I must say, I did exceptionally well with my October menu. I stuck to it (pretty much) and I'm happy to say that I should come out a little under last months food costs. I have learned a few things over the last three weeks so I'd like to share.
- Plan fresh food meals (like salad) for nights right after town day. My town day is Thursday, so my fruits and veggies are freshest over the weekend. I planned a fried chicken salad for Wednesday night and my lettuce was almost nasty by then.
- Keep in mind seasonal items. This month we did a bulk buy of apples and none, that's right, none of my meals included apples in October.
- Be sure you don't plan similar items in the same week or close to each other. I planned loaded baked potato night way too close to potato soup, and it's practically the same thing. I ended up taking the potatoes to church and skipped the chicken ball that was planned.
- Plan meals with rolls for days you make bread so they'll be warm, fresh, and soft and meals like grilled sandwiches for days when your bread may not be as fresh.
- Don't forget company, desserts, potlucks, holidays, and parties!
- Always have a freezer meal ready for those unexpected, crazy nights. I fixed double lasagnas and froze one. It really came in handy one night this week.
- Plan easy meals on nights with church or sports or you'll bomb out and go for pizza or fast food. You will. I promise.
- Football days must have special man food. Plan something tasty and fun for football games like hot wings, dips, and finger foods.
- Try something new but not too many things or you'll get overwhelmed.
- And lastly, keep your budget in mind. Mix cheap and easy with a few fun or new things and maybe even a special treat night, like steaks, to keep thing interesting.
Now go plan those meals!