If you are frustrated trying to decide what to have for dinner every night let me help. On Friday, a shopping list for the next weeks meals is posted. Visit http://www.CarriesCooking.com/ each day and your dinner frustrations will be over. I hope you join me for this free, time and money saving guide.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Planning:101

When trying to think of topics that might be helpful to my readers I try to think of things that are or have been helpful to me in the past. Today, I am going back to a time when I used serves similar to the one that I offer, a grocery list and recipes to plan out a weeks worth of 'What's for dinner?' I loved it. It made it so easy for me. I stopped cringing when my husband asked me those three little words. No longer did I go to the grocery store buying tons of food and still feel like I had nothing to make for dinner.

The first site I used had very healthy meals, but honestly, some didn't really taste that good. Then I found a site that was very family friendly, we loved the taste and it was super easy to make but they were not healthy at all. That is when I started to take matters into my own hands. It took a little effort when first getting started but it got easier over time. Then I thought about all the work I was putting into my meal planning and realized it might be a help to others if I posted it. Thus, CarriesCooking was born.

I hope those that love the service that I offer continue to use it. I enjoy the idea that I am helping even one person make their life easier. However, I know others out there that read my site just like the recipes, trusting my family's tastes. If you are one of those that just use the recipes I hope you find my meal planning suggestions helpful.

Step 1: Find out what your family loves!

Yes, just ask your family what are their favorites. These will be staples to build your menu's around. In my family they include spaghetti, pizza, and chicken quesidillas. You will see these in my menus often.

When you find out what are your family's favorites, consolidate it in one place. I don't care how, because everyone organizes things differently. I put mine in a spreadsheet. But, after years working out of spreadsheets in Corporate America, I found this to be the easiest for me.

Then when you are planning your weekly menu first go to your family's favorites. You can add in new recipes here and there. Put what you are going to cook on your calendar so you can easily see what you are cooking today and what you might need to pull from the freezer for tomorrows meal. If any new recipes are big hits add them to your family's favorites.

Before going grocery shopping pull out the recipes and see what you need to buy. Whatever you don't have on hand goes on a shopping list.

Be on the look out for additional Menu Planning lessons.

Let me know if you find these helpful.

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