Monday, October 8, 2012

The reason I menu plan

As you might know, I spend bout an hour a week menu planning and organizing my list.  Sometimes it's more, sometimes it's less, but on average, I spend about an hour every Sunday preparing for the week.  I do this for a number of reasons.  I like to cook efficiently, so if I plan for tacos and roast, I will plan to cook the roast on Tuesday and then have tacos with the left over roast meat on Wednesday or Thursday.  This helps eliminate left overs, it helps us use all of our bountiful baskets, and really, I find planning like this challenging, like a puzzle, so therefore it is fun for me.

Once my menu planning is done, I go through our pantry, fridge and freezer to find out what I am still missing for our planned meals.  Then I write my list.  I am very particular about my list.  I try to figure out what we need for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  I look to see if we need more soda (we are avid soda drinkers.  Don't judge), check to see if we are out of nacho chips (my midnight snack is chips and salsa) and then I make sure we aren't running low on seasoning.

After I do all that, I double check my list.  Monday, we get up, eat breakfast, I grab my reusable bags since they give me $.05 off for every bag I use, and we head to the store.  I give myself two, and only two, impulse buys.  Usually, it's a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer and usually I don't even use my two impulses because I have already listed everything I want on my list.

However, on days like today, if I don't eat breakfast, or in this case lunch, BEFORE we go to the store, I will buy everything, because as you know, when you are hungry, EVERYTHING looks good.  I wasn't hungry when I wrote my list yesterday.  But when we went to the store today, I was starving.  I bought a block of cheese, an extra pound of lunch meat, yogurt, cereal that I didn't need, and a few other things that weren't on my list.  And because of my impulse buying, I spent about $50 more on groceries than I normally do.

Of course, sanity didn't settle back into my life until AFTER I ate almost a whole fried chicken, two slices of cheese, a yogurt and some chips for lunch.  When I cleared the table from lunch I looked around and thought, why did I buy a bucket of cookies?  Who is going to eat that entire platter of sushi rolls?  And then I looked at my recipe and thought "oh Matt's not going to be happy about this."

And this is why I menu plan.  Because if I don't have a plan, then I don't have a list and if I don't have a list, then I just go blind into the darkness and buy the whole store.

[Disclaimer:  I did not in fact, buy a bucket of cookies, or a platter of sushi.  I did in fact eat almost a whole fried chicken and all that other stuff.  The problem is, writing about sushi and cookies makes me wish that I *had* actually bought that stuff.]

2 comments:

  1. First, more veggies, more fruit....And the only way to go grocery shopping is when U are HUNGRY!!!....Everyone knows that!! Other wise there won't be anything to eat for the wk.....

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  2. I meal plan too! Makes life so much easier and I find that we waste much less food than if when I don't! And wasting food is no bueno!

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