What’s for supper? I hear that question every single day and I’ll bet you do, too. I’m thankful to have a family that depends on me but when I’m unprepared I feel stressed and frustrated. I don’t have time or patience for daily trips to the store and too much take-out is a budget buster for me. Here’s my solution:
Our menu is nothing fancy but taking the time to plan what we’ll eat for the next seven days makes all the difference in my week. I’m always collecting favorite recipes from friends, Food network, blogs, and cookbooks. Some are neatly printed while others are hand written. I put them in page protectors and keep them in binders in my kitchen. I have a binder for main dishes, sides dishes, desserts, and appetizers/misc.
Make the Menu
On Wednesdays I make the menu for the coming week. I flip through the binders, choose the recipes that will work for my budget and schedule, and write it down on a weekly menu sheet I created. I take the recipes I’ll need out of the binder and keep them and the menu on a clip board in the kitchen.
Make the Grocery List
I use the menu/recipes to make my shopping list. My Master Grocery List makes this easy and assures I get everything I need for the week in just one trip to the store. (most of the time!)
As you’ll see, I only include the menu for supper on weekdays. Since my kids are older I provide several options for breakfast and lunch and they prepare their own meals.
Breakfast options: cold and hot cereals, fruit/protein smoothies, eggs, toast, bagels.
Lunch options: sandwich and salad fixins, left-overs.
Thursday, September 10 —
- Little Caesars pizza (it’s been a long day!)
Friday, September 11—
- Spaghetti and Garlic Toast (store-bought sauce and no meat + $1 loaf of french bread cut in half lengthwise, toasted, and brushed with melted butter and minced garlic)
Saturday, September 12—
- Lunch: Hotdogs + Chips-n-salsa
- Supper: Cheeseburgers + Chips-n-dip; Sinfully Delicious Skillet Apple Pie with Ice Cream. Saturday night is always burger night. Tonight: Good buns, frozen beef patties (I season before cooking), Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion & pickles. Buffet style is perfect during football games!
Sunday, September 13–
- Lunch: Homemade Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese
I made the Tomato Soup on Saturday night using canned tomatoes from my daddy’s garden (I’m gonna miss those), poured it into the crock-pot and stored it in the fridge. I set it to “low heat” before we leave for church on Sunday morning. Eric has a meeting after church which gives me enough time to get the grilled cheese sandwiches made before he gets home. Texas toast + butter + Cheddar + Pepper Jack. Yum!!)
- Supper: Biscuits-n-Gravy + Watermelon (Store-bought frozen biscuits were in the freezer and needed to be used so I only needed a few packages of gravy. Delicious!)
Monday, September 14–
- Oven fajitas + chips-n-salsa
Tuesday, September 15
Found some delicious sandwich rolls on the bakery clearance rack. Score! Stored them in the fridge until Tuesday morning. Instead of beef, I use venison cube steak from my freezer.
Wednesday, September 16–
- Kids eat at church with the youth group; Eric and I eat left-overs!
Thursday, September 17–
A friend shared the roasted corn recipe and I’ve made it several times this year! It’s easy and delicious!
I can change this menu around if our schedule changes but I know that I have something planned. Even if your diet or budget is different than mine, planning ahead will relieve a lot of stress.This one habit has added so much to the joy of homemaking.
A crust eaten in peace
is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.Aesop
Feel free to print and share the blank menu, master grocery list, and the recipes!