Monday, May 10, 2010

Easy as 1, 2, 3

I've had a few people ask me how I do my menu planning, so today I thought I'd share my process here with you. I've been doing my grocery shopping this way for a few years, and I find that it really works for me--most of the time. The one problem I've encountered is when something I make doesn't turn out as expected--like say when a pork tenderloin that was supposed to be done after 30 minutes is still completely raw--I'm often at a loss for what to fix instead. When this happens, I just look at Drew with pouty lips and sad eyes and say, "I tried Drew, I really tried". Then magically fifteen minutes later a Panera sandwich will appear before me. It's amazing.

Ok, back to the topic at hand. 

Mellon's Weekly Menu Planning Step One: Choose Your Recipes

 I could be really involved with this and choose things that are on sale or that I can use the leftovers for something later in the week. But, I'm not. I just flip through my handy book of favorite recipes and pick which ones I want to make.
Mmmm Chicken Burrito Casserole. That's a good one. We'll have that on Tuesday.

Mellon's Weekly Menu Planning Step Two: Record

Since, I have the short term memory of a piece of sock lint, I find it helpful to write down my menu choices in my day planner. I try to plan the more complicated dishes for the days when I don't have the kids all day. Thus,Tuesdays and Thursdays are known as casserole days in the Mellon house. Beanie Weenies also. Or if it's been a really trying day--bowls of cereal with milk. 

Did you notice the 'Oven 9-1' on Tuesday there? Since I blamed the raw pork on a broken oven, Drew scheduled a repair visit. Fun.

Also please note that I don't cook on the weekends. Ever.  Weekends are for TGIFridays and Chick-fil-A. And mooching off of family members.

One final thing--if I make something big--like Chili--I'll put the leftovers in the freezer. Then, I'll flip forward a a couple of weeks in my calender and write "Chili--frozen" on one of the days. That way I remember to use it. Clever, yes?

Mellon's Weekly Menu Planning Step Three: Shopping List Creation

As I choose each recipe, I write down any needed  ingredients on my shopping list--that way I'm sure to have everything required. Unless I forget and leave a filled bag in the grocery cart. It's been known to happen. Several times.

And that's it. Pretty simple, right?


  1. I cannot menu plan. My husband only eats a hand full of things anyways, so deciding on supper is easy. :-)

    It looks like you have a good system, though. Very simple.

  2. I found your blog from a google ads link on my blog. This is really a neat idea. I used to plan out all of our meals when the kids were little; somehow I got away from it, and I've been saying I'm gonna get back to it for months now. I really like your way of doing it. I'll have to try that.

    By the way: I love the pics of the kids with Grandma and Grandpa