Bye-Bye Takeout, Hello Menu Planning

Eating out is always fun, whether you’re enjoying a juicy entrecote steak or a burger at the drive-thru.  And, even though a hamburger may cost as little as $1.99, the price of eating out can really add up.  Tack on a drink, an extra side dish or even a meal for your partner or child, and you’re already talking about a not-so-small investment.  One way to avoid wasting money (and adding on the pounds) in this way is to start menu planning.

I know you’re thinking that menu planning is a big hassle, that it’s time consuming, and that you’ll never stick to the plan anyway.  But I’ve been experimenting with menu planning for the past 3 months, and I’ve found that it’s been amazingly helpful.  Believe it or not, I’ve even found it extremely doable.  I find myself scouring weekly circulars and coupon books to find food on sale so that I can stock up and weave them into my menu plans throughout the month.  Knowing what I’m going to eat each day has also prevented me from snacking mindlessly in front of the fridge when I can’t figure out what to have for dinner, and, much to my chagrin, has encouraged me to plan healthier meals (and most importantly, to actually make them).

I’m so excited about how menu planning has changed my life, and I really want to share this experience with you.  So, for the next weeks I’ll be guiding you through weekly menu planning and providing recipe advice and encouragement.  Every Thursday through March I’ll be introducing a new and original recipe idea and ideas that can make it easy to create your menu plans either on weekly or monthly basis.

Here’s an easy menu idea to help you get started – I look forward to welcoming you back next week!


Soup from a can, prepared according to directions (Yes, canned soup is delicious! Try it out with a coupon for Progresso soup )*

Main course:

menu-planning“Mock” Spanish omelet

2 eggs

Splash of milk

3-5 Tbs salsa (to taste)

2 Tbs onion, diced

Grated mozzarella cheese to taste

Red or green peppers, cubed (optional)

Prepare frying pan with oil, butter or cooking spray. Wisk eggs with milk.  Add to frying pan.  Add onion, salsa and peppers.  When the egg begins to separate from the pan, add cheese.  Fold the omelet in half for 1 minute.  Flip.  Omelet is ready when the cheese is melted.

Serve with bread or a tortilla as desired.

I used to eat this quick and inexpensive meal at least once a week.  But now that I’ve started menu planning, I’ve got tons of ideas, so I don’t need to repeat as frequently.  Send me your favorite inexpensive menu ideas today, to  I look forward to hearing from you and sharing ideas together!

*As you get more proficient in the kitchen you can personalize canned soups as you desire

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