Maybe you’ve wondered about how to implenment a 30 Day Menu Plan. Once you’ve selected recipes for a plan, the next steps are scheduling the meals and compiling a grocery list. Theses steps are crucial to making a 30 Day Menu Plan work.
I recommend a large wall or desk calendar with plenty of room to write in the individual date boxes. If you keep a family activity calendar, have it handy. You will want to look for those days when your family’s schedule will dictate what type of meals you can make. Start with breakfast and jot down each day what you plan to make. Next add the lunches, snacks and dinners. Don’t forget to include any times you want to eat out or when you expect company. When you have finished, the calendar will be completely filled out and will be your battle plan for the next 30 days.
Compile a Tally Sheet
In this step, you will review your menu plan and your recipes. Start with breakfast because it is usually the simplest. If you have a family of 4 and you have planned to have eggs 3 times a week, you would write “eggs” on your shopping list and tally marks equivalent to 48 next to it. Continue with the bacon ( 2 slices per person, X number of times a week), toast ( 1 slice of bread, X number of times a week) and so on. Once you have tallied all the breakfast items, move on to lunch, snacks and dinners.
This is a time consuming step. You will need to refer to recipes to include ingredients that are combined and not eaten separately like eggs and bacon. Once the tallying is completed, however, you have the beginnings of your master shopping list.
Total the Tallies
If you have access to a spreadsheet program on your computer, it’s a good idea to put your list in there for safe storage and easy sorting. Otherwise, paper lists are just fine.
Group the items together on your list by food category, the way you would find them in the grocery store. All fresh fruits and vegetables should be grouped together. Put all the dairy items like milk, eggs, cheese and butter together. Work through the entire list until everything is accounted for.
There are often non-grocery items we buy when we do our grocery shopping. Things like paper towels, toilet paper, pet food and such. Add these to your list. There is no point in saving time by having a 30 day menu plan if you have to keep returning to the store to buy the non-grocery items you forget to include.
By the end of this step, you will have a completed menu plan which you can use over and over again or modify as needed. You will also have a complete shopping list that will allow you to carry out your plan.
For more on how to get started, choosing your recipes and tips for making it work, check out my other articles.
Sources: Strictly Personal Experience