This post is from our Guest blogger Autumn E. Hanson who has a great new blog called Old Fashioned Families, and is the owner of a great website by the same name
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read the words ‘Dinner’ and ‘Menu’? Restaurant? Fast-food? Time consuming? Annoying?
On the contrary, my friend! Creating a Dinner Menu, whether it’s weekly, biweekly, or monthly is not only a time SAVER but also a MONEY SAVER!!! It also keeps your relationship with your husband a little happier too! Because you’re not waiting till the last minute to figure out what to make for dinner, and you and your husband are not arguing about what sounds good and who wins in the end!
There are many ways to create a Dinner Menu. Whether you decide to grab a blank piece of paper, ruler and pencil or you can use the free website that I like to use; A Virtuous Woman. If you scroll down the page, on the left side there is a template for a pdf blank month calendar, and various other ones as well. Just print off your menu and there you go!
When creating your menu, you want to keep in mind the items your family enjoys and maybe even adding a few new recipes in there to keep dinners fresh or new. You can always do a search on the Internet as far as what ingredients you have, and go from there.
Now, you’re asking yourself, ‘How does this save me time?’. Easy! It saves you time because you know EXACTLY what you are making for dinner! It saves you time in the grocery store because you already have a LIST of what you need to buy and don’t need to go down aisles that your items aren’t in. Which reminds me, remember how I said having a dinner menu would SAVE you money? This is part of the reason: You have a LIST! You already know what you are making, and you can steer clear of the aisles that you don’t need to be in (unless you want to). It keeps you from making the impulse convenience food purchases which, SAVES YOU MONEY!!!! And when you know exactly what you are making for dinner, you can prepare what you can in the morning, and finish in the afternoon. Guess what? Instead of spending an hour on figuring out what you’re making, you just look at the menu and start your day!
You really can save money aside from not buying extras in the store! If you already know what you’re making next week, and let’s say you decided this week to make chicken soup. Boil up the chicken in a pot. There you have your chicken stock and now if you shred the chicken, you have the chicken for the soup. You can also take half of the chicken that you already cooked and shredded, throw it in a Ziploc bag and freeze it until next week. You can freeze it one more time after being cooked, but don’t freeze it if there are leftovers after that. Did you see what you were able to do with that one chicken? Not only were you able to make Chicken Soup, but you were also able to make a SECOND meal out of the chicken because you saved some for next week!
By knowing what you are having for dinner, even if it’s a week in advance, those leftovers won’t go to waste. Use them up the next day, or wait 2 days like I do. I like to keep a variety in our diets so we aren’t overwhelmed with one meat product. Try this a month and see if it doesn’t make your days (and dinners) easier and also keep some of that much needed green in your pocket!
This is so true — I just started in January (after years and years of thinking I should) and have been amazed at the difference it makes. And it’s not nearly as hard to do as I thought, although it takes a little discipline.
Happy UBP Week!