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August 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Week 1 of My 5 Week Menu Plan

I chatted a bit in my earlier post today about some of the big tasks I managed to finish last week while I was off social media. One was creating a five week menu plan for the start of the school year; school starts tomorrow for my oldest two and I'm thinking long-term in my menu planning.

Q&A about why I'm adopting a 5 Week Menu Plan:

Why five weeks and not just one month?

Well, there are about twenty weeks through the end of the calendar year; a five week menu plan rather than a four week (or monthly) means I'll only need to do a big menu plan three more times before the end of the year.

Why plan so far in advance - five weeks is a big chunk of time?!

One of the other big tasks I did last week was to put everything on our family schedule from now through the end of the school year (all the events, obligations, activities, etc, that I know for certain as of now). With two school-aged children, we are some busy folks. Planning ahead by a month - or five weeks - allows me to adapt our meals (and my cooking) to our schedules.

Are there any double duty dinners or cook ahead dinners?

I have a number of recipes that I'm doubling and freezing and then using the frozen main item again in a different recipe later in the schedule. Again, doing a menu plan over a longer period of time gives me more flexibility to add those LOMOs (Leftover Makeovers) to my menu.

Is this menu plan posted online?

Of course! I'm all about sharing what works for me with you fine folks in case it helps you, too. My 5 Week Menu Plan (with recipe links) is posted here (as a printable GoogleDoc) and embedded at the bottom is a link to Week 1's Grocery List (another printable GoogleDoc).

I'm not perfect (I've got big fat clay feet here, y'all) so be aware that a link could be haywire and that the Grocery List is a basic guideline; be sure to check the recipes and see what items you'd omit or add.


What I'm cooking this week; see the 5 Week Menu Plan for recipe links:


Mini Cheeseburgers, French Fries, Salad, Carrots and Celery Sticks


Oven Baked Chicken, Mac&Cheese, Steamed Veggies


Grilled Chicken with Black Bean and Corn Salsa over Salad






Free Night!


Pulled Pork BBQ, Corn on the Cob, Sweet Potato Oven Fries, Salad

Don't forget to hop on over to the linkeroony at Meal Plan Monday hosted by Orgjunkie.com to drop your meal plan post and surf the links for ideas!

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  1. Thank you for the tips. Just wondering if this plan cut down on your monthly food bill?

  2. @Pamela - Thanks for the comment.

    Yes, in answer to your question, planning my menus a month or so at a time does save me quite a bit on my grocery bill. I can stockpile items when they are on sale (and use coupons to save even more).

    Planning ahead also saves me time and ends the "what's for dinner?" stress.

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Just revisited your page which I had bookmarked a while back. I see that you have grocery lists for 3 weeks. Are those the only lists for the Five Week Menu Plan? I'm thinking seriously about more or less copying your plan and seeing how it works out for me and mine.

  4. Such a great blog! I love your meal plan too! I have been trying to find a meal plan that my family will like and yours fits to the T. Thanks!


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