Meal Planning According to Better Homes and Gardens

The other night, I was unable to sleep. I had finished the last of the stack of library books that sit on the night table beside my bed.  I was laying there wide awake when I realized that I had my 1946 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook under the bed. I know... a strange place for it, but a perfect place until I could get some round ring stickers for the pages that were torn.  Anyway, I pulled the book out and began to read. Of all the cookbooks that I have, I have never actually read any of the "information" in the books.  Would you believe there was meal planning in the cookbook?

Meal Planning According to the
Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book

I found some really neat things other than some new recipes that I have made. Those of you who make a meal menu for your family, you'll enjoy this.

MEAL - PLANNING IS A GAME that's fun if you play it with imagination and zest. If you play it well, you will win satisfaction for yourself and cheers of enthusiasm from your family. It's important to plan well-balanced means, but it's equally important to make those meals appetizing and attractive, with plenty of variety.

Imagination and zest really tickled my funny bone. Because I've never thought of meal planning as a game and when I use my imagination, I'm trying to come up with meal ideas without breaking the bank that we all will actually eat. There's no game playing for me. :)

I love the little tip about introducing new food occasionally and take a family vote; vary the method of preparing those dishes that are served often. Even in the 1940's wives were dealing with the same problems many of us face weekly when preparing meals for our families.

When I read this little chapter I thought "HOW NEAT!" Wives way back then were into meal planning for their families. We've seen old TV shows and movies that talk about Meatloaf Monday or Spaghetti Wednesday, many wives created a menu plan and stuck with it for every day of the week. This was a good way for the family to know what is for dinner each day of the week. And I'm sure it also kept down the hassle of knowing what to buy at the grocery store. But for me, I need a variety of meals to look forward to cooking and enjoy with my family. Although, we do have Pizza Friday every other week.

To some, menu planning is a new thing and for others it's not so new. It's amazing to read meal planning has been around for at least 70 years, and I think that is pretty awesome!


  1. That's a neat little find! How silly of me to think that menu planning is a new thing, and what a great reminder of the many wives who've trod before!

  2. I've never really tried meal planning...I tend to just figure something out as I go along...depending on what I have on hand. Not very organized, I know!

  3. I sort of just made what ever I had on hand and did my grocery list in my head. Then, just out of fun, with no intentions of ever doing it again, I made a meal plan. I was completely overwhelmed by how much it increased my efficiency as a keeper at home. It cut my grocery bill literally in HALF and freed up lots of time. I'll never go back to my old ways!

  4. I was very surprised when I found this. I have so enjoyed reading through this book.

  5. Deborah, You sound like my mom! :) I did this for about the first 2 months of being married. When school started in the fall, I felt so rushed when I would get home. So I decided to try planning out foods for my husband and me. It really helped out in time and money.

  6. My husband wants to have the same meal for every day of the week. I havent started it yet, I have to come up with six things I can eat week after week LOL

    Good read!

  7. Kristy, I've thought about doing this. But I don't like to eat things every week. We would get very tired of certain foods, very quickly.

  8. Hey Kristy,
    That's what we do with breakfast!
    M-"weekend breakfast"
    Th-eggs and toast
    Su-cinnamon rolls
    That's the routine every week. The kids wake up and say, "oh, boy, it's grits day!" or whatever.

  9. I always say I'll meal plan...Maybe in the winter months? I have a rough idea of what I have available and go from there!

  10. What a fun read! I have thought about themes such as chicken monday, taco tuedsay, pasta wednesday but am worried I would run out of ideas and end up eating the same thing far too often.

  11. If we lived closer to town where I can go to the store if I needed something, I wouldn't be such a stickler on meal planning. The little store in the area, we avoid at all costs because we end up spending $60 for two bags of items.

  12. I'm that way also. I make several pasta dishes and would get tired of eating them over and over. Of course, there are some meals we love, so eating them frequently wouldn't be too bad.

  13. This is a fun post. I remember learning how to meal plan way back in my High school home ec classes, which of course were my very favorite courses.
    My favorite teacher stressed that meals should have different colors and different textures- like spicy chili with a cool jello salad. Even now, when I serve a meal that looks all one color, I think Mrs. Connor wouldn't approve :)

  14. Hello, Rhonda!!!

    I learned about the different colors and textures also, but I didn't learn about meal planning. I too have all the same color food items at times. I guess it's a you win some, you lose some situation sometimes. Thank you for visiting.

  15. I enjoyed reading this,I'm sure if I planned our meals cooking Dinner would be a lot easier! thanks Lori.

  16. You're welcome! You should give it a try and see if it works for you. You'll probably be surprised.


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