Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Menu Motivation

Welcome to Monday Menu Motivation!

 Monday Menu Motivation is where I share our menu for the week plus some tips and tricks. I told you guys in my past menu post (HERE) that I sit down and plan four weeks of meals in one sitting I, then, grocery shop once a week from my menu. That is true! I try to plan once per month for four weeks at a time. This helps me to see what we have been eating and also helps to have a variety of meals. I don't like eating the same meals over and over again.

After, I sit down and pick our menus for the next four weeks; I file the last three menus away in my recipe binder and start with the first week. I grab a sheet of notebook paper and fold it in half the long way. On the back of the paper, I write my menu again, so I'll have it while grocery shopping. Sometimes it's a good idea to refer back to your menu while you shop. On the back, I also write out all ingredients needed for the menu. I go through each recipe and write down everything I need.

Once I write down everything, I look and see what we have at home, in the pantry, freezer and cabinets to see if I can eliminate buying more of something we already have. (Note: I don't write down duplicates I just put x2 or x3, etc. next to the item. Also, if I know we have an item, I won't write it down either.) Once this is done I turn the paper over and start my list.

I don't just write out a list and head out. I used to do that and my list would have me all over the place in the grocery store. That is a pain! Instead of crossing back and forth through the store, I separate my grocery list in categories. My categories are:
  1. Produce
  2. Deli
  3. Frozen
  4. Meat
  5. Bakery
  6. Dairy
  7. Other
By separating my list this way, it helps me get through the grocery store quicker and more efficiently. When my toddler was a little younger, I had another category with his name, This category "insert his name" allowed me to write what he specifically needed, i.e. baby food, infant snacks, diapers, wipes and so on.

All of the items on my list fit into these categories. When I moved from the Midwest to California, I had to adjust my category list. The store here is setup totally different from my old store. I'd suggest setting up your list the way your store is setup. My old store had all of the dairy items together, but the store here doesn't. Cheese and eggs are not with the milk, yogurt and sour cream. Cheese is placed near the deli meat and eggs are in the middle of the store near the frozen department. This was very new and weird to me, but I have changed my list to accommodate things like this. Cheese now goes in the Deli category, but I leave eggs in the Dairy category. (I know I should move it to frozen, but it works for me.)

While making my list I do use my kitchen as a guide. We do run out of necessities and they need to be replenished. Sometimes the kids run out of cereal, milk or bread or we may be out of coffee, tea or other essentials, I have to add these items to the list as well. I hate going to the store only to realize I didn't get everything we need. The boys and the husband also get some input on the list, but I keep it to a minimum! The list would be full of junk food and other crap like that!

Once my list is done, I fold it up and put it in my planner. I head out to the grocery with my list and a pen! Don't forget a pen!! You will need a pen to cross off the items on your list. This is a vital point because if you leave a pen you may skip an item on the list because you hadn't crossed it off and that would be very frustrating!

Here's this week's (9/28-10/4) Monday Menu Motivation:
(I plan Monday thru Sunday)

Monday: Spaghetti and Garlic bread
Tuesday: (Taco Tuesday) Mini burritos w/ Black bean & corn salsa
Wednesday: Philly Cheese steaks 
Thursday: White Chicken Chili (freezer meal)
Friday: open/left overs
Saturday:  open/left overs
Sunday: Beef & Gravy w/ Rice and broccoli

I hope you understand my planning and how it works for me. I want you to take some ideas from this post and implement them into your menu planning and grocery shopping. Let me know if anything has helped your grocery experience. Let's face it, we must grocery shop, but most of us don't like to!

 I'll share more tips in the next Monday Menu Motivation posts!

What are some tips and secrets you have that you'd like to share? What is on your meal plan for the week? Share yours below and any recipe recommendations.

Missed my first recipe post? Click here now!

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