A 30-day menu plan is a great way to save time and money as well as help keep your family eating healthy, home-cooked meals. After you decided the benefits of such a plan justify the planning involved, you made your family’s very own 30-day meal plan. But is there more you can do? Absolutely! This is a work in progress, at least in the beginning. There are a few other things you can do to ensure success.
Get Your Family to Buy Into It
Explain the benefits, as you see them, to your family. More time for the family cook to participate in other family activities might be one benefit. Money saved is always good for leverage. Possibly a better diet is an advantage to some members. Whatever it is you want to get from this, make sure the family is on board.
Capitalize on Menu Choices
Plan a few meals so that you have leftovers. These can be served the day for lunch or dinner or frozen and used later in the month. You will save preparation time because you did it all at once. Some menus call for using only a portion of something you are forced to buy in a larger quantity. For example, take chicken broth. Your recipe might only call for 1 cup. There are 2 cups in most cans. Your options in the past were to double the recipe so you could use it all, throw the rest out or put it in the refrigerator and hope you remembered to use it before it became a science project. Now, you can plan a second recipe for the next day or day after that will use the remainder.
Use crock pots and leftovers on days when you know the family is pressed for time. If Jr. plays a Friday night football game every week, schedule crock pot recipes of leftovers for that night so you can get out of the house quickly. Don’t overlook special occasions. If a holiday or anniversary falls in that month, plan an appropriate meal and dessert. If company is expected, remember to increase the quantities.
A good 30-day menu plan is open to revision. As you work with it, you will find what works for you and what doesn’t. Make changes as you need to. The plan is only as good as you make it.
For more on how to get started, choosing your recipes and implementing your plan, check out my other articles.
Sources: Strictly Personal Experience