If you work like a horse and never have the time or energy to cook from scratch, work like a horse and have mini horse mouths to feed, or want to eat healthier and minimize spending money eating out and ordering in, you may want to learn how to plan a menu for a week. Planning a menu for a week is a smart habit to get into for time-management and health purposes. Here's how to get started.
- Make sure you have enough food storage supplies. You may want to invest in one of those home plastic storage bag vacuum systems to ensure the freshness of the meals you prepare. Traditional storage bags and storage containers will also suffice.
- Carve out a block of time on your free day to devote to your menu for a week. When your busy week is in progress, you'll be happy you did it. The process of preparing your menu for a week can be a great family activity if you have one so get them involved. Children can benefit from the education of learning how to cook and feed themselves. Also, the more people you have helping, the less work and time it'll take to prepare. If you're only feeding yourself, then that's less food and time to prepare.
- Plan the menu, go shopping, and start cooking! You want to have a variety of foods on your menu for a week that you know you and/or your family enjoy. Take the time to sit down and write or type up your menu. Go shopping if you don't have all the ingredients already in your fridge or food cabinet. Pasta dishes are great to prepare to eat early in the week. For example, for lasagna you can cook the pasta noodles (al dente with olive oil brushed on) and carefully store; make your sauce and meat mixture and store; mix your egg, cream, ricotta, romano, and parmesan cheeses and store. When you are ready to bake it, half the battle is over! How about tacos? Cook the 1 or 2 pounds of seasoned ground beef or turkey or chicken strips and store. When taco day rolls around, simply heat the meat; throw the fixings on and eat!
Tip: You don't have to be the best cook. Take advantage of the many cooks out there who post delicious recipes online. Get creative, have fun with it, and enjoy the process.