Menu Planning Video

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 1.31.21 PMMenu planning is one of the highlights of my week:). I love to relax with a cup of tea, my planner and notebook and brainstorm of the meals that I will be cooking the following meal. I know that not everyone is like that. I was asked so many questions about menu planning when I did the Q&A a while ago, I thought this subject deserved its own video. Even if you hate cooking and menu planning, if you take just 15 minutes per week to plan our your meals, itย will make your life so much easier, help you save time and money. Believe it or not, having a menu plan means you’ll spend LESS time thinking about food.

Recipes mentioned in video: (click on any of the titles to see the recipe)
Traditional Cabbage Rolls or Mushroom and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls
Traditional Borsch or Vegetarian Borsch
Chicken Fried Riceย 
Roasted Salmon
Rice Pilaf
Spanish Tortilla
Pan Fried Potatoes
Pasta With a Simple Meat Sauce

Do you menu plan? If you don’t but want to start, what are some things that are stopping you?

I would love to hear your tips for menu planning too.

30 Comments

  • Lidiya

    Olga, thank you so much for such a great and detailed video! In really enjoyed watching it and now looking foreword to start menu planning. Blessings

  • Lilly

    Olga thanks so much for this! I needed it! I don’t really enjoy cooking and dread meal planning, but you’ve inspired me to look at it a different way. Thanks for those tips! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • olgak7

      You’re welcome:). Even though I love to cook, even I have plenty of times that I dread cooking. Life can get hectic when you’re busy, so having a menu plan helps out so much.

  • Tzivia

    Yo gr8 vlog, totally love this olga. Just thinking wow it’s already Wednesday and Shabbat is coming soon, I’m the one who usually pulls meals together and yea sometimes I get a bit stressed bc my mom works full time @ a teacher and my dad works a lot outside the home and inside too. My sissy can make some stuff, I’m usually the main cook on the family. My mom when she has time will make yummy delish goodies. Thanx soooooo much for these tips darlin, I think I will know what to do now. Ur so cute on camera

      • Tzivia

        Yes totally olya, I have Hungarian roasted potatoes and a roasted zuchini in the oven, and now about to make a carrot salad, and will hopefully bake something fresh. Yes my parents and my sissy reena totally appreciate all my homemade cooking and baking. Definitely all these tips were super helpful, now gotta plan for superbowl Sunday and also the rest of the week. I shop locally but also in my pantry and fridge and freezer. Now imagine if I would’ve bought a bag of carrots and found that same bag, it would’ve been a major waste of time and money. Btw looks like u put out a new recipe for fish, looks soooooo yummm gotta try. Gotta eat more fish lol

  • Sweet Somethings Blog

    Pinterest is what motivates me to menu plan! I always want to try new recipes but if they are not written down, then I will not get around to them. This way if its written down, I can grocery shop and plan to make those items throughout the week.

    • olgak7

      Pinterest is great, isn’t it? I love all the ideas that I can find there. Definitely tons of inspiration there, but you’re absolutely right that all those ideas need to be written down. I am exactly the same.

  • Ira

    Hi Olga,
    I loved your post about menu planning! Thanks for sharing your tips. I am excited to start my menu plan. I think you’re right about not having to worry about food all week long. It will be so helpful for my family

  • Lily

    Thank you Olga, I also love menu planning!! Mondays are my days that I plan ahead sometimes for two weeks in advance. This definitely helps when I go grocery shopping, it keeps me from having to go back because I forgot something. Especially working so far from home and having a busy schedule. Thank you for extra tips and advice ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love your recipes!

  • Lina

    Hey Olga! Thank you for posting this video! I always wanted to know how you menu plan since I’ve only been married 3 years and only started to menu plan recently. One thing that I always have on my menu every week is soup on Mondays. Then we always have to have fish every week and then something more scrumptious like a pasta dish (my husband loves pasta!) it helps so much knowing what to make for that week because I just have to choose what kind of soup and what kind of fish dish to make so half of my menu is done already! Just wanted to share:)

    • olgak7

      Thank you so much for taking time to share, Lina. I usually have soup 2-3 times per week, seafood 1-2 times per week, chicken 2 times per week, new recipes 2 times per week and fill in the rest with random stuff and leftovers:). It looks like you’re doing great with Menu Planning.

  • Betsy

    I menu plan every week also and make my grocery list at the same time. This may sound crazy but it really helps me to make my grocery list in the order that I actually walk through the store. You need to know your grocery store well to be able to do this ๐Ÿ™‚ It helps me get through the store much quicker without having to run back across because I forgot something. Thanks for the video it’s nice to hear how another mom stays organized!!

  • KATIE L

    Olga, love your video, really thinking about getting a planner. I have two 2.5 year old and 9 months old, sometimes its hard to keep everything in my head ๐Ÿ™‚ what kind of planner do u use? i really like how it has shopping list category in it….

    • olgak7

      Thank you, Katie. You’ve got your hands full with two little ones; it’s hard to stay organized when you have so many people and things that need your attention:).
      The planner I use is the Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner. (Click on the link and you can see it on Amazon.) I love it; it’s the perfect format for me. I’ll be doing a blog post about this planner very soon:).

  • Alina

    thank you so much for taking your time to post ๐Ÿ˜ŠI want to start menu planing now,๐Ÿ˜Š I have a hard time planing what to cook after a long day of work.
    Thank you again
    May God bless your family

  • Mila

    Hi Olga, I really enjoyed watching the video– well done!

    I had to laugh because you pretty much described my menu planning process to a T. So I second all your tips!

    I wrote a post on how I menu plan a while ago, and since then have modified my process a bit. I think it is completely normal if you try a planning system and change it up in case it doesn’t work for you. I personally don’t use a dedicated planner, I use a small notepad which I keep on the kitchen counter and jot things down as I think of them.

    One thing I try to always keep in mind is to make meals easily “decosntructable”: when carbs/veggies/protein are cooked separately. This way I can skip carbs, without having to cook a separate dish.

  • Zoya

    Thanks for this menu planning vid Olga, I really enjoyed it! And yes having a menu plan is so helpful for me! One small suggestion and I think it would be fun to see and helpful too is if you posted your weekly menu plan every week please? Moneysavingmom.com used to do that and now I think she posts her sister’s menus and it’s helpful although I think it would be even more helpful if it was Slavic food kind of like what you post on your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alina

    Would it be possible for you to post your list of foods you go off of when you meal plan? I think you called it like your recipe/meal Index?

    • olgak7

      Hi Alina,
      I did use a Recipe Index that I typed up (all the food that I cooked) before I started blogging, but I haven’t used it in years. Now that I have been posting my recipes to the blog for almost 6 years, I just use my blog Recipe Index, because that is literally what we eat as a family.

  • Irina

    Thank you so much for the wonderful video! I love watching and learning from you. I recently started menu planning and I have noticed that it saves a ton of money, and I am excited because I now get to spend the money Im saving on something fun. I’ve actually began to enjoy cooking and trying new recepies.

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