Nov 01 2007

Using categories to plan my menu

As I looked over some of my menus for the last few weeks, I realized I was seeing a trend. I serve the same type of item each week. While I haven’t yet repeated a dish (I think), I have repeated the type each week.

The categories/types of dinners are:

  1. Meat with one or two side dishes
  2. Sandwiches and sides
  3. Pasta or rice main dish
  4. Breakfast for dinner
  5. Crockpot/soup/stew item
  6. Pizza (introduced this week, but will probably be a regular)
  7. Leftovers

To make my weekly meal planning a lot simpler, I could pick a dish from each category. That way, I know I’m not being too repetitive, but I still can balance out the prices of the week’s menu. The day I serve meat as the main dish will cost more than the breakfast night, but it all balances out.

I go grocery shopping on Thursdays, and I plan my weekly menus before I go. I post my weekly menus on Mondays, in case you’re interested.

So this week, I’m going to follow that rough outline and see if it makes meal planning a little faster.

4 Responses to “Using categories to plan my menu”

  1. Good idea! That would really keep the monotony at bay and force you to think up new ideas. I might try that! :)

  2. Another thing I do is have a International night. Like Mexican, Chinese or Italian to name a few.

  3. This may be tough to explain, but I created a 5-week menu plan. I use those small sticky tabs, one color for each week. I use a 3-ring binder with page protectors for my recipes. All recipes are divided into category: chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, meatless, etc. If you looked at my 3-ring binder, you’d see the colored tabs go down the side from top to bottom.

    So, if it’s a “blue” week, and my menu suggests a chicken item, I go to the chicken section and find the blue tab. There’s my recipe.

    In front is a page for each plan, with all groceries needed listed. I simply have to look at what groceries are needed to make my list. It’s very quick and easy.

  4. I do this and it has helped immensely! When I look through a cookbook it helps narrow down the recipes, and my family likes knowing what to look forward to!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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