Menu Planning 101

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If you're searching for an awesome way to save time and money every month, menu planning is one of the most ideal ways for people either on a limited budget or with limited time constraints to make sure that they and their loved ones are eating nutritious Meals. Following are some basic ideas on how to create a weekly menu and the benefits of doing so.

Create a Budget

One of the many ways that financially responsible families do is make a budget for monthly expenses. Just as you would calculate the cost of running a house, paying for your children's school or transportation costs, you should also decide how much money to spend on food each week or month.

Believe it or not, many shoppers do not even know exactly how much they spend on food. Additionally, many families prefer to eat out at least a few times per week. If you ever tried to calculate the total of eating out 8 times per month for a family of four, it would probably scare you. By preparing a budget, you can conveniently calculate your food costs for the month or even break it down weekly, giving you an estimated on how much to spend on a weekly menu for you and your family.

Creating a Menu

Now that you have devised a budget and know exactly how much you can afford to spend for food each month, your next step should be figuring out which types of meals would be best for your family. The majority of families prefer to start out menu planning with only fresh and healthy food choices, only to find out a few weeks later that they dread eating at home and rush out to purchase fast food or to eat out at the many casual dining establishments. One thing to consider is to plan a menu that is for the most part healthy, but includes foods that each member of your family enjoys (in moderation of course). By making sure that there are foods that everyone enjoys, it will entice each member of the family to stay home for meals.

Menu planning is an excellent way for the entire family to lose weight together or to reduce certain types of foods in their diets. For instance, many families find that they could all stand to lose a few pounds; Menu planning can help with the process. By creating a menu that is low in calories, fats, carbs, etc (depending on your diet of choice), you and your family can lose weight together typically increasing the success of all those involved.

For families that have a history of various types of illnesses like heart disease or diabetes, menu planning is critical to excellent, long term health. By getting into the practice of eating certain types of foods and staying away from others, you can improve your health and form strong foundations for youngger children who hopefully will follow the same eating patterns as they age.

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Source by Christine Steendahl

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