I’ve started menu planning again and love how it’s working out. To be honest, I have no idea why I ever stopped! It’s been great to know what dinner is going to be each night, and has helped with grocery shopping, pre-planning, and even precooking since I can see what the whole week (in regards to dinner) looks like at a glance.
On Saturday, I sat down and wrote up a menu plan for the week, planning around foods we already had in the fridge and pantry. That way, I didn’t have to shop for many items; we just had to supplement a couple of ingredients (mainly fresh produce). On Sunday, my husband went to the grocery store with my list, which I also put together at the same time I created our week’s meal plan. So, essentially, in one sitting, I had a menu plan for the entire week, and a grocery shopping list!
Let me share with you what we’re eating for dinner this week. Hopefully, this motivates you to create your own menu plan for next week (or even the rest of this week). You will notice that I’m using some shortcuts and utilizing the slow cooker as much as I can. The combination of a menu plan, meal shortcuts, and a slow cooker, has truly made a difference in my kitchen and allowed me to serve my family home-cooked meals despite working full-time. (My office may be at home, but I still work full-time hours.)
Sample Dinner Menu Plan
- Sunday: Chicken Stir-Fry with Brown Rice
- Monday: Lasagna and Side Salad (I precooked the ground beef on Saturday when I made burgers. I simply divided the ground beef I had in half, cooked half to use for the lasagna, and used the other half to make the burgers that same night. So, on Monday, all I had to do was reheat the meat, assemble the lasagna, and bake it.)
- Tuesday: Turkey Sausage and Vegetable Soup (A variation of this Chicken and Vegetable Soup recipe, cooked in a slow cooker.)
- Wednesday: Leftovers
- Thursday: Boneless Pork Ribs and Sweet Potatoes (I cook both in a slow cooker together. I may add some steamed frozen vegetables too.)
- Friday: Steak Burritos
- Saturday: Turkey Chili (Slow Cooker again!)
It really does help me to menu plan and makes dinner run smoother during the week. I love knowing ahead of time what I’m making and taking that stress of ‘What’s for dinner?‘ away. Give it a try – sit down for 10 minutes this weekend and plan next week’s menu. Or better yet, sit down tonight and plan out the next couple of nights just to test it out!
More on Menu Planning
What about you? What’s for dinner this week?