Oct 31 2016

What’s for Dinner: Our Weekly Menu Plan


Thankful for a weekend with family and an opportunity to catch up on laundry as well as some other items around the house.  Our family celebrated Halloween over the weekend by carving pumpkins, eating a special meal, and hanging out together for a fun family night.  As we gear up for another busy week of school, work, appointments, and a multitude of other activities going on I want to keep the dinner menu easy and efficient for everyone.

By the time we get home from work and school,  activities, do homework, pack lunches for the next day, prep for the next day, shower, and spend a little time together there is not much time for elaborate meals at home.  Thankfully we can have more fancy time consuming meals over the weekend when our schedule is a little bit more flexible.  As long as I prep the night before everything will be ready to go in the evening once the crew arrives home.  We try not to eat out very often and to make healthy meals at home, however, in order to do it we need to plan and prep ahead of time.  Grateful for my crockpot and other kitchen tools that assist in making home-cooked meals at home with the family possible even with a busy schedule.   Here is our menu plan for the upcoming week:

Our Weekly Menu Plan

  • Monday (Beef or Pasta Entree):  Cube Steak, Steamed Vegetables
  • Tuesday (Seafood, Soup, Salad, or Sandwich Entree):  Seafood Tacos, Black Beans 
  • Wednesday (Chicken or Vegetarian Entree):   Grilled Mustard Chicken, Tagiatelle Pasta
  • Thursday (Pork Entree or Kid‘s Night to Cook):  Mesquite Pork Loin, Apple Slices
  • Friday, Saturday, & Sunday:  Leftovers, Family Preference, and Hosting

I have a general pattern I try to follow for my weekly Menu Plan (for example Monday we have a beef or pasta entree and so forth).  It is my goal, at least in the beginning, to have at least the main dish and one side planned.  I will put together the remaining side dishes (veggies / fruits) based on the food items that need to be used up first and compliment the main entree.

Setting a weekly menu plan helps me utilize my time better, thus freeing up extra time to spend with my family.  On the days that I am working longer hours I can prep the meal in advance so it will be easier to pull together once I am home.  As I go through the menu planning process I will try to share some of our favorite family recipes.  If there is a specific recipe you would like please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate (some recipes are a toss together meal and I do not use any set measurements).

As a family of four our life can get busy.  What’s for Dinner is our weekly menu planning series and one of the ways to help keep us organized, on schedule, and within budget.  Our family typically eats 6 to 7  dinner meals at home a week.  We do try to go out to eat at least once a month as a special treat.  Breakfasts are eaten at home before work and school, lunches are eaten at work, school, or home, so dinner is our main meal together as a family.  Dinner is our time to reconnect, share, and enjoy being together after a busy day.  Our weekly menu plan covers Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday only because the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) is our time to spend with family and friends.  The weekends tend to be more spontaneous and my husband (who is the better cook) likes pitching in therefore we keep the menu open for variety.  We use up the leftovers throughout the week for our lunches and on the nights that we are busy or can’t cook.

Photo by Liz

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