My very first tip was get organized. Menu planning requires some organization, but is a great way to help you save both money and time.
Menu planning is a great way to take advantage of what you already have on hand in addition to weekly store sales. When you have a plan for what you have on hand, you have less waste and save money.
I was surprised at how much easier my day seemed to go when I didn't have the what is for dinner question in the back of my mind all day long.
Meal planning is not intended to be something that causes you more stress so do what works for you. I generally plan for a leftover night and a dinner out once a week. Having meals or portions of meals already prepped and in my freezer also helps to make menu planning easy to do.
Here is an example of my weekly menu plan: (the dinner leftovers were planned for lunches this week)
- Sunday- Chicken Tortilla Soup (made extra and froze it for another night)
- Monday- Cheese Tortellini with peas and bacon crumbles
- Tuesday- Hawaiian Chicken (a meal from the freezer that cooks in the slow cooker) with noodles and steamed veggies
- Wednesday- Community Group - I am bringing Mac & Cheese for the kids
- Thursday- Taco Night
- Friday- Pancakes, Eggs, & Bacon with applesauce and fruit
- Saturday- Dinner Out
Do you menu plan? Please feel free to share any tips for how you plan and a favorite meal.