weekly meal planningMonday, February 25, 2013
Have you ever wondered what you were going to make for dinner? Did you ever feel stuck or so hungry you couldn't even think about dinner? If you no longer want to figure out what to do for lunch/dinner each day or if you are interested in saving some money meal planning may just be what you need.
The concept is planning out in advance the meals for each week and do all of your shopping for the week on one day. Some do it bi-weekly and even monthly. For produce and things I find it a LOT of work to do it monthly not to mention the prep work but if you think about it one shopping trip per month is pretty amazing. Maybe one day I will do it to try it and then let you know how it went.
In the mean time I can help you with planning for each week or every two weeks. First thing you want to do is grab some recipes and/or search for some recipes that are budget friendly. Making recipes that involve $20 cheese or the best cuts of meat don't work with this kind of thing.
Here are some ideas from meals we use:
- Pizza casserole
- Steamed veggies, rice and chicken
- Spaghetti and garlic bread/salad
- Chicken tortilla soup
- Hoppin' Johns
- Chicken and broccoli alfredo
- Irish Skillet
- Huevos Rancheros with tortillas
- Chicken Cacciatore with salad
- BBQ Chicken and corn on the cob
Here is our day of the week list:
- All American Sundays
- Mexican Mondays
- Potato Tuesdays (helps stretch the budget by eating a potato based meal)
- Crockpot Wednesdays
- Italian Thursdays
- Finish it up Fridays
- Asian Saturdays
I created a Weekly Menu Planning Kit that can help you get started...you can jot down meal ideas up to two months out and then fill in what you will be having in the upcoming week while simultaneously keeping track of your grocery list. Included in the kit comes color coded recipe cards to match your day of the week. This worked fabulously when the hubby who is in charge of cooking for the majority of the week. He can see that Wednesdays are "green" so he could find the recipe for the meal in the "green" cards.
So to start off you will want to designate a planning day and a shopping day. Breaking these tasks out into different days makes it less of a chore. My shopping days are on Fridays so I scheduled my planning days on Thursdays. I audit my pantry and see what I have on hand and adapt meals from there. I add all the ingredients I need for my meals and then review my "staples" (eggs, milk, bread, cereal, etc.) and add if needed. I ensure we have a couple of munchies on the list if we are out and we are pretty much done!
I have provided my entire meal planning kit here.
You will be able to see me on OrgJunkies blog here.