Thursday, June 23, 2011

Frugality: Meal Planning, Part II

I previously posted on meal planning a few weeks ago and gave a brief overview and the benefits of meal planning. This week I thought I'd go over some different ways to meal plan successfully.
  • Circular/Pantry Method: This is mostly how I do it. You plan your meals based on what you already have and what is on sale that week at your store. You save money and have food to eat.
  • Reinventing Meals: The idea behind this one is you cook something major on one day and then reuse parts of it to make other meals. For example, you could make a whole chicken for dinner Sunday, Tuesday have shredded BBQ chicken, Wednesday BBQ Chicken Pizza, Thursday Soup made from making stock out of the carcass of the chicken, etc. You can combine this with option one to make it stretch even further.
  • Days of the Week: For this method, you assign categories to each day of the week, and plan your menu to match it. For example, Monday could be Meatless Monday, Tuesday Comfort Food, Wednesday Italian, Thursday New Recipe, etc. This is helpful if you find it hard to even think of ideas.
  • Freezer Cooking: The idea behind this is you spend one day a week/month making meals for you to eat. This can be great for those who don't have a lot of time to cook every night, as you spend a lot of time on one day, but for the rest of the time you just have to pull one of them out and let it thaw, then just warm it up.
These are just a few ways to plan meals, but you can also mix and match them to make something that works for you.
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