|Lorenzo Serafini Boni, http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorenzo_serafini_boni/6441999729/|
Every night the same thing happens. You stand in front of the refrigerator for 10 minutes wondering what to make for dinner and often give up in disgust by ordering pizza. You have a vague feeling that you should eat better, but you’re not sure what to do to change.
The problem is that you are forcing yourself to be inventive at a time when it is difficult to think (when you are hungry). A much better method is to create a Weekly Meal Plan that you post near your refrigerator. When dinnertime comes around, you will choose from the list what you are in the mood to make and eat.
A Weekly Meal Plan may sound like you have to list out 21 separate meals, which is a very intimidating prospect. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that involved. First, you can take it for granted that breakfast will be cereal (or some other breakfast food that you make). Second, you can also assume that lunch will be something very simple like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or leftovers from last night’s dinner. That will leave only seven meals to choose and plan. Depending on how big the meal is and how willing you are to eat leftovers, you may only have to plan three or four meals. Planning 4-7 meals sounds a lot more doable, doesn’t it? You will use your Weekly Meal Plan to build your grocery list.
To make it easier for you to create a Weekly Meal Plan, you can make a Master Meal List. This is a list of all your favorite foods that you like to make. You keep this list with your recipe books and you will consult it weekly when it is time to create your Weekly Meal Plan.
A fast way to create your Master Meal List is to:
1. Look through your recipes and write down all favorite main dishes
2. Walk down the frozen food aisle at the grocery store and write down everything that looks good
You can also make master lists of favorite veggie dishes and fruit dishes to help your family get adequate nutritional intake. You may choose to rotate according to schedule if routines help you, or you may pick and choose according to mood. When you try out new recipes, decide whether it is good enough to be put on the Master Meal List or whether it can be consigned to oblivion.
Having a Master Meal List and a Weekly Meal Plan has been a big help to us.
· The Master Meal List makes it much faster to plan meals for a week. No more straining the brain to make something up. Instead, you choose from a list.
· Having a Weekly Meal Plan makes it really easy and fast to create our grocery list. You only put on the list what is needed to make the menu.
· Buying only what is needed to make the menu means you don’t waste money on impulse buying.
· You won’t waste food, since everything you buy is needed for the menu.
· No more standing hungry in front of the fridge trying to think of something to make for dinner. You have a meal plan to guide you!
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