I am far from perfect with my menu planning. But all of my shortcomings have taught me one thing: The surest way to blow your budget is not to have a menu plan.
Recently, I concluded that for me, planning a month at a time is the easiest, most efficient and least costly way to feed my family. (There are lots of other ways to menu plan, too, which I have outlined here.)
When I sat down to make this month’s plan, the first thing I noted was Thanksgiving… for which our plans are still a bit up in the air. I went ahead and penciled in Turkey Day dinner, but that long weekend is most definitely subject to change.
Monday, November 1: Tofu lettuce wraps, quinoa
Tuesday, November 2: Tuna Casserole Tuesday (it makes my 5 year old happy, what can I say?), Greek salad (it makes mama happy)
Wednesday, November 3: Sweet potato and black bean burritos (I put these at the beginning of the month, so I can make up a dozen extra to freeze for quick-and-easy lunches), homemade salsa, rice, avocado slices
Thursday, November 4: Pizza night, veggie sticks
Friday, November 5: Invited Out (hooray!)
Saturday, November 6: Invited Out for lunch (hooray!)
Sunday, November 7: Lasagna, salad
Monday, November 8: Lentil soup, no-kneed bread (look for recipe soon)
Tuesday, November 9: Tuna Casserole Tuesday, salad
Wednesday, November 10: Veggie tacos (with TVP)
Thursday, November 11: Pizza night, veggie sticks
Friday, November 12: Onion chicken, ptitim (like orzo), stir-fried veggies
Saturday, November 13: Cholent, salads
Sunday, November 14: Spinach and shells (make an extra pan to freeze), salad
Monday, November 15: Cauliflower soup, no-kneed bread
Tuesday, November 16: Tuna Casserole Tuesday, salad
Wednesday, November 17: Veggie fajitas
Thursday, November 18: Pizza night, veggie sticks
Friday, November 19: Faux Swedish meatballs, pareve mashed potatoes, salad
Saturday, November 20: Pot luck with friends (we’ll bring sides)
Sunday, November 21: Manicotti (make an extra pan to freeze), salad
Monday, November 22: Tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches
Tuesday, November 23: Tuna Casserole Tuesday
Wednesday, November 24: Taco salad
Thursday, November 25: Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green salad, homemade dinner rolls
Friday, November 26: Left-overs!
Saturday, November 27: More left-overs?
Sunday, November 28: Spinach and shells
Monday, November 29: Vegetarian chili, baked sweet potatoes
Tuesday, November 30: Tuna Casserole Tuesday, salad
Sounds good! But Mara, what’s for lunch?
In addition to planning out our dinners, I’ve realized that I also need to plan for lunches, since my 5 year-old is home for lunch this year. He is rather … particular… so I’ve let him plan the menu. It’s a rotating 5-day schedule. Don’t judge me for the lack of inspiring choices, ok?
Mondays – macaroni & cheese (right out of a box, yes), cucumbers and peppers (his choices, remember)
Tuesdays – chumus, veggie sticks and pita
Wednesdays – left-over tuna casserole, steamed veggies
Thursday – bagel sandwich with peanut butter, cut up fruit (I’ll probably have a salad or left-overs this day)
Friday – baked potato with cottage cheese and steamed broccoli
Tell me: What’s on your menu for the week (or the month)?