Every Sunday I plan my family’s weekly meals. When I do it, I have the following tools: my weekly calendar, Weekly Menu Planner, Costco list, Albertson’s list, and my cookbook or magazine of the week.
My calendar is there as reference for what I am doing this week, and gives me an indication on how willing I’ll be to cooking when I get home. A busy day indicates a 20 minute meal, while a not so busy day will perhaps indicate a 45 minute meal.
The Weekly Menu Planner is a printout of a document I have created. It is a table that lists Sunday – Saturday with three lines each. The three lines represent protein/main dish, starch, and vegetables. I don’t always need all three lines, as with stews or a mixed dish, but it reminds me to make sure I have all three components in my meals.
My Costco and Albertsons lists are printouts of these two stores by aisle in order of their respective layout. As I am making my meal plan, I circle the items I need for my meals on the two lists. Each week, we shop at both of stores, one right after the other. We buy our bulk produce, frozen meat and fish, yogurt, milk, cereal and canned items at Costco and at Albertsons we buy the small amounts of produce spices, rice/pasta and canned beans.
Where I get my recipes? This week I used my newest Cooking Light magazine, April 2010, but I use the Cooking Light Annual Recipes or myrecipes.com website which includes my favorites from over the years. I admit I am partial to Cooking Light, but am not affiliated with them.
The game plan for variety:
- Meat dish (pork or beef)
- Fish dish (shrimp or salmon)
- Poultry dish (turkey or chicken)
- Pasta dish (which may have meat, poultry or fish)
- Soup, stew or pizza (again which may have meat, poultry or fish)
- Vegetarian dish
- Leftovers or night out
This has worked for me for over 10 years now, took some practice, but works for me.