How to Menu Plan


The Basics of How to Menu Plan for Dinner
You will need some paper and a pencil. Let’s get started!

Write down the following on paper:

Meal Planning Day is on ________________ (decide which day to sit down and plan meals)
Grocery Shopping day is on ______________ (decide which day to go shop; meal plan a couple of days before grocery shopping day.)

Step 1 — Meat/Protein Schedule for the Week
For each day, write down only the name of the meat you want to serve. An example for Monday might be chicken. Don’t worry about recipes at this time.

  • Monday _________________
  • Tuesday _________________
  • Wednesday _________________
  • Thursday _________________
  • Friday _________________
  • Saturday _________________
  • Sunday _________________
    • Congratulate yourself! This was a big step!

Step 2 — Side Dish Schedule for the Week
For each day of the week, write down only the name of the meat you want to serve. An example for Monday might be green beans, rice, lettuce. Again, don’t worry about recipes at this time.

  • Monday  _________________       _________________       _________________
  • Tuesday  _________________       _________________       _________________
  • Wednesday _______________       _________________       _________________
  • Thursday _________________       _________________       _________________
  • Friday     _________________       _________________       _________________
  • Saturday  _________________       _________________       _________________
  • Sunday   _________________        _________________       _________________
    • Pat yourself on the back! You’re getting there!

Step 3 — Dessert/Fruit & Beverage Schedule for the Week
For each day of the week, write down only the name of the meat you want to serve. An example for Monday might be apples and banana. Again, don’t worry about recipes at this time.

  • Monday  _________________       _________________       _________________
  • Tuesday  _________________       _________________       _________________
  • Wednesday _______________       _________________       _________________
  • Thursday _________________       _________________       _________________
  • Friday     _________________       _________________       _________________
  • Saturday  _________________       _________________       _________________
  • Sunday   _________________        _________________       _________________
    • You’ve nearly done it! Keep going!

Step 4: Select Your Recipes and Display the Menu

  • Recipe Time
    You have decided which meats, veggies, and fruits to serve, now it is time to find recipes! Use cookbooks or find recipes from the Internet. Keep your recipes in a centrally located place, like a binder so they will be easy to find during the week.
  • The Blank Menu
    Now fill out an actual menu form (see the links below). Refer back to the daily lists you created in the steps above as you fill in the blank menu with the names of the dishes you plan to cook. An example for Monday might be: Lemon Pepper Chicken with green beans, brown rice, salad, banana-apple fruit salad and hot tea.
  • Displaying the Menu
    Put your meal plan in plain view in the kitchen. Tape it to the refrigerator, on a bulletin board, or dry erase board. There are plenty creative ideas online for displaying menus. However, since we are preparing menu plans for Ramadhan that is coming up, keep your menus in your planning notebook.
  • Nice job!

Step 5 — Create a Shopping List

  • Write your grocery list based on the recipes you plan to serve. Check to see if you have any of the ingredients already.
  • Go shopping! Buy ONLY the ingredients you will need for this week’s meals. However, if there is a great sale on dry goods or items that can be frozen—then stock up!

Meal Planning for Iftar, Suhoor, Potlucks, ‘Eid

  • Repeat steps 1 thru 5 above when planning any meal such as Suhoor, Iftar, Eid, etc.

Menu Planning Forms

Menu Planning Tips

  • Get the hubby’s input in meal planning.
  • Choose the same day each week to do your menu planning (e.g. Sunday).
  • Save completed weekly menu plans so that you can re-use them in the future.
  • Some people reuse their plans every 2 or 3 weeks to make planning easier. Others make a menu for each week for 4 weeks, then repeat the 4 weekly menus each month.

Sample 30-Day Meat Menu:
Week 1: M=salmon; T=beef; W=chicken; Th=vegetarian; F=fish; S=vegetarian; Su=chicken
Week 2: M=tuna; T=turkey; W=lamb; Th=vegetarian; F=fish; S=beef; Su=chicken
Week 3: M=salmon; T=beef; W=chicken; Th=vegetarian; F=fish; S=vegetarian; Su=chicken
Week 4: M=tuna; T=turkey; W=lamb; Th=vegetarian; F=fish; S=beef; Su=chicken

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “How to Menu Plan

  1. Assalaamu ‘alaykum,

    thank you for this thorough guide to menu planning! I have struggled with planning my menus because I have tried to put together full meals/recipes directly.. but breaking it down like this will most likely work better. So jazaakum Allaah khayr :)

    • wa alaykum as salaam
      you are most welcome! the very first time i tried menu planning i lost my appetite from thinking about all that food all at once like that! but it got better from then on. menu planning is def easier with breaking the whole process into smaller planning units. at least that is what helps me the most. let me know how doing it this way works for you.

      ~RP

Sharing is Caring!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s