Menu Planning Monday December 27th: Preparing for your food planning related New Year’s resolutions

We have been super busy at our house this holiday season and it seems like the end of 2010 just flew by. I have been able to take a few minutes to think about everything that happened this year and how thankful I am for all that I have and all the people that I love. I also started to consider what it is I would like to improve upon in the year to come. I made a list of my resolutions, but more importantly than the actual goal is taking the time to consider everything involved in making those changes.

Most people, me included, make New Year’s resolutions that are related to improved health, better budgeting and /or home organizational projects. It seems like some resolutions are easier to keep than others simply because of the goal itself but other times the downfall seems to be poor planning. I know that for me I always come closer to my goals when I have done some pre-planning and preparation. I think when it comes to food planning goals it is important to think about what is involved in making the change in order to set yourself up to follow through rather than make a snap decision. One of the best things you can do in preparation of your resolution is to take this week leading up to the New Year to make any necessary arrangements. If you plan to become a vegetarian, for example, then this would be a good week to use up the rest of the meat you already have or figure out someone to donate to. If you want to be more organized then take the time to decide what your short comings are and how you plan to change those habits. I think for many people menu planning in general is challenging so decided now what tools you need and choose a day each week to make your menu plan. If your goal pertains to budgeting then use this week to get an accurate representation of what you spent each week in 2010 on groceries, then you can make a realistic goal for reducing that. If you don’t know what you have been spending then selecting a random number for your budget is only going to set you up to fail.

My resolution this year is to not waste any food. I wouldn’t say that we are constantly throwing anything away but we do throw away spoiled milk, moldy cheese, rotten fruits and veggies and occasionally some stale bread. I plan to work on this by keeping better track of what we have, how long it has been open and making an effort to use everything up in advance of the expiration date. The most difficult food for me to manage is milk, I buy it for recipes and sometimes my family drinks it in no time but too often a portion of the gallon ends up down the drain. At the end of the day every bit of food that we throw away is wasted money, so if we pitch $5 a month or so of food that is $60 a year. This week I will be taking inventory of the food in my pantry, two fridges as well as those freezers and the deep freeze. I am going to look to see not just what I have but the expiration dates and such before making my grocery list and menu plan for January.

Here is what we are having the rest of the year:

For more menu plans and ideas check out organizing junkie

Much love, Aislinn and Emily

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6 Responses to Menu Planning Monday December 27th: Preparing for your food planning related New Year’s resolutions

  1. Miz Helen says:

    Your menu looks so good. I would love your smoked ribs…yum! Thank you for sharing and Happy New Year!

  2. Pam says:

    You might want to try organic milk. It has a longer shelf life. You might find that you are not throwing out milk that way.

    Pam

  3. Toy Lady says:

    I can’t imagine throwing out milk! Even with just two of us, we go through a couple of gallons a week. But if you’re mostly using milk for cooking, you can freeze it – I don’t know that I’d want to drink it afterward, but it’s fine for cooking.

    I just inventoried my freezer too – and now we’re diligently working to empty it. It’s kind of fun finding creative ways to use up what we’ve got – not to mention the money we’re saving by not buying so much meat. 🙂

    • We don’t really drink it, just cook with it but it seems that we go through a gallon or less a week. When I am paying attention then I do freeze it before it expires but sometimes I just don’t get to it fast enough! Good luck with your freezer inventory, I haven’t started that yet but its on my list.

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