Once a week I sit down with a cup of coffee and my shopping list and write up a weekly menu plan. The next day I do my weekly grocery shop and this helps me to be organised and ready for the busy week ahead.
I often begin the process by doing a quick freezer inventory. I have a look and list all the meat I have in the freezer. I try to incorporate these into the weekly menu so that they are not kept too long in the freezer. I buy meat on sale and freeze it as I find it in the Supermarket.
I only plan dinner meals and only weeknights. The weekends are much more casual. Sometimes we are out and the rest of the time we eat leftovers or BBQ or pasta or pizza……simple stuff. Dr TMH likes to cook on weekends too which is a nice treat for me!
Monday nights are always Meatless Monday. We have my brother and sister-in-law over Monday nights and I like to experiment on them with vegetarian dishes. We also have dessert on Monday nights too. Either I will make something or sometimes they bring something they have made over the weekend for us to enjoy. The only other night we have dessert is Saturday nights. We treat ourselves to “Saturday Sundaes”: get out the ice-cream and get creative with toppings.
The rest of the week we have simple meals that are quick to prepare after work and in the midst of after-school activities.
This is the menu plan for this coming week. You will notice that I also include the weather temperature expected for each day. That may not be necessary where you live, but here in Melbourne, Australia, the temperature can vary a LOT from day to day. I try not to plan a comforting stew or soup for a 40 degree C day, instead I would plan for a salad and BBQ or cold meat.
Under “Extras” I list cakes and slices that we bake over the weekend for school lunches and after school snacks. These are usually special treats and a couple of things will last us all week……once it’s gone, it’s gone! It’s a good opportunity to get the kids in the kitchen cooking up something yummy. Also, if we are going out to something where I need to bring a dish, I will list it here so that I can see what needs to be prepared.
Once the week is over, I file the menu page in a folder which has month tabs. This just helps me when I am stuck for ideas and I can see what I made last year in February and where I got the recipes from. Sometimes I forget delicious recipes from the past and this helps me remember! I can also reuse weekly menus if I don’t have time to menu plan.
You might recognise a few recipes in this week’s plan from the blog.
Here are the recipes from this week’s menu that you can find on trinamichellehouse.com:
I must add that sometimes I change the menu plan as the week progresses. I might decide one day to swap the planned dinner to another night or even to scrap it altogether and make something else (I might not feel like making that recipe that day!). That’s okay. The menu is a tool to help me stay organised and it’s certainly not set in stone.
How do you menu plan? Share your menu tips in the comments below.
I hope this post helps you organise your week.