SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Meal Planning for the Summer Months | Family Economics

By Erin

summer meal planningI find meal planning during the summer time to be quite difficult.

Why? Because you are at the mercy of the garden or your local farmer’s market.

Because you have to take advantage of the harvest of your garden and the great deals and steals from the farmer’s market, it’s very easy to get stuck in the mindset that you don’t need a meal plan for the summer months. But really, you do! Meal plans keep you focused and help you spend less money at the grocery store. So don’t let it fall by the wayside as you try to keep up with your garden’s harvest and your frequent trips to the farmer’s market.

Here are three ideas that can help you make the most of all the fresh produce and garden harvest, and help you have a go-with-the-flow kind of meal plan for the summer.

1. Pantry Staples: Stock you pantry and fridge with ingredients like pasta, beans, oils and vinegars. Having the staples available will help you quickly throw together a meal with the latest produce like cherry tomatoes and cabbage from the garden. Make a pasta salad with those cherry tomatoes, and turn that cabbage into a delicious slaw. Having the pantry staples ready to go will give you the room you need for spontaneous meals without sending you to the grocery store.

2. Grow, Eat, Save: Maybe you found yourself at the farmer’s market buying Brussels sprouts because you thought they looked cool on their stalk. Since the only Brussels sprouts you’ve ever eaten were frozen, you’ll need to figure out what to do with these fresh Brussels sprouts. Well, come on over to Grow. Eat. $ave. at $5 Dinners and find a meal you can make with all kinds of new ingredient that have made their way into your kitchen.

3. New Cooking Methods: Don’t be afraid to try a new cooking method. Look online and find new recipes. With the abundance of fresh produce that occurs in the summer months, it could be easy to let it go to waste, but that would be a terrible thing! So get creative and try making a new recipe or dish and who knows, it may just become a new family favorite!

What advice do you have for keeping up with the abundance of summer produce and the garden harvest?

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