Do you feel harried or hassled every time you hit the kitchen to cook? Do you look blank every time your hungry children hover around endlessly asking you what`s for dinner? It`s time to settle this headache once and for all. Just sit down and plan your weekly menu for all the mealtimes. It doesn`t have to be complicated. In fact a menu plan will also help you save money by lessening the eating outs and order ins. You can also balance the nutritional requirement of your family. A good menu plan also saves a working woman and busy mother`s most valuable resource that is energy.
Sit Down and Jot
Whenever we think of a menu plan, most of us tend to put that off for doing later. We think that we will plan a menu when we are more organised. But a menu plan is the first step to getting organised. So sit down with a menu diary and work out your weekly plan. Then hit the supermarket or the grocery store to stock up on the eatables.
Start small and simple when you begin your weekly menu plan. You can start by planning seven dinners with two basic courses. As you get confident of your plan, go for more elaborate dinners and plan lunch menus as well.
Check out Food Ads
Scan the papers for food deals in the food markets like Spencers, Vishal Mart, Big Bazaar or Subhiksha. This will help you get the best deals and save lot of money. By planning you can also save yourself from the hurried rush to the supermarket to pick up frozen food or ready-to-eat meals.
However ready to eat meals from MTR or Ashirwaad are not a bad idea to include in your food plan. They come handy on nights when you know you will get late from work or are too sapped to cook evening meals.
Menu Plan Basics
- Plan two course dinners and one course lunch
- Add adequate vegetables and dairy in your plan
- Check your freezer for leftovers and extra purchases that can be included in your current menu plan
- Create a personal weekly shopping list
- Shop with an open mind and swap one ingredient for the other, if it is at a bargain
- Create a routine around your menu planning and go for tried and tested recipes.
- Try new recipes only on weekends or on days when you are relaxed.
- Include family favourites in your menu.
- On weekends boil, steam and store extra lentils, vegetables and meat that can be mixed in a jiffy with new spices for quick meals
- Post your list on the fridge door and tick off as each menu is done.
- Recycle your menu after every few weeks; your family will enjoy the guessing game.
Finally stay flexible about eating out and make menu planning a habit. Bon apetit!