This is such a crucial thing for large families. Not only does it help to save you money, but it helps to keep you organised. You can plan ahead, and pre-prepare things you may need for another nights cooking, to cut down on time spent making the meal itself.
What I do for my menu planning is a little different.Once a month, I sit down and write out all the meals I can think of. I try to do something different every night, hence planning for about 30 different meals. If I can't think of that many, I just do 15 and repeat the next fortnight. I know there is only 14 days in a fortnight, but if you plan for 15, you will have an extra meal in the freezer, ready to go, or have extra for any unexpected visitors.
Firstly, I got a standard 4 ring binder folder. Mine is pink of course (hehe). I then filled it with 35 plastic pockets.
The first pocket contains the list of 4 weeks of food in weekly sections, ie....
- Chicken schnitzel
- Stir-fry with rice
- Chicken Carbonara
- Steak, chips and veg
- Beef Strogonoff
- Slap - up night
Slap up night is basically a 'you find it, you can have it' night. I make sure to include one of these nights a week, as it makes us use the food that's already in the cupboards, and it gives me somewhat of a night off, making toasties or 2 minute noodles or something basic like that.
So anyway, we have 4 weeks of those.
Then the next 6 plastic pockets have the recipes for each of the meals I plan to make. That way if I am out taking one of the kids to their many after school activities, Hubby can come home and
After each week of recipes, is all the ingredients I need for those meals. I then take that list to the supermarket, and get what I need.
The website I use to get alot of my recipes is TASTE
This makes my life A LOT easier, and saves me heaps of money. I love doing this and then going to Costco in Melbourne to stock up on the non perishables! They are fantastic there and if you have the chance to go, I would recommend it! :) Happy saving.