Why Menu Plan ?
There are many benefits to planning out your meals before hand.
- It brings peace to your evening and stops the " what's for dinner" drama
- It prevents panicked take away purchases
- It saves time and money - you only purchase what you need and can have meals ready in advance
- You can plan meals thoughtfully if, for example, you have have family members with special dietary needs or are trying to plan healthy balanced meals or to lose some weight.
How to Menu Plan
1. The No-Brainer Method. This is as simple as " if it is Monday it's Spaghetti day" etc.
2. The Rational Roster Method: This is where you may do a two or three week list of meals and just work through the list and then come back to the beginning
3. The Schedule Matched Method: ( My favourite). This is where you look at your schedule for the next week or fortnight and plan your meals around it. So if you know you won't be home until 5.30 on Tuesday you plan a quick meal or if you are not home to really late then you make sure you plan a meal the day before that has leftovers etc.
In order to carry out this method successfully I suggest that you take the time to list about 20 or so meals.If you don't have that many in your repertoire it's time to search for some recipes or ask some friends or family about their favourite recipes.
The next thing is to group the meals. I use three headings a) quick and fresh 2) leftover style and 3) gourmet ( meaning time consuming)
Now you can match your meals to your schedule. I think it is always a good idea to have some meals in the freezer ready to go as well. You never know when you may need a standby meal. Next time you are cooking, just cook some extra and freeze it.