Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Two-Week Menu Plan {Printable}

Today's printable is a two-week menu plan. It's a good place to start if you are new to meal planning.  

Use a two-week menu plan to organize your dinners.

I've been experimenting with different ways of menu planning. So far, the two-week menu plan works for my family. I write the following items in my plan:

  • The name of the dish
  • The main ingredient used (e.g. type of meat)
  • Grocery items I need, including any seasonal produce

Listing the main ingredient on my menu plan achieves the following goals:

I save time cooking by transforming leftovers into another dish.  I typically cook enough for leftovers.  For instance, let's say on Monday I make a chicken dish.  On Wednesday, I can use chicken leftovers and make a new meal (such as quesadillas).  A quick scan of the main ingredients make this planning process effortless.  Plus, I don't have to spend a lot of time cooking that day!

I meal plan by the main ingredient to make sure that the menu is diverse. My family enjoys different dishes (no more chicken three nights in a row!). Plus, since I shop weekly, I can easily factor in seasonal produce.

Tip: Health counts! I try to portion my family's plate via this helpful tool from the USDA.

Planning two weeks at a time has it's benefits:

I save money.  If done right, meals planned at home are typically much cheaper (per head) than eating out. Additionally, planning two weeks at a time helps me factor unexpected meat sales that pop up from time to time.

I can try new recipes.  Yes, I have some tried and true recipes in our cookbook.  But  I love trying new recipes too!  Writing out an entire month of planning may not provide the flexibility I need to allow for this. But two weeks does!

One sweet day I will commit to planning monthly...but for now this really helps me. Pop it in your home management or meal planning binder today! 

Click the link for the two-week menu plan.

No comments:

Post a Comment