Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Motivation: Plan Your Meals

I'm about to tell you something that will shock you. . .

I hate planning my weekly menu.
There, I said it - and I mean it. 

I know I need to do it, but I always put it off and then regret it later. 

My goal is to have a home cooked meal on the table most nights of the week. 
I mean, who doesn't want to come home to a meal like this?. . .


But, the truth is, it takes work.  It takes planning.  It takes planning ahead and shopping ahead to make it work.  My goal this week is to plan all of my meals for the next two weeks.  I'm planning for two weeks because I want to really enjoy my time off from work (I'll only be working one of my three jobs) and not stressing about feeding lots of people. 

Here's how I plan to accomplish it:

1.  I've already inventoried the freezers and pantry to see what I have on hand.  I want to use up any foods that have been around for awhile.

2.  I'm using a small note pad to jot my menus down on.  I found it at Michaels.  It's made for 1 week, but I draw a line down the middle of the page and add additional days to make it last for 2 weeks. (cuz I'm cheap like that)

3.  I'll pull out my recipe box, recipe binders, and cookbooks and look for recipes that use the items I already have on hand. 

4.  When possible, I'll plan on  making double batches of food like chili and soup to freeze for later use or to eat for lunches.

5. I check my calendar for any special days or events I may need to make something special for and write that on my menu list.

6.  I fill in the main dishes first and then add in the side dishes and an occasional dessert/snack to round out the list.  If it's not a recipe in my box or binder, I write down where to find it so I don't spend a lot of time searching for it again.

7.  The last thing I do is to highlight my printed grocery list with the items I'll need to purchase.  I check each recipe to make sure I have all of the ingredients.

 I made up my own grocery list on my computer and I can print out extra copies whenever I need to.  Items are listed by category and I can highlight items by color according to where I plan to purchase them.  Yellow for the regular grocery store, blue for Sam's club, and pink for Trader Joe's or the Organic Market.  *I've recently revised this list as our shopping has changed to accommodate healthier eating. 

I also like to have my list on my fridge so that as I use up the last of something I can highlight it and it won't get forgotten.

While strolling mindlessly (I mean researching) on several blogs, I've discovered some great menu ideas to get us started.

     An Oregon Cottage
     Musings Of A Housewife
     I'm An Organizing Junkie

Now, I know many of you already make a weekly menu.  I'm jealous of your dedication.  Can you give me (and the rest of us) some inspiration for healthy meals?   In the comment section, leave a list of the meals you've  planned for this week.

Here's mine for this week:
Sunday - Beef Stew, Pumpkin muffins
Monday - Chicken and rice in the crock pot, peas
Tuesday - Kielbasa with apples and saurkraut, green beans
Wednesday - Turkey with stuffing, steamed broccoli
Thursday - Ham and cheese quiche, collards, fruit salad
Friday - Turkey noodle soup, spinach salad, popovers (we'll eat early so we can attend church service)
Saturday - Chili, rolls, veggie platter (whoever pops in during the day can eat whenever they want to)


  1. I'm so glad that you dislike weekly menu planning! My mom and I, in order to feed everyone for a reasonable price, have to menu plan and it's the one task we put off until the last minute every.single.week. Sometimes we just don't do it at all, and scrounge for food we already own in the cupboards LOL Although that weekly menu list you sent in the basket is awesome! We always lose our list halfway through the week hehe.

    You'll have to share how you make the kielbasa meal. Adding the apples in sounds yummy!

  2. Monday - BBQ Turkey on a bun w/ cole slaw
    Tuesday - Dear Husband & I eat out
    Wednesday - Turkey Pot Pie
    Thursday - Meatloaf/ potatoes/ peas
    Friday - Pimento cheese sandwiches & tomato soup
    Saturday - Ham, Mac & Cheese, Sourdough Bread, Sweet Potatoes, veggies & peach cobbler

  3. Sometimes I cook 3 meals on Sunday. I cook one in the oven, one in the crockpot, and one in the stove. This seems to help my week go smoother when I have worked a long day.

  4. Mon: Meatloaf, potatoes, green beans
    Tues: Chili dogs, fried okra, clementines
    Wed: Pasta with red or white sauce, peas, garlic bread
    Thurs: Daycare Pizza Party!
    Fri: Reuben soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, vegee tray
    Sat: Christmas dinner: Turkey and all the trimmings!

  5. Mon: Minestrone soup and rolls
    Tues: Chicken wraps with avocados
    Wed: Breakfast for dinner
    Thurs: Homemade fish sticks and sweet potato fries
    Fri: Sweet and sour chicken and brown rice, veggies
    Sat: Pasta with meat sauce and spinach salad
    Sun: Roast with potatoes and carrots, rolls


I'd love to know what you're thinking. Please feel free to leave ideas and comments.