Joni Sare, cooking instructor

How and Why to Make a Menu Plan

With menu planning you actually make the meal twice: 1st time is when you make it in your mind while you are planning. 2nd time you make the meal is when you actually do it. AND! — the 2nd time is always easier than the first.

Here are a few benefits of using a menu plan

• Less stress — make fewer decisions.
• Time saving — process oriented.
• Less food waste — buy what you need.
• Enjoyment — attain your goals.
• Variety — embrace the spice of life.
• Healthier — know what goes into your food.
• Budget friendly — use store specials to buy local and seasonal.​

Download this Menu Plan template to get started with your fast and easy weekly cooking.

Steps to making a menu plan

1. Choose the length of time (3 days? 2 weeks? Monday - Friday?)

2. Select or make a template (there are many free menu templates online). Fill in the blanks for each meal starting with:

  • the easiest ingredient — your favorite meat, or favorite veggie
  • the hardest food item, this could be your least favorite item that is on your plate
  • coupons from newspapers, online, a store flier
  • a specific dish (ex: lasagne)
  • a cuisine (ex: Mexican)

3. Use recipes or not: if you don't use recipes then determine the ingredients for each dish, and have a cooking method in mind.

4. Take inventory and make a shopping list: check the fridge, freezer, cupboards and pantry. Don't forget seasonings. Now is a good time to throw out unwanted food items.

5. Set a date for shopping and cooking.

If you liked this blog post check out this blog on "How to get out of a cooking rut"

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