Jul 17, 2014


I've been meaning to do this post for a while, but was inspired recently as I've had a few rounds of guests over who really liked the menu board hanging in the kitchen. I thought it would be right on time as we are gearing up to try and get (OUR LIVES) organized for the hustle and bustle of back to school!

Menu planning has proved to be a real life and annoyance time saver; one less thing to worry about.  Here are a few tips that I have found helpful.

Weekend Menu Planning 
I try and take some time on the weekend to come up with ideas on what I'd like to cook for the week. Nothing super formal, just an excuse to peruse, my favorite magazines..  I really like the little inserts from  Martha Stewart  or any other 30 minutes or less cookbooks/mags. I also "like" a few cooking resources on Facebook which is really helpful. Some of my favorites are Saveur and Cooking Light.  And lets not forget Pinterest. I save things that I'd like to try in my Bunnie's Recipe Box folder.

Shopping List
Currently using this "All Out Of" magnetic pad I found on Amazon. I also like this one from Target. Goes on the fridge and we add/check off items as we run out during the week, and add any additional items needed for the meals we (and by we I mean me) plan to make. We usually do the big grocery run on Mondays.

Menu Board
I LOVE this menu board. Nothing is as annoying as trying to figure out at the last minute - whats for dinner? I literally look up at this in the morning and pull out whatever I need from the freezer to thaw.

P.S. I took an IKEA frame, removed the glass an painted the wood backing with chalkboard paint. Drew the lines and pics on with a fine white chalkboard marker , it wipes off easily with water and a damp sponge. I will probably need to apply an "fresh" coat of paint for the new school year.

I'm not ashamed to say that I don't prefer to make dinner every night.  Sometimes its spaghetti and (turkey) meatballs, some times its more elaborate, and sometimes we throw all plans out the window and eat PANCAKES FOR DINNER - YESS!!

But here's a good rough plan for the week:
On the left is whats for breakfast every day and that stays the same. The middle is dinner.

Big dinner on  Sunday so there are
leftovers on Monday.
Prepare a new meal on Tuesday with enough for
leftovers on Wednesday.
A sandwich night on Thursdays makes things easy breezy.
And Friday is always PIZZA NIGHT.  Sometimes its homemade (a frozen cheese pizza, or pizza dough from the bakery, where we add our own toppings.). Occassionally we order delivery or go out.
On SaturdayI don't care what we eat we get take out at whatever yummy kid friendly patio or burger joint we can find a seat!

Please note: We eat leftovers twice a week if at all possible.

The point is to make it easy on yourself, save a little at the grocery store with a list and a plan, and find time to read magazines on the weekend  have the time and energy to make healthy meals for your family.

Do you menu plan? Any tips/tricks you'd like to share?

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Laurie Mattaliano said...

This is so my battle! I love your point about planning for left overs - the biggest mistake I make. I plan a week worth of meals (though I am very on again, off again in execution) yet fail to remember that one will feed us more than once! Note taken! It really can lighten the load!

bunnie hilliard said...

YES!! For me it really helps to have a "rough plan" for the week. I just try and buy twice as much (chicken, fish, turkey)… that usually works… but like you, sometimes execution goes out of the window (and we eat pancakes).


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