I love menu planning!! I have been doing it for almost two years now and it is a huge life saver! No more picking out meals by how you are feeling, and no more staring blankly at your fridge wondering what to do.
I do my shopping at the beginning of the month even my fresh fruits and veggies. I do most of my cooking the Saturday following the shopping. There I cook the majority of my dinners that call for the fresh ingredients and then freeze them. I will say that it is an all day thing and it takes planning, but it is so worth it!
We do most of our big shopping at Costco as well except for chicken. Chicken we buy through Zaycon. Organic, skinless, boneless chicken breast for $1.69lb!! They catch is they come in 40lb boxes. Now we will use all of that but for other families who won’t or don’t have freezers (more on that later)to hold all of that chicken you could always split the order with a friend or 3 other friends! The boxes are divided into (4) 10lb bags. Super easy, super nice!
I am not that big on New Year’s Resolutions but last year I did make one and I did keep it, well, mostly. Last year I stated that it was my goal by the end of the year for my menu to be free of processed foods and for the most part we are. There is only one meal that is processed and that is Orange Chicken from Costco. I cannot find a good Orange Chicken recipe that the sauce has good flavor. I even tried Panda Express’s Orange Chicken Sauce and I still didn’t like it. So, we buy Costco…..mainly for the sauce. But other then that everything else is homemade, no more store bought nuggets or fish sticks or tator tots or soups or prepackage pasta meals. Now, I still have on hand a few boxes of mac and cheese as a backup plan for babysitters to make or if grandma watches the kids at her house I will take a couple of boxes over for her to prepare.
Let me challenge you, even if it is for one month, to eat homemade meals! It is awesome and you will feel so domesticated! I am still working out kinks with planning and I want to get to the place where I can make my own pasta sauces, marinara sauces, and enchilada sauces from scratch as well, and find a better homemade applesauce recipe.