25 October 2009

How We Create Our "Menu"

I've been asked before how we create our menu. It's very simple.
We only grocery shop every 2 weeks. Because of that, I have to make sure we have enough meals for that time.
I started making a list of the dinners we have often (burgers, pasta, pizza, chicken, etc). Then, I listed bologna, bread, etc. for lunches & cereal, oats, eggs, etc. for breakfasts. I add staples, pantry items, snacks, bathroom & cleaning products, etc and end up with a master list. As needed, I can add to & mark off the master list & it's saved to my laptop.
Before shopping day, I make a list of dinners, new recipes, etc for the 2 weeks.

Pizza (listed twice because it's a Monday night favorite)
Beef Noodle Soup & Biscuits (new recipe from a friend)
Chicken Picata, Onions, Potatoes (new recipe from TV)
Chicken Enchiladas (new recipe from Internet)
Bayou Chicken Pasta & Salad
Steak Fajitas
Pulled Pork & Rolls
Pork Chops with gravy & Green Beans with onions
Potato Sausage Casserole & Salad
Veggie Lo Mien
Steak Fried Rice (will be a new "concoction" I'll make)
Southwestern Spaghetti & Salad
Beef Roast & Biscuits/Rolls
Roasted Sausage, Peppers, & Potatoes

Now that's certainly not the order we have them in - that depends on what I feel like fixing/eating that day. But that gives me a jumping off point for the grocery list & ideas for dinner. This is "subject to change" because sometimes we run out of something or forget an ingredient & have to alter the menu, but it helps.
With the new recipes & dinner lists, I add the ingredients we'll need to the store list. I also make sure we don't have that in the refrigerator or pantry. If we do, I mark it off.
Having the master grocery list & the dinner list really helps.

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