March 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday | My New 5 Week Menu Plan {Includes Recipe Links}

I plan my family's dinners in five week blocks to maximize my savings at the grocery store and minimize my stress at dinner time. You can read more about my strategy here in my Q&A post here.

I also answered several more questions about how I plan my big ol' menus and how I shop for them.  For more Q&A (because you're just dying to know, right?), click here.

It's time once again for a new 5 Week Menu Plan!

If you've followed this blog and my big, multi-week, menu plans, you've likely noticed that I repeat several recipes each menu plan. There's a few good reasons for that. ;-)

As much as I like to try new recipes, my criteria for picking recipes for our dinners are:

1. The majority of the five people in my family like it.
Notice I say majority; you can't please all the people all the time and meal planning is no exception. There are some meals that I make that one or another of my three kids isn't thrilled about eating and that's ok. We try to get them to try a bite but they know that Mom won't be fixing them a second dinner and their dessert option disappears if they choose to get down without eating a full dinner. I'm an old school kind of mom! ;-)

2. Ease of preparation.
I love French Onion Soup and I love making it from scratch but can I tell you something, peeps? It's been years since I made this soup at home because I simply don't have the time to spare in the kitchen. The recipes I pick for my menu plans are ones that I know I can throw together quickly (or even double the recipe and freeze the extras); if they are new recipes that I'm trying, the directions lead me to believe they'll be easy, too.

3. Cost of ingredients.
Just as I really do love more complex cooking a la Julia Child (which is why I don't mind hosting family events & holidays), I also like more expensive and fancier ingredients. My budget, however, does not have room for expensive cuts of meat, seafood, or gourmet ingredients. And guess what? That's ok, too! I'm in a season of my life where I'm raising a family and my job as Head Chef is to keep them happily fed with nutritious food without breaking the bank.

So with all that being said, I've got another 5 Week Menu Plan below filled with simple meals made with basic ingredients that, meals that meet my three criteria above. I hope you find my obsessive overplanning attention to detail useful in your menu planning!

Week 1 (March 22-28, 2010)

Monday: Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Veggies

Tuesday: Taco Night!

Wednesday: Sticky Pork Chops, Sweet Potato Oven Fries, Steamed Veggies

Thursday: Mexican Hot Dogs, Mac & Cheese, Veggie Sticks

Friday: Blender Quiche, Waffles, Fruit

Saturday: Free Night!

Sunday:: Italian Beef Sandwiches, Pasta Salad

Week 2 (March 29 - April 4, 2010)

Monday: Chili Lime Chicken, Corn, Quesadillas

Tuesday: Taco Night!

Wednesday: Cheesy Ham & Potato Soup, Salad

Thursday: Leftover Cleanout!

Friday: Breakfast for dinner: Eggs, Waffles, Fruit

Saturday: Free night!

Sunday: Happy Easter! Easter Dinner here with Ham & all the fixings!

Week 3 (April 5-11, 2010)

Monday: Leftovers! (I *love* holiday dinner leftovers! YUM!)

Tuesday: Taco Night!

Wednesday: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Rolls, Salad

Thursday: Apple Cider Pork Chops, Wild Rice, Veggies

Friday: Copycat LaRosa's Pizza, Salad

Saturday: Free night!

Sunday: Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies

Week 4 (April 12-18, 2010)

Monday: Mini Cheeseburgers, Sweet Potato Oven Fries, Veggie Sticks

Tuesday: Taco Night!

Wednesday: Leftover Cleanout!

Thursday: Green Chile & Chicken Enchiladas, Salad

Friday: Italian Pepper and Sausage Pasta, Rolls, Salad

Saturday: Free night!

Sunday: Cincinnati Chili, Salad

Week 5 (April 19-25, 2010)

Monday: Homemade Chicken Nuggets, Mac & Cheese, Veggies

Tuesday: Taco Night!

Wednesday: Red Beans & Rice

Thursday: Leftover Cleanout!

Friday: Grilled Chicken, Black Bean & Corn Salsa, Salad

Saturday: Free night!

Sunday: Grilled Brats, Pasta Salad, Fruit

I'll add a link to this menu in my master Menu Plan post which can be found by clicking on the "Menu Plans" tab in my navigation bar.

Be sure to visit the Meal Plan Monday linkeroo over at to get more menu plan ideas and share yours as well!
obsessive overplanning


  1. Y'all really like your tacos! Too messy for my babies (1 and 3), but the chili-lime chicken recipe looks great, I added it to my Zaar cookbook.

  2. I love your plan!! My husband and I plan our menu for the week, but this is fabulous! You can really streamline your shopping especially when you know what you are going to need weeks in advance!. Thank you for sharing.

  3. sarasantos: We do LOVE tacos! That's another key to my menu planning - my kiddos know that Taco Night Tuesday is a sure thing they can look forward to!

    Thanks for commenting!

  4. Anon: Thanks - yes, planning weeks in advance gives me the chance to stockpile on what I'll need when I see meat on sale at rock bottom prices.

    And the other big part is I can look at our schedule and identify the busy nights; for those nights, I plan super easy meals or crockpot meals.

    Thanks for commenting!


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