Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Do any of you do it?  I didn't used to.  For a long time I was a Fly By the Seat of My Pants kind of girl.  I would hear about my best friend's plan and think she was crazy.  But the more I thought about it, the more it made perfect sense.  Especially when you have kids and a budget. Many of you ask if I really cook dinner every single night.  And yes I do.  Even before I made a meal plan I did.  But we we were definitely more tempted to do take out because I didn't have a quick, handy list of ideas hanging on my fridge and all of the needed ingredients stocked in my pantry and fridge.  If you are trying to keep a budget you know that getting take out isn't a good way to save money (or good on the waistline either!)  Sometimes my day gets busy and cooking a full meal seems unappealing.  Like last night.  On a whim I decided to paint some of the playroom (flat paint and kids are not a good combination!)  I also needed to bake bread since we were fresh out.  By the time dinnertime rolled around I was in no mood to cook.  So salami sandwiches it was.  And everyone was fine with that!  Now I have one extra meal that will carry over to the following 14 day meal plan.  Works out all around.

So this is what I do.  Every two weeks I sit down the day before payday and make up a list of 14 meals that we would like to eat over the course of the two weeks.  Then on that Friday I go shopping for only the ingredients needed for these particular meals (plus all the essentials like milk, cheese, flour, toilet paper, etc.) This is a huge money saver because you don't buy as many odds and ends without a reason for them.  How often do you look at your pantry and fridge and see tons of stuff inside but have a heck of a time figuring out what goes with what to make a full meal?  This used to happen to me all the time and always got me so frustrated.  Creating a plan and shopping accordingly ends this cycle. I don't break my meal plan down Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, etc.  I originally tried it this way and it seemed like I never was in the mood for whatever I designated for a specific day.  So my meal plan looks more like a menu.  Each morning I look at the list of meals and decide what to make that night so I know what I need to take out of the freezer, etc.

Two weeks may seem like a big commitment to you, so if this is the case then try planing for just one week at a time.  I used to go grocery shopping every week.  But in an attempt to save money and be more prepared Scott has been challenging me to only shop once a week.  The first time I did this was awful!  I totally had a hard time planning that far in advance.  But I think I am finally getting a better system down and am forgetting less and less things.

Kalli from the blog My Life as a Kalli suggested that we post our weekly meal plans to help each other find new ideas and stay creative in the kitchen.  So here is mine:

14 Day Meal Plan Menu 
(week of October 14-27th)

  • Sauteed Chicken Thighs with a Greek style Israeli couscous (think artichokes, tomatoes and olives....mmmmmmm)
  • Salmon Burgers and garlic-y oven fries
  • Loaded Baked Potatoes and a salad (I made these on Sunday night and topped the potatoes with leftover BLT Dip- one word amazing.  I might actually like it even better as a potato topping then a dip.  Gotta love having dual uses for recipes!  Super yummy)
  • Tacos, Classic Black Beans and Spanish rice
  • Pork Chops, homemade apple sauce and roasted butternut squash
  • Caramelized Onion, Pumpkin and Ricotta Tortellini's with a Walnut and Sage Brown Butter Sauce (I already made these ahead and froze them.  So all I have to do is cook the torellini's for 2-3 minutes and make the brown butter sauce.  Dinner on the table in 10 minutes!)
  • Mac 'n Cheese and hotdogs (Turkey Pepper Jack Brats for the grown-ups!)  
  • Traditional Spaghetti with garlic toast and a side salad
  • Meatloaf, buttery noodles and broccoli
  • Breakfast for Dinner (whatever I feel like at the time.  Often it is just dippy eggs, bacon and toast. But sometimes I do a french toast casserole, Potato Puffs or a frittata (here is a  good one).  This night is pretty flexible, EASY and everyone loves it.) 
  • Chorizo & Butternut Soup with Herbed Tomato and Cheese Quesadillas (This is a Rachael Ray recipe that I am super excited to try out.  I'll let you know how it is!)  
  • Chef Salads and butter bread
  • Homemade Pizza and a side salad (thinking iceburg lettuce wedges- yum!)  
  • Roasted Spaghetti Squash "Pasta" and rolls
I hope this gave you all some new ideas!  And if you have any you would like to share please leave them in the comments! 


  1. good choices
    tera pepper

  2. Check out this site for awesome and award winning weekly meal plans Cuts down on sooo many headaches from trying to cook for a family.

    Take care, Valerie
    Weekly Meal Plans



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