Meal Planning for Two Weeks

8 Comments

With six children to feed we have to make sure we’re spending our money appropriately when it comes to grocery shopping. If we’re not careful, we’ll end up dropping $40 just for one trip to a fast food joint for a few burgers. We avoid eating out too often by planning our dinner menu for two-weeks and shopping accordingly.

When I first started menu planning, I found it difficult to come up with 14 different dinner ideas. It took time, but I searched several different sites and found a few ideas we liked. After a while it became easy to rattle off different dinner suggestions and put together a well-rounded two-week menu.

These are a few of my favorite sites for recipes and ideas:

Once you’ve gleaned a few good suggestions for your dinner menu – grab a notebook or sheet of paper.

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I like to keep it simple. There are plenty of cute documents to download and print out for menus – but honestly, I never have time for that. So I just write out a little list on a sheet of notebook paper and stick it on the fridge. We’re pretty class ’round here.

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I start out by numbering how many meals I need to plan.

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Then I label the days next to the numbers.

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And I’ll add the dates. There are a number of different ways to do this – as long as you’re keeping track of the number of meals and the days, you’re good. However you want to compose a list is your business. Just make sure you’re making a list!

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Next I’ll fill in any “need-to-know” events coming up. For example, Scott’s dad was planning to visit for dinner one night. We had a birthday coming up, a board meeting for a local charity organization – and there are always sports practices, church events, and other things to consider for our schedule. I list all this out to remind myself what’s going on that particular day and plan a meal according to the schedule. Days that are full of baseball practice, piano lessons and church call for quick and easy meals. Evenings with guests mean I need to make time to prepare a nicer dinner. It’s helpful to put all that on your menu before you plan your meals.

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Here’s an example of a recent two-week menu. It’s simple, nothing fancy – but it gets the job done. Once I’ve made my menu list, I’ll work on a grocery list. We shop for a full two weeks to keep us from going to the store too often and spending too much money. Plus once I have the goods on hand for a bunch of tasty dinners, I’m far less likely to order pizza or pick up burgers.

Two weeks worth might be a little daunting to start out. Try a weekly menu. You’ll save money and time with a little planning and enjoy a nice dinner at home with your family.

What are some of your favorite dinners? Do you plan a weekly, bi-weekly, or even a monthly menu?

8 thoughts on “Meal Planning for Two Weeks

  1. I am still improving my methods, but I am rarely home for a whole week so I don’t have to plan too far in advance. I like to go to the farmers market once a week for those goods anyway, its good exercise 😉

    • Hahaha….me too! I’m a bit bored with my normal weekly rotation and it’s getting a little colder, so trying to round up new ideas. For some reason desserts keep popping up, though 😉

  2. I do a 2 week meal plan as well. My hubby gets paid every 2 weeks so I meal plan from pay day to pay day and grocery shop on pay day as well. We are only a family of 3 (so far) but meal planning has cut our grocery bill almost in half. I do mine right on my fridge calendar though. My hubby works shift work so I find it easy to meal plan right on the calendar where his schedule and all our other commitments are. Also, with only 3 of us, I need to factor in 1 meal of leftovers (sometiems 2) per 2 week span. We don’t go to the grocery store in between either if i plan right. Sometimes we need more milk for the little one.
    Thanks for the recipe websites

  3. I used to do monthly plans and only make small trips back to the store weekly for produce and dairy. Now it is too difficult to shop for a month’s meals with all of the children! I’ve cut back to 2 weeks. I haven’t been quite as organized as you, but make a list of 14 or so meals and decide what to cook each day by looking at the list. I am excited to check out the sites you listed! Love your recipes, too!

  4. I find it extremely helpful to plan meals that I can prep for also. In other words, make grilled chicken one night and go ahead and grill extra chicken to add to the chicken and spaghetti the next night. I also find that I don’t have too many leftovers that go uneaten that way.

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