Monthly Menus : LUSENET : Cooking & Crafts : One Thread

I'm not sure if anyone is interested in this, but I've found a way to always know what's for dinner. I make up a monthly menu and post it on the refrigerator door. This saves time and money because I'm no longer tossing "science projects" into my compost pile or running to the store at the last minute to pick up something for dinner. I start with a calendar page I make up on the computer. First, I fill in all the dates I'm sure of. For instance, I know we have beans and hotdogs every Saturday night except for the third Saturday of the month. (That's our "once a month" dinner date. If there is a special occasion such as a birthday or an anniversary, I might splurge and go out to dinner twice that month.) So, now I have all my Saturday's covered. My husband gets paid once a month (on the 12th) so that's the (only) night we have steak. Next, I decide (based on what's in the freezer/pantry) what my Sunday dinners will be. (Usually a roast of some kind so I can have leftovers.) My grandson is here every Wednesday night, so I try to have his favorite meals then. Now, my Wednesdays are done. I have "assorted leftover" night two Fridays per month and the other Fridays are something simple like soup and sandwiches. Now my Fridays are done.

The rest of the month is filled in with casseroles (made by the double or triple batch), spaghetti (ditto with sauce), and in the summer time, we eat right out of the garden most of the time. All meals are served with salads and homemade rolls and/or breads. We don't usually have desserts, but occasionally will have brownies or ice cream on Sunday.

The best thing I do is to mark dishes ready for the freezer with the DATE TO BE SERVED instead of the date it went in and also mark it on the monthly menu. That way, I don't accidently forget something I meant to serve.

We have very simple tastes and live very conservatively. I am not a great cook but have learned how to make what my family enjoys most. I even wrote a cookbook (of comfort foods) for my daughters for Christmas.

I do major grocery shopping about twice a month, but shop weekly for fresh stuff like milk and fruit. I don't buy pre-processed foods or store bought cookies or bread.

This method works well for me and now I never have to ask myself "What's for dinner?"

Wishing you enough.

-- Trevilians (aka Dianne in Mass) (, February 01, 2002


Great idea, Diannne! I can see where you would save a lot of money. I know I do when I "use to" make a menu up weekly. I need to go back to that, but instead I think I will give your monthly menu a whirl. Will let everyone know how I make out! Thanks again for your suggestion!

-- Karen (, February 01, 2002.

Great idea! I do it a bit differently and I'll share. I have a notebook where I have listed all our favorite recipes. When I plan menus, I write down the recipe and also put the ingredients on the shopping list. I keep a running list of menus and decide a few days ahead what I'm going to make. As I use a recipe, I cross it out lightly so I can still see what it is. This way I don't have to wonder if I'm cooking a certain recipe too often. Our meals have to be flexible because of DH's work schedule.

-- Ardie/WI (, February 01, 2002.

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