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Tip: Menu Planning

August 2, 2009
Instead of worrying every night “what’s for dinner?” plan your weekly menu in advance and you’ll be all set! I usually take time on Saturday morning to plan the following week’s menu. I start by flipping thru recipe books to decide what to make. Then I write down main dishes and side dishes for the next 7 days. (I always plan one day for leftovers, so nothing has to be tossed out.) Once the menu is set, I start a grocery list. I list all ingredients I’ll need for the week, checking the recipes carefully to make sure I don’t forget anything. To save time at the grocery store, I divide the grocery list into categories by store section: produce, meat, dairy, dry goods, baking, etc. After the grocery list is written, I go thru my coupon book and pull out anything of use. Then I’m all set and organized to go to the store and shop! (There’s usually a mid-week trip to the store as well, to pick up fresh produce, meats, and dairy.) This menu planning process may feel overwhelming at first, but once you get into the routine, I think you’ll find it a huge time-saver!
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