Friday, February 8, 2013

Meal Planning Can Save Your Life

image from
I feel the need to apologize for falling off the grid for a couple of weeks. My family and I were viciously assaulted by the flu! Oh, you don't want details. Just know that it was super ugly and I will never, EVER,  roll my eyes at cheesy flu commercials again. On a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst experience ever, one being the best, I'm gonna go with a big fat twenty. I would rather be in labor again than have the flu.

Thank heavens for freezer meals, and the love of friends, or my poor kids would have starved if they could have kept anything down in the first place. God is so good to surround me with amazing friends who have helped fill in the gaps while Stephen is deployed.

SO! Let's talk about meal planning for a moment since we left off with freezer meals last time. I've menu planned for a very long time, but will admit, have fallen off that bandwagon with a thud since Stephen deployed. I've used menu planning time to wallow around in my sorrow, but NO MORE! (I'm smashing my fist on a pillow so you know it's serious).  A great friend of mine, Army Wife, former soldier, and stay at home mother of four, Katy Burns is the go-to person for menu planning.This woman is who I want to be when I grow up. She has so graciously given me tips to share with you AND she has even supplied me with months of awesomely detailed menu plans to help organize your life and fatten your wallet! Win win!

Katy's Menu Planning Tips:
*Know your busy days and prepare quick meals for those days, ie: which day the kids have extracurricular  church, etc.; peanut butter sandwiches, and many sandwiches can be made in advanced. Peanut butter sandwiches freeze and un-thaw well. Homemade freezer meals are great to have on hand too.
*Build in a left over day. No one ever died from eating leftovers--did they? This de-clutters your fridge, teaches the kids not to waste, and it's a built in meal day with little prep for you.
*Have theme days ex: Mexican Monday, Italian Tuesdays; you don't have to eat tacos and spaghetti every Monday and Tuesday but on those days you know you will be having something Mexican and something Italian.
*The key to saving money is to make your meals at home. It doesn't take much time to plan.
*Plan how many days a month/week you will eat for lunch and dinner. This really does help you save.
*You can menu plan according to your pay check, like meals for the next 2 weeks or meals for the next month depending on when you get paid.
*Get meal ideas from Pinterest, your favorite magazines etc. and then organize them in a folder or on pinterest you can create a meal board or menu planning board. You can keep reusing the meals that work best for your family when menu planning so you're not having to come up with new stuff all of the time.
*Keep your pantry stocked with the following:
-All purpose flour
-Granulated sugar
-Fruit Snacks: Great to grab and Go
-Elbow Macaroni: very versatile; use in goulash, soups, mac and cheese, pasta salads, marinara and noodles
-Mustard: Can be used in barbecue, rubs, pasta salads
-Chocolate Chips: Keep at least 3 bags; you never know when you have to whip up some cookies, muffins, pancakes, pies etc.

Here are a few Monthly Menu Plans from Katy's Collection to Get You Started!
February 2012 Menu
March 2012 Menu
July 2012 Menu

Thanks Katy for sharing this helpful information!

No comments:

Post a Comment