End of the Week – Time to Plan Weekly Meals

Barcelona Spain automated grocery store 2006

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End of the week is a good time to plan meals and grocery shop. Some plan for two or more weeks at a time, saving to do the fresh produce buying periodically. The end of the week usually means grocery stores have specials on certain products. Just because some foods are on special doesn’t mean we necessarily want or need to buy them, only if the family will eat them and they really are a bargain.

Meal planning may not be the most pleasant task, but one that needs to get done. Someone has to do it. This job is really very easy, once you get into the habit of doing it.

First, check what you have available in the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboard. Look in the paper to see what is on special. Think about the events of the next week or so. Are there certain days when you need to plan for picnics, etc., or days you know you won’t have much time to prepare?

Then plan your menus. Take out a sheet of paper and plan what you will have for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and maybe snacks. Is breakfast the time for cereal, muffins, fruit? Maybe salad or sandwiches for lunch? What will the main dish be for dinner? And so on during the week, or two.

Yes, get those cookbooks out and get some suggestions on what you and your family might like. Think what foods are seasonal and do any of the store specials appeal to you? Mix in some favorites, and you’ll be well on your way to planning great meals in no time.

Now is the time to write out your grocery order. Perhaps you have already listed things on your list because you have run out of them. Now add to it. I like to write out my list according to the “path” I’ll take in the grocery store. For me, it’s the food and other products in the outer circle of the store, going down certain aisles where I need something. Then I leave the fresh and frozen foods until the end.

Having your meals planned is half the battle of “knowing what’s for dinner”. Now you can swing into action when you know what to prepare. I remember when the kids were home, I would post the menus on the refrigerator which helped everyone know what was on that evening. My hopes, too, were that someone would take the initiative to begin the meal!

More and more people are finding that planning meals helps them save money and have more peace of mind. They can check the menu, know they have all the ingredients, and prepare a healthy meal. And they don’t need to go to the drive-through because they didn’t know what to have for dinner.

To planning healthy meals —

Lee Jackson
Food and Nutrition Specialist

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