My approach to menu planning might be backwards from yours. Most people plan a weekly menu by starting with what they want to eat, so whatever they don’t have on hand to make those meals is added to the shopping list. I hate to tell you, but that is the most expensive way to plan a menu. Here’s how I’ve learned to plan my weekly menus. This works best when you only buy what’s on sale, but using even the first step will save you money!
1. Start planning your menu using what you have on hand
- If I have chicken breasts in the freezer and pasta in my pantry, I will start thinking of a pasta dish I can make…
2. Consult your grocery list of items on sale
- If alfredo sauce is on sale, voila! Chicken alfredo is going on the menu!
3. Consult Pinterest or your recipe books for recipes you want to make that mainly use ingredients from the first two steps
- Another example: I have canned beans in the pantry, ground beef and canned tomatoes are on sale…I can easily add onions, garlic and tomato sauce to my grocery list and put chili on the menu.
This does take a little effort, but it is worth it! If you have any questions about getting started with menu planning, please leave a comment or contact me directly. I hope you’ll try it!