Welcome to my 6th week of joining Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.
Are you a menu planner? I can hardly remember a time when I didn’t plan weekly menus. It makes life so much easier.
Consider this. Benefits of Menu Planning.
- Saves you time. You always have the ingredients you need so no weekday last minute trips to the store.
- Saves you money. When you have your menus planned out, you know exactly which ingredients you need to buy at the store. You have a list and you stick to that it while shopping and fewer impulse buys.
- Promotes healthy eating. When meals are planned out, you will usually end up with a more balanced, nutritious diet. You don’t have to run through a fast food lane, grab a processed food on the go, or skip meals.
- Reduces waste. Often, we buy foods at the grocery store, thinking we’ll use them for something, but they end up getting thrown out. If you’re sticking to the list, you’re not buying anything you won’t NEED for your planned meals.
- Saves on gas. No more emergency grocery runs = less driving = less gas money.
- Encourages family involvement. Everyone has input and everyone has a chance to request their favorites.
- Supports regular eating of meals together as a family. If left to the last minute, it can be very tempting to whip something up quickly for the kids and then another meal later for mom and dad.
- Takes into account life’s busier than usual times. Plan for the school activities, working late, and the unexpected an you’re less likely to make a trip through the drive thru or grab processed food on the go.
- Reduce stress. Enough said 🙂
What works for me. Menu Planning Tips.
- Make creating a weekly menu part of your routine.
- Consider what ingredients you already have.
- Get family input.
- Plan for an on-your-own night.
- Make a list and stick to it when you’re shopping.
- Look at your calendar for the week before you start planning. Make note of busy evenings.
- Make lunches the day before.
- Cook on Sunday with leftovers in mind.
- Whether you’re using your computer or handwriting the menu use a menu template.
- Use recipes that can be made ahead of time and reheated for a meal during the week.
Now, on a day’s menu…
Early morning coffee and computer.
Chocolate Shakeology with banana. It’s like having dessert for breakfast.
Pretzels and Almond Cheddar Style Cheese. This continues to be my favorite vegan cheese.
Veggie wrap with vinaigrette with a side of kale chips.
I’m addicted to the greek yogurt and cottage cheese combo. This time I added a crumbled Kashi Honey Almond Flax bar and sliced half a banana.
A chicken pot pie recipe from Whole Living Body + Soul In Balance that I tweaked into a vegetarian dish. No chicken and added baby portabellas in addition to the shitake mushrooms. Love the whole wheat phyllo crust.
Do you plan weekly menus? What’s on your menu? What is your favorite snack?