Sweet and Sour Recipes Add Variety to Dinner

If you're searching for a great option to save time and money each month, menu planning is one of the greatest ways for people either on a limited budget or with limited time constraints to make sure that they and their loved ones are eating healthy and right. Following are some basic ideas on how to plan a weekly menu and the perks of doing so.

Create a Budget
One of the numerous things that financially responsible families do is make a budget for monthly expenses. Just as you would calculate the cost of managing a house, paying for your children’s tuition or transportation costs, you should also decide how much money to spend on food each week or month.

Believe it or not, many consumers don’t even know exactly how much they spend on food. In addition, numerous families prefer to eat out at least a couple of times per week. If you ever tried to figure out the cost of eating out 8 times per month for a family of four, it would probably give you sticker shock. By devising a budget, you can conveniently calculate your food bills for the month or even break it down weekly, giving you an idea 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 deciding which types of meals would be best for your family. Many families prefer to start out menu planning with only fresh and healthier food choices, only to discover 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 a great 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 usually increasing the success of all those involved.

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

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About The Author, Christine Steendahl
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