April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday | Planning for the Cuh-RAZY Month of May {New 5 Week Plan}!

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.

A very busy May is near, my dears, a fact that figures prominently in my menu planning for the next month.

May is one of those months in our family; we have tball and softball games (two a week each), the Flying Pig Marathon weekend (my brother-in-law -- who is also single, Catholic, and one heck of a nice guy if you want to play matchmaker; DM me -- runs it every year), Mother's Day weekend, end of school year events, and my older son's birthday. There are also a few other events in May for us but I'm breaking into a sweat right now as I type this, thinking of all the racing and busyness that lies ahead for us!

So for next menu plan (which happens to cover through just about the end of May), my goal is simply to keep it simple. There will be no feats of culinary greatness in my kitchen over the next month, my friends. There will be, however, easy meals, including an abundance of quick-fix, kid-friendly dinners.

Here's what I've got planned for the next 5 weeks:

Week 1: 4/26-5/2
Monday: Awesome Pot Roast, Egg Noodles, Veggies
Tuesday: Taco Night!
Wednesday: Homemade Pizza
Thursday: Brats & Dogs, Grinny Beans
Friday: Breakfast for dinner
Saturday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
Sunday: Go RUNNERS! Flying Pig Race Day - FREE NIGHT!

Week 2: 5/3-5/9
Monday: Mini Cheeseburgers, Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Tuesday: Taco Night!
Wednesday: Italian Sausage Penne Pasta
Thursday: Breakfast for dinner
Saturday: Grilled Brats & Dogs, 3 Bean Salad (+ Grill Chicken for later)
Sunday: Cold Grilled Chicken Salad, Rice (Use Chicken from Saturday)

Week 3: 5/10-5/16
Monday: BBQ Chicken Pizza (Use Chicken from Saturday)
Tuesday: Taco Night!
Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner
Thursday: Hot Dogs, Mac & Cheese, veggie sticks
Friday: Leftover cleanout
Saturday: FREE NIGHT
Sunday: Event out

Week 4: 5/17-5/23
Monday: Italian Beef Sandwiches, Pasta Salad, veggie sticks
Tuesday: Taco Night
Wednesday: Grilled Brats & Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, Salas
Thursday: Breakfast for dinner
Saturday: Leftover cleanout
Sunday: Mini Cheeseburgers, Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Week 5: 5/24-5/30
Monday: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Tuesday: Taco Night!
Wednesday: Happy Birthday! Dinner out for my older son!
Thursday: Breakfast for dinner
Friday: Leftover cleanout
Saturday: Grilling out - big ol' family party for my son's birthday!

You'll notice I've got several grilling nights on my menu. I love, love, LOVE grilling out because it's super easy to throw some extra meats on the grill like chicken or burgers; I take advantage of cooking extra on the grill to use for dinners later in the week on nights where I have little time to get a meal together.

I've also got a breakfast for dinner night every week. This is another great way to stretch your meal budget and make your dinner planning and cooking a bit easier. My kids LOVE having waffles, eggs, and fruit for dinner so this is always a hit with us. I usually try a new recipe for the waffles or pancakes (ie: gingerbread, chocolate, banana nut) to keep it interesting. ;-)

There's my plan! I'll update with links later and I'll post each week as the month rolls along.

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

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