Friday, July 10, 2009

My Meal Plan

It seems like many people always have their meals planned out beautifully for the week, and sometimes even for an entire month. I am not one of those people. Every week I panic and scramble to figure out something for dinner when I realize that we are yet again, out of food. Then we go to the grocery store, where I attempt to make a list but usually end up buying things we don't need because I didn't make a meal plan.

This week is going to be different! I sat down for an hour yesterday and planned it all out. For years, I had been trying to figure out the best way to rotate recipes so that we're not always eating the same thing. Nothing ever really worked, but I think I've found a way this time. Last evening we went to the store and bought all of the ingredients. Now I just have to figure out how to get the costs down. Here's what I planned:

Each night of the week is going to have a different "theme." I didn't assign certain days to the themes, because that's repetitive and boring. These are the themes:

Seafood night - This week we're going to have salmon, roasted red potatoes and asparagus.

Breakfast night - I love breakfast for dinner, don't you? I'll be making fried rice, which isn't typical breakfast food, but it works since I make it with scrambled eggs and bacon. I'll also be making lumpia, which is the Filipino equivalent of egg rolls only they're way more yummy.

Pasta night - Macaroni and blue cheese with bacon. Need I say more?

Soup and/or Salad, plus cheese night - We don't eat enough salad, so I put aside one night to make one. Since soup goes well with salad, some nights I may throw in a soup as well. We also love cheese around here, so we'll be eating some with crackers or bread. Last time we had three different kinds of goat cheese but honestly, I'd be happy with plain old cheddar. Really, you can't go wrong when there's cheese involved.

Protein night - Meat, tofu, fish, whatever. This week we're having chicken enchiladas.

Try a new recipe night - To keep things new and fresh, I will be attempting one new recipe a week. This week the challenge will be eggplant roll ups in tomato sauce.

Go out for dinner night - Because sometimes you just can't/don't feel like cooking. If I don't see anything in the house that I want to eat, we can go out for fast food or something similar once a week. This week though, we had hot dogs, Brazilian style (yum), so we don't have to go out.

So there you have it. Whatever we don't eat for dinner will be the next day's lunch. What about you? How do you go about planning your menu for the week?

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  1. Great idea....I wish I could get it together and do this.

    Have a nice weekend!

  2. I've done this in the past and it worked out great. I hate getting up in the morning and asking myself "what's for dinner?" It is a good way to rotate meals. I'll have to go back to doing that now that we're here. The closest "good" grocery store is half an hour away, so I can't afford to drive that far to get things. I miss Henry's every now and then.

  3. I am totally with you Marissa - meal planning sucks!! I am in the process of figuring out a system that works and that we can stick with. thanks for the pointers/ideas!

  4. I'm not the best meal planner either. I try to be, but I haven't come up with a fail-proof system...yet.

    I usually end up relying on my standby recipes - chicken enchiladas, grilled salmon, pasta, beef stew, and chicken salad.

    This past weekend, though, I did something NEW. I used a "make-ahead & freeze it" cookbook and spent a few hours prepping on Saturday. Now, I'm happy to say I have NINE yummy dinners waiting in my freezer! Hooray. I could get used to this... :)


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