Stockpiling 101 – Monthly Menu Planning
We suggest if you stockpile that you use a monthly menu plan. We suggest creating one or two menu’s for spring/summer and one or two for fall/winter. If you use a monthly menu plan then you will know what ingredients you need to shop for and what you need to stockpile. If you use a monthly menu plan be sure to include one family favorite meal each week and include a leftovers night. If it is in your budget you can include dining out.
We began using weekly menu planning in 2006 and found it very useful. We are able to have flexibility in our menu by flipping the days if necessary or if something comes up in the week. We find that we rarely go out to eat when we menu plan because we know what is for dinner and by menu planning we save money because we know what we need to stockpile.
Be sure to include a variety of foods. We like to include one food from every food group. We center our meal plan on the protein (this can also be beans) and build from that. Include a variety of textures, shapes, colors and temperatures.
Start by writing down all of the meals that you know how to prepare and your family likes to eat. Then it is easy to fill up the calendar with what you know how to cook. Next, you can look for frugal recipes to add to your menu. We offer frugal recipes on our site as well as weekly menu plans.
Another idea is to consider bulk cooking and freezing meals. It will save you time and is especially helpful if you work outside of the home or have a busy schedule. Helpful tip: Do not freeze meals with mayonnaise or sour cream. They don’t freeze well.
We use this a magnetic dry erase calendar which is available from amazon.com.
If you are new (or even experienced) to freezer cooking:
- 20 Freezer Meals in 4 Hours
- 30 Freezer Cooking Meals
- 8 Freezer Meals in 2 Hours
- FoodSaver – My Choice for Freezing Stockpiled Items
- Freezing Food to Extend Your Stockpile
- How do you flash freeze food?
- How to Freezer Cook – Sample Menu and Getting Started
- How To Freezer Cook Series – Freezer Storage
- How To Freezer Cook Series – Planning Your Meals
- How To Freezer Cook Series – Thawing your meals?
- How To Freezer Cook Series – Tips and Tricks for Freezer Efficiency
- How To Freezer Cook Series – What can you freeze?
- How To Freezer Cook Series – Why does Freezer Cooking Work?
- How To Make Your Own Freezer Pancakes
- Lunchbox Tip – Freeze PBJ’s to Save You Time & Money
- Once A Month Cooking – Freezer Cooking
- Stockpiling Produce Co-op – Utilizing Your Freezer and Food Saver
- Tips for Selecting a Deep Freezer
- Utilizing the Freezer – 7 Days of Stockpiling
- What Can You Freeze? How to freeze 30 Foods