It really isn't fun trying to work out at the last minute, what's for dinner each evening, So this morning I thought we could work a bit more on getting our Homestead Binder built up. That would make this part 2 ........ This section is all about working out a Menu Plan ............. I like to have about a 4 or 5 week plan so it's easy to rotate through meals without getting too bored! This may seem like a daunting task, but really, it won't be all that bad and you can work on it a bit at a time! Think about your garden, what's coming up soon for harvest, or what preserves do you have stocked in your pantry.............. Once you get a start on this menu planning, you may find you prefer to have a couple of "seasonal" plans for the winter and summer periods when our eating patterns change a little.
Having a Menu Plan helps with time efficiency (- it helps to eliminate or at least reduce time taken thinking about what your cooking, extra trips to the shop for things you don't have,) and also helps with the budgets. As with most things, knowing where to start is the biggie - so I thought I'd help you by giving you a blank menu sheet to work from. This is what I use, but you can adjust your own to however you prefer (Hopefully you can just print out a copy from my page marked "resources")
To begin with, I'm sure you have at least one meal that is pretty much a standard one each week...... for us here, my hubbie likes us to have a roast every Sunday night.......... so straight away I can put "roast" into Sunday (then I add what type of roast I might get for each of the 4 Sundays), Friday nights are often a very easy type of meal due to things going on, so it might be soup, or savory pancakes, sausage rolls etc. Are you wanting to have at least 1 fish meal a week - think of various types of fish meals (grilled fish and salad, salmon patties, tuna morney etc) - add these in for each week. Do you want a pasta meal each week? If you work part time you might want to enlist the help of a slow cooker........ so think about the types of meals you make up in your slow cooker and add those to the days you work or you know are really busy days for you. Before you know it, you have your dinner menu sorted out....... don't forget you may want to use left overs for a meal as well - or you may freeze these to use for work lunches. If you are looking for extra ideas, I'll be slowly adding to the list of recipes - so please feel free to use any of these.
You'll notice I also have a "baking" column on my menu plan as well............ That's because I like to have our own biscuits, slices and cakes available rather than the over processed variety produced at high prices by the supermarkets. By having a list each week of what I plan to bake for the month ahead, I can make sure the ingredients are all listed on my grocery list and when it comes time to do the baking, I know exactly what I'm making (some of which can often be frozen for use whenever we need to pull something out.........eg, unexpected visitors).
I'm joining in for the first time with the Homestead Barn Hop - why not drop over and check out some of the other great posts out there that can give you ideas on lots of homestead related items!