Once you’ve set the foundation for your meal plan, we can start the real work.
Gather your supplies:
- Ruler (optional – will assist with multiple weeks)
- Every cookbook you own
- Sticky notes – lots of them!
This step works whether you will use the old-fashioned method only, or if you will be using an app, as it is still in the planning stage.
More questions and considerations:
Before we begin selecting recipes, put the cook books, or printed internet recipes aside for a moment. Consider and write your answers to these questions:
1. Go back to the answers from when you set your foundations.
How long will your meal plan go for? I plan for 4 weeks at a time, and it is the length of time I recommend, you can read about why here – although, this may not suit every family.
2. How often will you cook?
Daily? Every second day is leftovers? In bulk to freeze? A combination of all of these? This will determine how many meals you need to select.
3. Seasonal produce
I cannot stress this one enough. Although I can only speak for Australia on this, generally, this produce is available, for a lot less. If you want to do your bit for the environment, and your country, consider this point in planning your menu. For those of you in Australia, you can find a list of seasonal produce here, just select the city closest to you from the top menu.
4. Are you planning every meal?
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks? Or just dinner? This will influence how you complete your shopping list.
5. Consider nutritional requirements.
When you go through and tag all the recipes that you want to cook, are you meeting the 5 vegetables and 2 fruit serves?
Putting it all together:
Keeping in mind the above, page through your recipe books, or printed recipes off the internet and tag as many meals as you can that fit with your criteria that you have written down. Draw up a table with your supplies gathered earlier, and fill in blanks with your recipes. Don’t forget to write down which book and page the recipe came from. If you would prefer a template, you can download the one below here: Weekly menu planner.
I’d love to hear which meals you’re planning, let me know in the comments.
Next time I’ll share my favourite meals for colder weather, then we’ll talk shopping lists.
This post is part of a series, if you’ve missed the first few, you can catch up here.
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Disclaimer: this post is based on my personal opinion and experiences and may not be applicable to your individual circumstances.
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