Sunday, February 1, 2009

Menu Planning: Second Course

After going through what I had on hand and what's on sale, I came up with some tentative meal ideas for the next two weeks. Then I plugged them into our calendar, taking into account special circumstances on specific days. For instance, we're attending a birthday party on Friday night, so I don't need to plan a dinner for that night.

Here is my menu plan for the first half of February:

Feb. 1-7: oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, homemade English muffins, eggs and sausage or bacon
Feb. 8-14: oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, banana bread, eggs and waffles

(Although I didn't divide it by day, dividing it by week reminds me how long I think a stock of a particular item will last and also what I will need to bake.)

cold cut sandwiches, rice and beans, tuna sandwiches, cheese and crackers, grilled cheese, canned soup, leftovers

granola bars, fruit, dried apricots, potato chips, homemade corn chips and bean dip, banana bread, peanut butter crackers

Sun - hamburgers, chips, corn
Mon - leftover hamburgers (I'll be out all day)
Tues - chicken stir fry
Wed - homemade pepperoni/veggie pizza
Thurs - chili, corn muffins
Fri - birthday party (out)
Sat - leftovers or meal from freezer (busy day)

Sun - pasta and tomato sauce
Mon - beef stew and homemade bread
Tues - baked chicken, wild rice, spinach
Wed - leftover stew and bread
Thurs - leftover chicken, mashed potatoes, corn
Fri - homemade mac and cheese, fruit salad
Sat - leftovers

These menus are definitely not set in stone, but it really helps me to lay them out this way. It ensures that I have enough meals plan and that I have an idea of what to cook each night.

You'll notice that we eat a lot of leftovers. I just can't bring myself to cook only enough for one night. It seems so inefficient! My husband claims he doesn't mind, as long as he liked the dish to begin with! However, if there is enough for more than two nights, I usually freeze the rest of the dish. Then I bring it out on a busy night, instead of getting takeout.

My last step here is to go through the menu and list the ingredients that I don't already have on my shopping list. More on that tomorrow.

PS - Check out for tons of other Menu Planning Monday posts.

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