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How many times a week do you stop at the grocery store and how much time does it waste? It's a good bet that thirty minutes or so of structured planning is a better way to spend your time than too many trips to the grocery store each week.
So how is it done?
Schedule time each week when the entire family can sit down together and plan the weekly menu. Get out a pen, the weekly meal planner, the weekly shopping list, the flyer, some cookbooks, and get organized.
Plan at least all the dinners for the week and determine which recipes you'll double to make extra for lunches.
Build a collection of your favourite recipes. After supper, rate the menu on a scale from 1 to 10. Hold on to the recipes that get top marks. Then, if you’re too busy to plan the menu together one week, just choose five of your pre-approved favourites.
Note each recipe on your weekly planner and list whatever you'll need to prepare them. Now’s a good time to check what's in the cupboards to avoid buying something you already have. You can also decide who will prepare the meals based on the activities you’ve planned for the week. Big chefs (Mom and Dad) and little chefs can alternate the tasks!
• Vinegars and vegetable oils
• Whole wheat flour, wheat or oat bran, and instant oats
• Dry pasta, whole wheat couscous, brown rice, quinoa, and bulgur
• Canned legumes
• Tinned tuna and salmon
• Canned fruit and fruit compotes
• Dried fruit
• Canned vegetables and tomatoes
• Frozen fish fillets and seafood
• Frozen fruit and vegetables
• Varied frozen nuts
• Different lean cuts of meat (single-servings)
• Condiments (mustards, vinaigrettes, mayonnaise)
• Fresh fruit and vegetables that keep well (carrots, apples, and others)
• Lemons, limes, and/or cucumbers*
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