Menu planning saves you time and money. No more running out every night to pick something up for dinner. No more ordering out for pizza and Chinese three times a week or standing in front of the freezer going, "I have no idea what to fix tonight."

You can either make a menu plan once a week, make a month full of menus at a time and rotate or make up to three months worth of menus. You can just make dinner plans or plan breakfast and lunch, too. Just choose a plan that suits your needs.

Gather all your favorite recipes, your cookbooks and menu plans torn from magazines. You can get suggestions from the family of their favorite recipes. And you can find other recipes right here in this cookbook.

Now decide what kinds of foods to have each day to get a variety. Monday can be soup and sandwhiches, Tuesday can be chicken. Then there's fish, beef, casseroles, pasta and leftovers. You can include a kid's cook night or have an eat out night on a busy evening.

Plan your menus. Take a sheet of paper and use it to chart out your menu plan for the week or month. Next to Monday you may have tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwhiches, carrots and brocolli with dip. Tuesday might be grilled chicken, tossed salad, rice and green beans. If you like experimenting, you can choose one night a month to try a new recipe.

Next time you go grocery shopping you just take out your menu plan and write down the ingredients you need. You can also make a master grocery list on the computer if you think that would help you.

If you want some suggestions on what side dishes go with what main dishes, Deb tells us What To Have for Supper




Here is an idea that Bev had on menu planning and a large family:

While our children were young and still at home, (all six of them), menu planning was a real challenge. I used to take a sheet of paper, divide it into 8 sections. I would write in each section a main course. Hamburger, Chicken, etc. Then I would add the accompaniments, potatoes, rice, vegetables, etc. I know there are only 7 days a week, but by adding an eighth day, we would have a little more room to make last minute changes. We could move the menu around to fit our busy schedule. I would make my grocery list from this same menu.

I would love to post some more of your own menu plans or menu planning ideas. Email me at

Heartland Home Front Cookbook


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Heartland Home Front Cookbook
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