This weekend Scott and I head up the hill to prepare the Hume Lake cabin for renters. It's a place that holds great memories of special times with family and friends. During our kids' teen years, I often didn't know if I'd be feeding five or fifteen. With only a small, outrageously priced grocery store available, I had to come prepared. This required me to be.... well, organized! Having planned ahead for every meal made for some great times around that table-- at least when the meat bees left us alone!
Too often today's culture forfeits the benefits of sharing a home-cooked meal with those we love. Today's Timely Tips help combat the high calorie fast foods and costly restaurant tabs with an organized plan for putting food on your table.TIMELY TIPS - Meal Planning 101
- Look at the week or month ahead and plan your dinner menu (it's OK to include a "let's eat out" and eat the leftovers night).
- If you're stuck on what to make, throw out a cry for quick 'n easy dinner ideas from your facebook friends, tap into websites likeallrecipes.com (they'll even provide recipes based on ingredients you have on hand), orask each family member to tell you his/her top three favorites.
- If there's a common favorite, consider having it once a week, at least for awhile.
- When you can, double your recipes and store one meal in the freezer (two dinners-- one mess!).
- After completing the menu, check your inventory and create a grocery list of items you need. (If you do the menu & shopping for at least two weeks of meals, it will save you time and money.)
- If you're a coupon clipper trycouponsherpa.com or coupons.com to make your meals even more cost effective.
- Schedule and create a routine for your menu planning and grocery shopping.
- If home cooking is new to you, start with just a few nights per week, but make a plan and give it a try!
For a FREE ready-to-use Monthly Menu form and check-off Grocery List send an email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On family dinners...
"If it were just about food, we would squirt it into their mouths with a tube," says Robin Fox, an anthropologist who teaches at Rutgers University in New Jersey, about the mysterious way that family dinner engraves our souls. "A meal is about civilizing children. It's about teaching them to be a member of their culture."