June 6, 2011

Menu Plan Monday | Summer Slacker Edition

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 stockpile shop the weekly sales with coupons; my goal is to get the best deals on items for my monthly menu plan for the lowest cost.  For more Q&A (because you're just dying to know, right?), click here.


Summer break started early for my tribe this year; my kiddo's school year finished on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.

While I am an admitted monthly menu-planning nut during the school year, I do tend to slack off in the summer especially in June. With three kiddos playing tball, baseball, and softball (and a husband who coaches), most of our nights are spent at one game or another.

One thing we do regularly during the summer is grill out, usually on Saturday or Sunday night. I marinate a TON of chicken, thaw out a couple packs of hot dogs and brats, and throw together a half dozen or so hamburger patties. All of it gets grilled up that night, only some of it gets eaten.

The rest?

Glorious grilled leftover dinners!

If I think ahead or if I find a good deal on fresh veggies, I'll throw some marinated veggie kabobs on the grill, too. I'll soak corn on the cob in the husk in icy cold water for an hour or so and that gets grilled as well; the water in the husk steams the corn - very YUM!

For sides, we stick with garden salad, fresh fruit, and light pasta salads.

I still end up cooking in the kitchen a few nights a week but I do my best to double up meals (cook two dinners at once) because the LAST place I want to be on a hot and humid summer late afternoon is standing near a hot oven or stove top.  ;-)

Since I am a menu planning slacker during the summer, I tend to plan more week-to-week with an eye toward any deals I can find in store on meats and veggies for the grill. I'll stockpile those when I find a great sale or manager special markdown.

Here's a peek at what we're having this week:


Leftover grilled meats from Saturday
Pasta Salad (nothing fancy - a box mix)
Garden Salad


Tacos & Chicken Enchiladas
(My kids still like having their Taco Night Tuesday in the summer!)


Breakfast for dinner - pancakes, turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit


Homemade pizza
Carrot & celery sticks


Free night!


Grilled Chicken over salad
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Rice (mix)


Grill out!

Do you take a "summer break" from menu planning?

Looking for more menu planning inspiration? Be sure to hop through the links at Menu Plan Monday over at Org Junkie.

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