I love to plan things. I come from a long-line of planners, so it must be in my blood. Every week I spend about 2 hours planning our dinner menu for the coming week. I realize that many people don’t have the time (or desire) to devote to menu planning, so I’ve decided to do the hard work for you!
Each week (roughly – life happens) I will post a seasonally appropriate weekly menu and corresponding grocery list. All you need to do is take the list to the grocery store, buy the items on the list, and chef them up on the corresponding day. Easy!
I tend to cook “big dinners” on the weekends, and choose meals that are easier to prepare during the week. I never feel like cooking on Friday, so I try to make Friday’s dinner a leftover, freezer, or easy recipe day. Each recipe should feed at least 2 adults and 2 kids, but if you have hungry teenagers, you may want to double some of the recipes.
Here’s the menu for this week:
Sunday: Slow-Cooker Carnitas with Avocado Salsa
Monday: Carnitas Taco Salad
Tuesday: Turkey Burgers
Wednesday: Sweet Potato Bean Burritos
Thursday: Grill-Roasted Red Snapper
Saturday: BBQ Chicken with Mexican Bean Salad
Click on the link below to download the menu, grocery list, and recipes for this week.
Summer Menu: Week 1
For those who are interested, here is my menu planning process.
Grab a pen, paper, coupons (if you use them) and your grocery store’s weekly sale advertisement (check the store’s website if it isn’t mailed to your home).
Go through your store’s weekly ad, page by page. Look for items that are on sale, paying special attention to the meat and produce section. Looking through the ad usually reminds me of other things I need too. Write down the items that you want to buy (the list won’t be complete yet).
Use the list you created in Step 2 to create a menu for the week. For instance, if ground beef, lettuce, and cheese are on sale, you could add hamburgers or tacos to your menu. Use cookbooks and the internet to find recipes, if you need inspiration. I like using allrecipes.com, because it allows you to search for recipes by ingredients. As you identify recipes, write down your menu and add the ingredients that you need to your grocery list.
Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer for any items that need replenishing and add them to your grocery list.
If you use coupons, flip through them and see if you have any coupons for the items on your grocery list. Don’t forget to check your store’s website for printable coupons; I often get best deals with those coupons. I’m not a coupon-junkie, but if I can save a $1.00 off something that I’m going to buy anyway, I figure it’s worth the few minutes of my time to do some coupon clipping.
That’s all there is to it! Using this method, I save between 25% – 30% off my grocery store’s regular prices. For me, that’s about $50 each week! I’m happy to help, so let me know if you have any menu planning questions.