52 week challenge Week 12: Menu planning

A set of plates ready to be glazed at a cerami...

How can you reduce stress daily and save money at the same time?

If you read the title, you probably know where I’m going here. Yep, the answer is menu planning.

I’m sure you have heard you should plan out your meals somewhere. Before we get into the how, why don’t we look at the why?

First, money planning saves you money. You can plan around what is on sale and what you have on hand, and you can minimize the number of shopping trips you make – and we all know that minimizing shopping trips saves money!

Menu planning also saves you time. In addition to time shopping, there’s the time spent wondering what’s for dinner, searching your cabinets, and waiting for something you could have done earlier to do it’s thing – thaw the meat, or bake the bread, or cook the beans.

Menu planning saves your sanity. You have an answer for the age old question, “What’s for dinner?” You can prepare your meal ahead of time as needed, without rushing. And there are no last minute dashes for something, anything for dinner!

Which leads us to another benefit: menu planning allows you to eat better. You can plan to incorporate more vegetables, and then have them and what you need to make them on hand. You can search for and try new recipes without the clock and hungry tummies distracting you. And you can take time to prepare things that take a longer time but are healthier – maybe you want to try soaking your grains or baking your own bread? Planning ahead would make that much easier!

To everyone who is doing this challenge now – we are two weeks before Passover. You may be asking why do this challenge now?

Because as we prepare for Passover, menu planning is even more important!

Hungry tummies lead to grumpy people. So we need to avoid that.

For right now, we are leading up to Passover, probably cleaning and working through some of the food in our homes. And even though the days are full, our families need to eat! Especially right before Passover, and when the kitchen is being turned over, planning ahead is essential to the well-being of everyone–no dinners of bissli or Passover chocolate.

Then there are the meals on Passover. If you are cooking, you will need to have the shopping done ahead of time to have food to cook with. And this is one place where you can really save money–Passover meals can be incredibly expensive. Planning ahead and buying items on sale can keep your money in your pocket.

And then there are the meals immediately after Passover. Everyone is likely craving pizza the day after Passover – or that night! And the first pizza from the local takeout place sells for a high amount (with the extra money going to tzedaka). But you can plan ahead of time for something to keep your family happy.

Of course, there is a lot more that goes into menu planning. Since this has gone long, I’m planning another post on some general meal planning ideas to continue on with this theme.

If you haven’t done it already, now is the week to get planning for Passover, and Passover menus!

About Amital

A die-hard listmaker and observant Jewish mommy of 5, managing the challenges of life bit by bit with the help of a Shalom Bayit book and lists. And chocolate, of course. Lots of chocolate.

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