How to Create a Two-Week Menu Plan

by Chelsea on June 28, 2016 in Budget Friendly, Dinner Table, Food, Industry, Organizing

menuplan

Menu planning. I love it and I hate it. I hate sitting down and figuring meals out, but when it comes down to it I do like knowing what we are having for dinner and it really is the make or break piece of our budget. So here is a quick rundown of the process I use to plan our meals for two weeks at a time.

~ Make a list of ingredients you already have that need to be used (this does not include staples like flour, sugar, etc.). For this week my list looks like…

  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Asparagus
  • Red potatoes
  • Russet potatoes
  • Cheesy bread from Papa Murphys
  • Leftover ribs
  • Kale
  • Lunch meat
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Apples

~ From this list I can now make a few menu ideas to use up my ingredients

  • Chicken and broccoli
  • Salad
  • Chicken and asparagus
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Sandwiches
  • Smoothies

 

~ Now I look at my calendar and see what events and activities we have that will affect menu. (Do we need to eat out? Do we need to pack a meal? Are we going to someones house? Do we need a quick meal because we have something to do? Etc.)

  • Jon on shift – 3 days (I note this because I usually use up leftovers when he is gone or make something light for the boys and I)
  • Fireworks at Clement
  • Brian’s birthday party
  • Swimming with family
  • Elbert Days

 

~ From here I will go in and add to the menu what I plan to have on those days.

  • Shift 1 – Leftover ribs, mac n cheese and watermelon
  • Clement – Fried chicken (us) co-ordinate others bringing sides
  • B-day party – Ask what to bring
  • Swimming – Dad treating to late lunch – plan light dinner
  • Elbert Days – Ask what to bring

~ Now I can go in and fill in what we would like to have based on the grocery ads, freezer stock, etc.

For right now I have just been writing the menu ideas down and not assigning them a day. Sometimes I am much better at choosing meals for particular days but with our schedule right now and it being summer, I’m a bit looser with it and as long as I have a list to pick from that I have all the ingredients, I’m happy.

So here’s what the list looks like right now before I hit the cookbooks and recipe box and fill in the holes…

  • Leftover ribs, mac n cheese and watermelon (shift)
  • Fried chicken (fireworks)
  • Taco salad (swimming)
  • Chicken and broccoli
  • Chicken and asparagus
  • Enchiladas
  • Meat (TBD), roasted potatoes, roasted broccoli
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • B-day (ask)
  • Elbert (ask)
  • Leftovers (shift)
  • Potstickers (shift)

As you can see, I’m only two meals short of two weeks

 

~ Breakfasts

  • Donuts (VBS this week and found on clearance)
  • Toast
  • Smoothies
  • Breakfast casserole
  • Egg sandwiches

 

~ Lunches

  • Sandwiches
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Taquitos
  • Quesadillas
  • Leftovers
  • Fruit
  • Cucumbers

 

~ After all this, I go to my grocery list app and add any ingredients we need to complete any of these meals. Then I go and check all my staples (bread, milk, butter, juice, etc.) and add the ones we need to the list. Finally, I check where I am in my budget for that period and see how much money I have left. Then I check my “Items Needed Soon” list and add one or two of these items to get to finish out the money I have left. This way we don’t get too far behind and suddenly need 10 items and there’s no room in the budget.

I hope that this will give some of you some ideas and encouragement when it comes to creating a menu plan!

 

Chelsea

Chelsea is wife to Jon, a fireman, and Mama to three energetic little boys. After both having been homeschooled, Chelsea and Jon are now embarking on homeschooling their children as well as starting their family homestead. She also is owner of Chelsea Michal Designs and a custom longarm quilting service. You can see her work and follow along with all her crafting and homesteading adventures at her blog on Facebook and Instagram.

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{ 2 comments }

Laura Lane June 29, 2016

This is a really nice explanation.

Chelsea June 29, 2016

Thank you, Laura!

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