Enjoying the Simple Pleasures of Life, While Living in a Complicated World

Cooking from Scratch- Where it All Begins: A Menu

One of the basic tools you’ll need to begin the process of cooking from scratch is a menu.

Yes, a menu!

How many times have you gone food shopping and didn’t have a clue what you were going to cook for the next few days? Do you find that you throw out food in your refrigerator? Do you want to keep track of what foods you or your family are eating regularly? Do you dread the question: “What’s for dinner?”

Then, creating a weekly menu is the answer!

A menu is the basic tool used in cooking from scratch that will not only make meal planning and creating meals easier, you’ll save money in the process. You won’t buy unnecessary items at the grocery store and food won’t become ‘science experiments’ in your refrigerator, because you’ll be using everything wisely in creating meals.

On Sundays, when I get the newspaper, I sort out all of the coupons and the circulars from the local grocery stores. In the summertime, I have a list of the local farmers markets where I can get fresh vegetable produce to supplement my menu. In the wintertime, it’s a challenge to get fresh vegetables; but, there is still a good selection to choose from in grocery stores, such as, root vegetables: squashes,  cabbages, rhutabaga, carrots, potatoes, parsnips. All of these vegetables are wonderful as entrees, in soups or side dishes!

Begin by creating a weekly menu for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks/desserts and make sure you include everything you’ll be serving in a particular meal.

An example of a menu for Friday:

Breakfast; oatmeal with raisins, orange juice, toast and strawberry jelly, coffee/tea/milk

Lunch: tuna fish sandwich on whole grain bread, apple and milk, Oatmeal cookie

Dinner: Pea Soup with ham, green salad with goat cheese, dried cherries, cashews and vinaigrette dressing, whole grain bread, coffee/tea/milk. Dessert; Angel food cake with fresh fruit and creme anglaise/whipped cream.

Money saving tip: When creating a weekly menu, take into consideration weekly specials from grocery stores, local butchers, farmers markets or dairy stores. At first, creating menus, may feel like a time consuming process, however, once you do it a few times-it actually becomes very easy. Not only will you save money, you’ll become skilled at finding the freshest and best priced foods in your area.

Look over your menu and take note of the following:

Do you have fresh fruits planned for everyday?

Do you have fresh or frozen vegetables planned for everyday?

Is there a balance in the foods you or your family will be eating everyday?

Gradually, eliminate highly processed foods and foods that have chemical additives or preservatives in the food served.

Eventually, eliminate all fast food from your diet.

Look for more tips on creating menu’s for cooking from scratch!

One response

  1. Pingback: Surviving a Layoff: Getting Acquainted with Your Kitchen Part I | Willow Cottage

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