Sunday, March 2, 2008

Monthly Menu Planning

Different things work for different folks. This is what works for me.
I prefer to monthly menu for sake of time and convenience. I only have to do it 12 times a year compared to 52 times a year.
I try to be flexible. There are times when things come up and I need not cook and those planned meals are saved for the next month. Although, that rarely happens.

How I compile my menu is by taking stock of my pantry, freezers and cabinets. I am a stockpiler. We always have enough food for about 2 months on hand at given time. Keep in mind it may be several of the same things. I do shop every week. I always look to stockpile. I shop loss leaders at my local Piggly Wiggly. I shop at Wal-Mart but only with comp ads and coupons. Every week we buy milk, produce, some snacks, bread, cheese, sandwich fixings, Gatorade and various other items. I also shop at Aldi and Target every two weeks.

We grow many of the things that are found in our freezers and jars in the pantry (home canned). I highly recommend having a garden if at all possible.

I have lots of cookbooks. I am a collector, although a smaller collector than I was a couple years back. I am down to about 200 or so now. I make it a rule to try at least one new recipe a week. If it's a keeper it goes into my online file, if not it's tossed.

I also use lots of tried and true recipes. These are things like vegetables with cornbread. Taco salad, tacos, spaghetti, crock pot meals, Brunswick stew, chili, enchiladas and Santa Fe soup.

I like to cook meat ahead of time and divide into freezer bags for later use. I try to always do this with large quanities and fresh (not frozen) meats. This saves a step and time for me. Time is precious when you have multiples or a large family.

I have found even though it can sound complicated that menu planning is just a matter of assembling an inventory list, matching up recipes and setting up your planner.

I hope this helps and answers the questions you've had. Please let me know if I can help in other ways. Many blessings!!!!!

14 comments:

Mrs. Darling said...

Interesting read. I have over 200 cookbooks too but Im seriously thinking of selling about a hundred of them at this summers garage sale. I mean how many cookbooks does one need? :)

Anonymous said...

Great tips Marva....Thanks! Ellie

mykidsmom said...

200 cookbooks- I will use this post to show hubby that with about 100 assorted recipe outlets, I'm way behind the status quo, Lol.

And depending on if they zero in on specifics (I just bought one that contains ONLY apple recipes- I can't wait to try it!), and if you like to experiment with new recipes alot, you really CAN have a use for alot of cookbooks.

But then, my dear friend Mrs.D could whip anything up without cracking one cookbook!

mykidsmom said...

Oh, and please share some crockpot recipes (especially anything Mexican food!), with homeschooling I think I just may wear the old crockpot out (I'm trying to talk hubby into getting me a super-large model).

mykidsmom said...

Okay, before you start to worry that I just may be stalking you-

after the last comment, I checked your sidebar and found your recipe link INCLUDING several yummy mexican crockpot recipes. So please just ignore that last comment...and no, I'm not stalking you, Lol.

Marva said...

Mrs. Darling I have sold over 1000 in the last 1 1/2 years. I plan on selling more in our semi annual yard sale in April. I 'm not sure about how many. I am trying to start using recipes from memory. My memory seems be slipping since the twins were born though! Go figure.... LOL!!!!

Blessings!!!

Marva said...

Ellie I hopr this helps. please let me know and keep us posted on your success! Blessings!!!!

Marva said...

I love comments mykidsmom!!!!! Stalking......nah! Not you!!! ;)

I use to have many more than 200. This is just what I am down to.

Perhaps you can find a good model(crockpot) at a great price and your hubby will give in. I have 4. I have a 1 /2 qt., 3 qt., 5 qt., 6 qt. I love them all and sometimes have 2 or 3 going at the same time. We are not homeschooloing but having twins has it's challenges too!

Blessings!!!!

Minimalist Mommy said...

I thought I had a great deal of books and at last count it was around 12. Wow I am a rookie. No wonder you come up with some great recipes. Well with your blog I really don't need to buy more cook books.

Marva said...

I would like to get down to 12!!! That would be a blessing! You are so kind Minimalist Mommy! Blessings!!!

Mimi said...

I love cookbooks and have quite a collection. I am into the older cookbooks, such as the old Campbell's and Good Housekeeping, Betty Crocker, lots of old 50's and 60's books. They knew how to really bake and make some good ccasseroles back then.

Nico said...

I love to menu plan too! It saves a ton of time, and my hubby never asks whats for dinner...

Marva said...

That's cool Mimi! The oldies are the goodies they say! Blessings!!!

Marva said...

It does save lots of time nico! I have more time than money! ;) Blessings!!!!!