Monday, March 28, 2011

Two Week Menu

I offered to send Lindsey my two week menu, but thought it might be easier to share it here.

How to set it up:  Pick how many meals you will prepare in the next two weeks.  Since we share Sunday dinner with family and lunches are always low key (think PB&J), for the next two weeks I will need to prep 12 meals.  I try and mix up different kinds of protein and meat free meals.  Remember some meals are big enough to feed your family twice and you may want to include that in your count.  I almost always only count everything once because I'll send leftovers with my hubby for lunch and if there's more than that, then I get an easy lunch too.

Side dishes?:  I never plan side dishes as we usually just throw in whatever produce we have on hand (from Bountiful Baskets, you should really check them out!).  But you could definitely plan those as well.

Organization:  Some people like to assign each meal to a date.  I can't do that, it's too structured.  Instead I list the meals, knowing I have all the ingredients on hand, then choose that afternoon what I feel like eating and the amount of time I feel like taking to prepare it.  I also have a code system assigned to help me get a better feel for what I want to do.  For example, if a meal is underlined it's a simple, fast meal- this is great for nights I'm going to be gone and need to have it ready before I leave or leave Nick in charge with minimal instructions.  I also put a star next to any meal that has a time sensitive item in it.  Usually I only mark this on fresh produce meals, but today I cleaned out my freezer, so there's also a star next to freezer items I want used asap.

So with that explanation, here's my menu for the next two weeks (I linked up the meal with a recipe whenever possible!):

Ghost Chili
Chicken Courdon Bleu
Garlic Ranch and Veggie Pizza*
Hashbrowns and Eggs*
Spaghetti and Spinach Turkey Meatballs* (I modify this to make mini meatballs without the sauce then freeze them and thaw and cook for a quick addition to our spaghetti dinners)
Peach Pork Roast*
Steak Fajitas*
Chef Salad*
Rosemary Chicken
Calzones (Hmm, got this from Kristine a while ago, maybe she'll share it here for you!)

Grocery Shopping:  Ok so now I gather all these recipes and make a list of what ingredients I need and anything else the house is short of (and after two weeks, that's a lot!)  I do a milk run in the middle of shopping trips, but I try to limit it to just milk, so it's essential that I really take stock of what I'll need.  I also get most of my produce through Bountiful Baskets.  Each week is a surprise, so if there's something I really need from the produce department, I'd better buy it now or else I'll be out buying it later.  For general veggies to use on the veggie pizza or in the fajitas, I'm sure to get something that will work in my basket and I don't worry about them.  By the way, shopping only once every other week saves you a lot of money in impulse buys and last minute eating out.

It's Dinner Time:  Now Tuesday late afternoon rolls around and it's time to get cooking.  I glance up at my list and make a choice based on what I feel like eating, the amount of time I have to cook, and (very important) what needs to be done before ingredients go bad.  So I pick spaghetti and meatballs since the meatballs are already thawing in the fridge and I have mutual to get to by 6.  Ta da!  Cross your meal off.  My only last bit of advice is to make sure all the prep heavy meals are not left to the end.  No one wants to spend an hour in the kitchen four days in a row.  Balance is the key here.  Enjoy never having to ask "What's for dinner?" again!


  1. You probably won't check for comments, but this is EXACTLY what I do. A two week menu that's flexible...even down to the underlining and stars by the things I want to use up right away! So funny.

  2. And I only shop every two weeks too.....we think alike:)

  3. Thanks Stevie! I usually make a list of all the meals I can make when I go shopping but I don't usually do 2 weeks worth, and then I don't go shopping for at least 2 weeks! So by the end I'm making spaghetti, tacos, the things we have twice a month when I run out of other things to make! I'll try making the list a bit longer and more diverse. All your recipes sound delicious! I only wish I was as organized as you (in ALL things)!