Studio Family Menu Planning
Many families have a meal planning session for a weekly or monthly menu. Planning out your meals can save you a ton of dough. Creating your menu as a family offers fun, quality time. In fact, many homes today have a tech time out box close to the dinner table.
Time & Money Saving
Menu planning requires thinking ahead. Gather everyone in your apartment and sit around the dinner table. Have each member write a list of five favorites. Use these lists to create a master of all your family’s top picks. Many families also plan a theme night once or twice a week. Taco Tuesdays and Fish Fridays are two popular options.
Another common theme is Meatless Monday. This is a great way to save a few more dollars. Try multiplying the amount you typically spend on enough meat for one meal by 52 weeks. This amount is exactly what you’d save on groceries if you started a Meatless Monday theme night.
You don’t have to go meatless. On Turkey Tuesday you can make a casserole. Ground turkey is often one of the least expensive meat options. For some healthy recipe ideas check out these Simple Studio Suppers.
Having a plan ensures you’re not caught off guard at dinner time. Be flexible when creating your menu. If it turns out Monday is hectic, prepare something quick and easy from one of the other nights. Make a master list of about five simple go-to meals. Keep the ingredients on hand for such emergencies.
Shop & Stock
Once you have a menu you can start your grocery list. Shop in your own apartment first. There’s no need to but an ingredient, if you have it in your apartment. You can also use this time to hunt for stores sales and clip coupons. Consider this. If you save $10 a week, then you will have saved $520 at the end of the year.
Preparing meals at home allows you to control your family’s nutrition consumption. There’s nothing wrong with fast food on occasion, but its nutritional value is lacking. You can also sneak some highly nutritious ingredients into your recipes.
Plan your leftovers while making the menu and grocery list. It will drastically cut waste from your budget. Eat mixed soup beans on Tuesday and meatloaf on Wednesday. On Thursday you can combine those leftovers to make chili. If you start a Taco Tuesday night, you can utilize your leftover taco meat to make a casserole for dinner Friday.
Have an apartment meeting once a week to discuss your weekly menu. Children love to help and lend a hand in the kitchen. Consider having Munchkin Mondays. On this day cook a simple meal that the kids can help prepare. If your children are very young, make sandwiches instead of using the stove.
These are only examples. Once you get your creative juices flowing, you’ll come up with all sorts of ideas. There are numerous helpful websites with meal planning information. Some offer newsletters with a weekly, preplanned menu and grocery list. You can also find meal planning classes with printables with free or paid memberships.