for your planned menus, my favorite site right now is AllRecipes. The best feature on this site is the "ingredients" search option. You can type in the ingredients that you have on hand (or what's on sale that week) and the site will find recipes that use them. You can also put in ingredients to exclude, which really helps narrow down the recipes.

Other good sites for simple, frugal meals are Taste of Home and BettyCrocker. I like both of these sites because they have mostly simple meals using ordinary ingredients. When I want to get a little fancier, I always turn to the Food Network! Also, two blogs I have just started to check out are A Year of Crockpotting and Five Dollar Dinners. Never underestimate the crock pot for easy, delicious dinners. It's a really great option if you work and are out of the house all day too.

I hope these resources are helpful. I was thinking that I might do a couple more posts this week and the beginning of next week going through my menu planning for the next two weeks. (I plan two weeks at a time, since we only have one car and I need to minimize shopping trips.) Like I said, I am still getting in my groove on the menu planning, but it might actually help me to lay it out in steps for you.

Photos from

1 comment:

  1. I've never done any menu planning at all or go to the grocery store with any list whatsoever. This way I just go and buy whatever is on sale. So our menu depends greatly on clearance items etc. However, I'm on a new orgizational kick, and no menu planning at all is a nightmayer. Learning to menu plan is on the top of my list right now, and I would love for you to post some steps! Keep the links coming! Thanks ;-)


Thanks for commenting. I love to hear your feedback!