Menus. Sigh. I've tried them before and have had a love/hate relationship with them. Loved not always trying to figure out dinner plans at 5 PM when everyone is hungry, nothing is thawed and not a single thing in the pantry looks appetizing. Having a plan works well for me. On the other hand, I hated having way too much food that needed to be used and if our plans changed at all during the week, food would go bad. Can anyone else relate?
Plan B-flexible menus with only 4-5 days worth of ideas using similar ingredients. That's what I've found to be the best scenario for our family. I've been looking into menu ideas, tips, plans and systems to get an idea of how I could do this effectively and consistently.
The highlights from my research:
*Using similar ingredients is key to savings
*Don't try to make every meal "gourmet"
*Simplify the list of ingredients
*Be flexible on the days
*Make extra for future weeks
*Don't over plan/buy--allow for days to use leftovers, being invited over, etc.
So I've been working on a system that incorporates the bulk of those suggestions and I think I found the best solution/system for us. I started working on it yesterday and so far I like it! :)