Menu Planning – where do you find time to cook ?

I really enjoy cooking. Honest. I love going to the market and selecting fresh vegetables and coming home to my peaceful kitchen to cook a nice meal. Setting the table with fresh flowers and matching cutlery.

menu.jpgOf course I am referring to my life before three children not my life as a busy mom trying to stay organized :-) One of the biggest obstacles I face is trying to cook meals that are affordable and healthy. My grocery budget is stretched each month beyond my budget with last minute runs to the store for meals. Its the constant finding time delima. I know other moms who buy family size meats for example and cook up three lasagnas and freeze them for future use.

I would enjoy an evening of cooking, I just have a hard time finding the time. I have a freezer, I just don’t have the time. My goal this month is to locate different menu planning options with shopping lists, and putting a shopping system in place. I currently have a monthly shopping list that covers all my basics however with out a menu plan this busy mom spends too much on her grocery bill.

Developing a menu plan use to be really easy for me when I was a mom with one child. My oldest son will eat anything! He was eating black beans with cilantro at 8 months of age. I am now a mom to a picky eater. So I am trying to balance what everyone would like in my menu planning. We don’t eat pork (by choice) and I am trying to cut out red meat so this means any tools I find online I will have to spend time adjusting to my family’s needs.

This morning i signed up for Menus 4 moms free service. I am sure this will give me a starting point, once I remove all the pork products though I am left trying to fill in the blanks. Ideally I would like my Grocery budget to get under $400 a month with a menu plan and develop a menu plan that accommodates my obvious lack of time! I also need to learn how to balance my children’s desire to eat chicken nuggets everyday to my taste for ethnic food.

My Online Meals offers great menus based on serving amounts.

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Categories : Menu Planning, Resources



I find that it is difficult coming up with a menu for the whole month, especially when you are asked what’s for dinner, you tell them and the response is ….. “I don’t want that tonight”. My answer is usually, “you’re blessed to have food on the table” as said with a smile while gritting my teeth! I have had a menu for the past two months and have been sucessful in carrying out the plan of attack at about 75% – not too bad, right?!?


I do my menu 21 days at a time … and it has allowed me to feed a family of 4 for under $200 every 3 weeks!

Breakfasts: Fruit, yogurt, cereal, or a bagel

Lunches: Chicken nuggets, fruit, treat

Snacks: Cheese and crackers, raisins, ham and cheese rolls

Dinners: On Mondays we do breakfast for dinner, Tuesdays is a crock pot meal, Wednesdays is usually a chef salad and baked potato or grilled cheese, Thursdays is leftovers from Tuesday, Friday is grilled meat or a casserole (make enough for leftovers), Saturday is usually pizza night since hubby works late, and Sundays is either Italian or Mexican for lunch with Friday’s leftovers for dinner.

Hope that helps!