Helpful Homemaking Tip: Meal planning with spreadsheets

photo by njum

So I'd heard about people doing weekly meal planning and thought it sounded like a good idea, but how necessary is it when you're only cooking for two people?

Well, given that I'm not really a foodie and quite satisfied with a good club sandwich, it didn't take long for me to see the light: We were getting to the point where it seemed like every night there were 4 dinner options to choose from--pasta, veggie burgers, tacos/quesidillas or salad. Frankly, I was getting burnt out and overwhelmed at the idea of "what's for dinner?" or trying to hunt for a recipe last-minute.

So, while I was catching up on my blog reading, I read a post on Passionate Homemaking. The post was talking about how she takes one hour each week to prep for the coming week--including planning her meals.

Though I'd heard it before, this is when it clicked: I. Need. That. Something to guide me through my culinary quandries and take the stress out of it.

A bit more Googling brought me to a downloadable Excel spreadsheet for weekly menu planning. You can customize it and add in your own typical eating fare. (We don't do much meat, so this was great for our needs.) Brilliant.

Then, when menu-planning (and grocery-shopping) time comes, all it takes is a few clicks of a button and you're set. I even added a section of "Recipes to Try" with notes about any required ingredients that we don't normally keep in our pantry.

What's on the menu tonight? Among other things, a new glazed-carrots recipe I found online. Bon appetit!

Linked up at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays!

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