Simple Dinner Ideas: Setting Up Your Menu Plan #DinnerIdeas

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Setting up Your Menu Plan Sponsored By:  Rada Cutlery

I want to start off this post with a short introduction of the fabulous company, Rada Cutlery.  I learned about Rada Cutlery several years ago when Christy Jordan of Southern Plate gave me a knife to thank me for bringing her to the mini-conference I put on.  I immediately fell in love!

Rada Cutlery has been around since 1948 and offers “practical, useful and affordable kitchen knives and utensils” to everyone from the average housewife to the celebrated Chef!  From direct sales through their online Rada Kitchen Store, to Rada home parties through their Consultants (they make 38 – 44% profit! Some of the highest earnings around!), to their amazing Rada fundraising programs for schools, scouts, and more!  In a couple weeks, I will be bringing you an in depth view of their company and several products and even giving you the chance to win some!  But, don’t wait for that!  At only a few dollars per knife (and with a Lifetime Guarantee) these are the only knives you should own!  Do you use Rada?  What has been your experience?

Rada is the reason Crystal and I are able to bring you this post this month.  I have been talking about this series for the past several weeks now and many of you have said how excited you are for me to get it going.  Well, wait no longer!  Simple Dinner Ideas is here!

As I said in the Simple Dinner Ideas Schedule, this month is all about the basics of setting up your menu plan.  I am going to talk about what I do and Crystal will be talking about what she does.  We will both be bringing you some great resources and products through the month to help you make dinner simple!  Wait there’s more!  We will also be encouraging you to link up to us each month sharing your resources on the specified subtopic.  You ready to get this party started?

Simple Dinner Ideas:  Menu Planning Takes the Stress Out!

menu planning

Unfortunately, all the great tools in the world are not going to help you get dinner on the table if you don’t have some type of plan in place and the ingredients necessary on hand!  That’s why I menu plan!  Seriously, sometimes it is a case of “Oh crud, I need to write my post so it can go live in 20 minutes and I have no idea what I am supposed to be having!”  Usually, however, I sit down over the weekend and decide what I am going to have, I recruit the boys, I peruse pinterest and my cookbooks, and make a plan.  Here’s my simple dinner ideas steps to easy menu planning:

Step One: Go over the schedule for the upcoming week.  You need to know what is in store for you for the week before you can make a plan.  If you have a Fall Festival on Friday and are going to be at the school from sun up until sun down on Thursday, you need a make ahead dinner for Thursday so you don’t have to swing by the local drive thru on your way home.  That way, dinner is ready for you when you walk in the door!

Step Two: Look at last week’s menu plan.  Once you know what each day will hold, go back over your plan from last week.  Did you plan Kelli’s Spaghetti for one day last week and not get it made?  Perfect!  You have all the ingredients already on hand and can add it to the plan this week!  You don’t have to buy those items again!  Slot those “not yet made” items in.

Step Three: Peruse your Pantry and Freezer.  Now that last week’s things are slotted in, you need to check your storage.  Did you score a great deal on Chicken at your last grocery store visit?  Do you have 20 cans of cream of mushroom?  Did you make two Italian Meatloaf dinners last time (because it is just as easy to make two as it is to make one)? Or, maybe your Leftover Soup pot is almost full… Then, it might be a good idea to use some of those items in your plan this week.

Step Four: Add something new!  If you haven’t filled out each day on your plan yet, pull out your favorite cookbook (mine is: Calling All Cooks), grab up your Taste of Home Magazine, go visit Pinterest, and add in an item or two that you have been wanting to try.

Step Five:  Make Your List and Check it Twice.  Now that your plan is in place, you need to gather the necessary ingredients.  Go through each recipe (I actually do this as I am setting up each item) and make your grocery list.

Now, it is your turn!  Write a post about how you menu plan and link it below!  Share something unique to you or just list out your favorite go-to meals.  Then, be sure to visit the other players!

Be sure to visit Crystal and Company to find out how she manages to get dinner on the table with FIVE boys (including the adorable twins!) under foot.

Remember… Setting up Your Menu Plan is Sponsored By: Rada Cutlery

(Note to companies and PR reps: If you are interested in working with us on this, please email ) Linked to Org Junkie

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  1. stacey @ says

    This is great, Kelli! Love your ideas and the way you layed it out. We’re doing several posts on this next week. I went ahead and linked up my posts on simplifying my daily cooking.

    • Kelli says

      Thanks, Stacey! This linky will be live all month long and we will start a new one each month in 2012. As your posts go live next week, be sure to link them up. Crystal and I am tweeting and pinning the posts that link to our series to try to help you get more exposure!

  2. Amber @ SiMoneySavers says

    Hi Kelli,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

    I definitely love the way you have laid this out.

    Nice to meet you and I am book marking your site.


    • Kelli says

      Thanks Crystal! Be sure to check back on the first of each month as we will have a new themed linky – all to help us get dinner on the table.. SIMPLY!

  3. says

    Great menu planning tips! Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by today. The first thing we always do is look over the menu plan from the week before. We go to the grocery store before we menu plan, so it’s always based on what we have on hand.

    • Kelli says

      I know, I got stuck for a bit on the “adding something new” portion too and was quickly getting bored. A bored “chef” is not good :-)

  4. says

    Ummm…oppsie, I linked TWICE and see Kiki’s freaky eyes staring at me…can you remove #47 (please?) Thank you much!

  5. Tuoi Tre Ben Tre Online says

    Great menu planning tips! Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by today. The first thing we always do is look over the menu plan from the week before. We go to the grocery store before we menu plan, so it’s always based on what we have on hand.

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