I love to menu plan although I will admit, I don’t always make time for it. I don’t do it every week although I’m making a conscious effort to get better at that in 2014. It does take a little time to sit down and actually do the planning but I find that overall it makes the week and the grocery shopping flow a lot more smoothly.
After I make out my menu for the week, I then sit down and make out my grocery list. And you know what I’ve noticed? My grocery bill is just about always less when I menu plan! I will mention also that I do not cook 7 days a week. I average cooking 5 days a week. One day a week we dine out or get carry out, and usually one day of the week we eat leftovers (of which we usually have plenty)!
After I plan the menu, I copy it down on one of the very cute printable menu planners off of the website http://www.heavenlyhomemakers.com. I love, love, love this site. Check it out! There are free printable menu planners. Also, if you have trouble with planning your actual menus (deciding what you want to have), there is a section on weekly menus complete with examples.
After I fill out my menu plan for the week, I hang it on the refrigerator with a magnetic clip. That way hubby (and my two college boys, when they are home) can see what’s on the menu for the night. I love it because I don’t have to rack my brain out to decide what I’m going to have for dinner. To me, that’s the hardest part of preparing meals…. trying to decide what to have that everyone will eat. Although that part’s easier now that it’s usually just hubby and me.
I challenge you to try menu planning for a few weeks and see if you like it. I agree it’s not for everyone. It does take time but in the long run, I think it helps keep this cook more organized. And I need all the help I can get.