I bet many of you are starting to think of the daunting task of planning, shopping and preparing the Easter meals for family and friends that will visit this weekend. Well don’t. Below are some quick and easy tips to help you in your Easter celebration menu planning.
Download a Free Menu Planner Sheet
Head over to Faithful Provisions Free Download page and print off the Prep Day Planner to help you in preparing for your Easter Menu planning, shopping and prepping. We will walk through the steps to using this so it will help you in getting ready for this weekend. The goal is to enjoy and relax this weekend, not to stress out!
Check Your Stockpile and Sale Ads
Go through your pantry, freezer and refrigerator to see what you have on hand. Then look through your stores sale ads, or checkout the Faithful Provisions “Deals by Store” link at the top of the home page, and see what is on sale. Match up sale items with potential recipes you want to make.
Create a List of Recipes
Now write down in the “Recipe Ideas” column of your Prep Day Planner you downloaded, all the recipes you would like to make. I would put down more than you need, this will give you options depending on any last minute changes or availability at your local store. Remember, they could run out of popular sale items, so this way you have a back up plan!
Note: If you find that the recipe you want to create require items that aren’t on sale and it extends your budget, then rethink the recipe list. You then will want to see what is on sale first and plan your menu items around that.
Finalize Your Shopping List
Since you have been scanning your recipes, your pantry and the sale ads you need to begin writing down the items that you DO NOT have on hand. This will be your initial shopping list, but if you use coupons, you will want to create your final grocery shopping list either by using the Printable List feature on all the grocery store matchups on Faithful Provisions or you can download the Free Grocery Budgeting List and write or type in all the items you will be purchasing.
List your Prep Tasks or “To Do’s”
Now that you know what you are going to make, you need to start thinking through how you are going to be efficient in your kitchen. In the middle column of your Prep Day Planner write down all the “tasks” you will need to do to complete these recipes.
If you are making a lot of dishes and only have one oven, you will need to begin strategizing how you will get it all done in the least amount of time. So, if you are making Homemade Whole Wheat French Rolls and Twice Baked Potatoes (By the way – these freeze well and are great for making ahead!), you will want to clean the potatoes while the oven is heating up. Then while your potatoes are cooking (for around 40 minutes) you can be making the roll dough and letting them rise. It is all about timing at this point.
Tips for your Shopping Trip
Since it is the week before a holiday weekend, the stores will be packed, and most likely they will be out of some popular items. So, I would recommend having a backup plan if you are on a tight budget. Here are a few things to do to keep your stress to a minimum.
- Create a grocery list and pull together all coupons. *Match coupons with store sales to save the most.
- Use the Coupon Database to find coupons for specific items like “peanut butter” that you don’t see on sale. You can take all the peanut butter coupons with you to the store and then purchase the brand that is cheapest depending on what coupons you have and what is on sale. Remember store brands are typically cheaper than using a coupon with a full priced item. This will also be helpful if you are needing a particular item that is free with a coupon. These are frequently out of stock, so now you have a backup plan!
- Ask if an item is out of stock. Many stores will substitute a like product for the same price.
- Check your receipt before leaving. Or better yet, watch everything while it is being rung up at checkout. Many stores offer a free product if it rings up wrong.
- Shop early or late, mid afternoon is peak time and your shopping trip will take longer. Also, shelves are usually restocked in off-peak hours. So that means more selection for you.
What are your tips and tricks for a smooth Easter Meal Plan? I would love to hear your tips and ideas.