Creating a menu plan is one of the best things you can do to control your cooking and bad eating habits. You don’t want to keep asking yourself “what’s for dinner?” or “what shall we have for lunch?”. With a properly designed menu plan, you will avoid confusion and indecision on what to cook for your next meal. A meal plan will also control your shopping and improve your diet (nutrition) significantly. On top of that, you’ll be able to save a lot of money by buying only the items that are really necessary. But what makes a good menu plan?
Here are 6 Steps for Successful Menu Planning
Make the Effort
The first thing to start with is simply making an effort. Making a menu plan is like changing your life style, and sometimes it can be extremely difficult to implement. You’ve got to make the decision to change your eating habits drastically and stick to the laid out plan. If you live with your family, then you need to have the input of every member including the kids so that you don’t have a problem implementing.
Pick a Menu That Suits Your Personality
Just like other schedules such as weight loss and dieting, you need to pick something that suits your personality. Eating and cooking habits are crucial factors to consider while coming up with the menu plan. For instance, some people cook once and eat twice or three times a day. Others, like body builders, might be required to eat four times a day. These are crucial factors that’ll determine the structuring of the meal plan.
Keep a Running Shopping List
You should keep a generic shopping list that includes the most frequently used items such as eggs, milk, chicken breasts amongst other things. Then you need to add extras that you think will play a major role in your menu planning. This way, you won’t need to start from scratch each week.
With a weekly or fortnightly menu plan, you need to shop strategically. Make sure that you have chosen the day for fresh supplies carefully. To be on the safe side, ask when your vendor receives fresh fruits and vegetables. This way you can adjust your shopping day so that you don’t miss out on the freshest supplies. Also, be flexible with changes in the market.
Cook Perishable First
You should always cook the perishables first. This is a step that’ll help reduce the possibility of food going bad, especially if you shop weekly. Start with perishables such as salad green and fish while the omelettes and baked dishes come last.
Keep Track Of What You Make
Just like any other program, you might need to make changes along the way. After a month or so of menu planning, grade your efforts. Gauge how well you went and whether you need to make changes to a few things. The market dynamics could also be one of the factors to consider.
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