Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Menu Planning

This is something helpful that my mom and I have been doing since the beginning of the year. We assigned each day of the week a theme for dinner. You could choose any theme you wanted, Mexican, Italian, Pasta, Sandwiches, Chinese, Thai, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Turkey, Light, Breakfast for Dinner, Ethnic, etc. You get the idea. This is what we came up with for our families.

Sunday- Slow Cooker
Monday- Family Favorite
Tuesday- Soup
Wednesday- Salad
Thursday- Bean or Vegetarian
Friday- Fish
Saturday- Free day

Then we get together every Friday afternoon and plan the next week of menus. We write out our shopping list and then, as early as possible on Saturday morning we go shopping while grandpa watches the kids.

Here is a sample week's menu

Sunday- Pork Tenderloin, Barley Pilaf, Broccoli
Monday- Chicken Enchiladas, Guacamole and Chips, Green Salad, Black Beans and Corn
Tuesday- Vegetable Soup, Cheese Toast, Oranges and Apples
Wednesday-Mini Cheeseburger Salad with Yellow Viniagrette, Banana Bread
Thursday-Mixed Bean Chili with Tofu, Cornbread
Friday- Pan- Seared Tilipia, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Couscous, Zucchini and Summer Squash Saute, Grapefruit Mousse

I have found that when each day has a theme it is easier to choose a dish for dinner and when we only go shopping once a week, without the kids, I save money because I don't buy any junk (no begging and pleading from little ones) and lessen the impulse buys. Also, because I already have the dinners planned out, I don't have to run to the store during the week to grab something little because I already purchased everything I need.

Also, a note on the Chicken Tortilla stew, it is a Rachael Ray recipe and she made a quick version and a longer version where you make your own stock and everything. I posted both recipes up there but I made the extended version which took more time but it was delicious and made the house smell so good!


Laura said...

i shop by the week also and it has saved me money. i'll have to try a few of your recipes for something new to the menu. you're a little me adventurous than me but i'm getting there.

Christel said...

Great idea!

Audrey said...

Thanks for planning my next week for me! I can't wait to try it!

camillamccammon said...

Can I come eat at your house, seriously, all of your food sounds so good.
By the way, the Mayan is so much fun. It feels like the rainforest cafe, with trees and jungle all around. Then there are divers which the kids love to watch. The food is actually really good too. I love going there, it feels like a special occasion.