Each week I spend time and write out a detailed menu plan. I write down everything we are going to eat, what book the recipe came from (and what page it is on for easy reference) and most importantly, what preparation is needed the day, night or morning before. I cant rely on my memory to know that I need to take pizza dough out of the freezer, or chop the veggies for the stir-fry the night before.
Meal planning in our household starts on Thursdays – this is when the new flyers are posted for the following week on Reebee. This is a great app..it allows me to see all the flyers in the area, since not all of them come to our house with the Mississauga News.
The first thing I do is make a list of all of the sale items that I would be interested in purchasing. Great deals on meat, milk, cheese, etc are listed by store, along with the price. At the end of that exercise, I look it over to see which stores can be crossed off by price matching (Wal-Mart will price match, as well as No Frills). Then I plan the weekly menu based on what is on sale that week. If there are good deals on things I normally buy, then I will put it on the list to get enough to last through to the next sale.
I created a master list of all the meals that we have made more than a couple of times, based on category. I scoured my cookbooks, previous menu plans, and recipe printouts to compile the list of go-to meals. So when a particular item is on sale, I can cross reference it on the list and find things I can make with it (i.e. ground beef on sale would mean tacos, sloppy joes or hamburgers in the rotation that week).
Here is a sample menu for one week: Menu – Week One