Monday, October 17, 2011

Bi-Weekly Meal Planning

Another week has started, and with that comes a hectic schedule to keep up with. Saturday afternoon we sat down and put together our grocery list and a bi-weekly menu, then hit the grocery stores. (I know, what a fun way to start the weekend). Feeding 5 people for 2 weeks takes planning, especially with all the activities thrown in.

When we plan our menu I always sit down with our activity calendar, a couple of cookbooks (or food magazines), and several pieces of paper- one for the menu, one for the grocery list, and one to rewrite the menu when I'm done scribbling on it.
We try to plan simple meals for our busiest nights, like soccer nights, and try to overlap a few meals and use the leftovers. For example, we're having breakfast for dinner on Monday so we'll save some of the bacon and use that for BLT's the next night since we have soccer. It saves time, money, and keeps us from wasting food.

For the new recipes this week I have a couple of cookbooks that I have been wanting to try out:

This South African cookbook my friend Rochelle gave to me last year. I have not yet tried anything from it, but there are so many recipes I have bookmarked. This menu includes two from this book: African Spiced Soup and Layered Mushroom Bake. I can't wait to try them!

This cookbook I picked up at Ten Thousand Villages a long time ago. The idea behind it is more with less. Each recipe is from a different country, and there are stories of extreme generosity shown by those who have nothing to give, but still find a way to through a simple meal. We have already tried a few really good recipes, and we plan to include at least one recipe on our weekly menus from now on.

After about 30 minutes here's what we came up with:

Saturday: Pizza Night (Friday turned into Sushi night)
Sunday: Chipotle in Charlottesville (we went Apple Picking)
Monday: Brinner- Belgian Waffles with apple topping, bacon and eggs
Tuesday: BLT's - we have a soccer practice so we'll use the leftover bacon for sandwiches)
Wednesday: Oven Roasted Chicken, steamed broccoli, and rosemary potatoes
Thursday: Chicken Salad Pitas (using leftover chicken), carrots sticks, and chips- we have drama class and a soccer game
Friday: Family Fun Night-Homemade pizzas and a movie
Saturday: Curried Peas and Potatoes with Rice (new recipe)
Sunday: Marinated grilled chicken, veggies, fries
Monday: Brinner (Monday is now breakfast night- the girls' favorite)
Tuesday: BLT's - we have another soccer game
Wednesday: African Spiced Soup (new recipe)
Thursday:Slow cooker Italian chicken with pasta
Friday: Family Fun Night- Homemade pizzas and a movie
Saturday:Layered Mushroom Bake (New recipe)
Sunday:Pumpkin Carving Party
Monday: HALLOWEEN- I haven't decided yet but it will be something fun!

We also plan for breakfasts and lunches.
Overnight Oats, Slow cooker Oats, cold cereal, bagels.

PB&J or mac and cheese for the kids, lunch meat sandwiches or leftovers for my husband, and I have some Amy's Lentil soup or open face avocado sandwiches.

So there you have it- our meal plan for two weeks.

1 comment:

  1. I love your idea of the make-ahead shopping list and meal planning for two weeks . I tend to shop twice, too...but usually it's twice a week! I am not as organized as you are...this sounds much more efficient. Ooh, good question - what bacon do you use? I tried Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon when it was on sale at the Fresh Market, but will not pay what they want at regular price. I heard that Trader Joe's uncured applewood smoked bacon is really good - have you tried it yet?