Weekly Menu Planning – freebie!

I was never much of a cook. I could follow a recipe easily enough, but I just didn’t get too excited about it. I know it is an art-form, but it gets eaten right away. It isn’t like a painting or a piece of music that you can enjoy over and over. It’s food. You take so much time to create it and then someone eats it. My hubby, on the other hand, has a passion for food and cooking. The vast majority of his TV watching is spent on the Food Network.

I did, however, decide a few months ago that I should be more productive during my day. Elijah’s napping is fairly predictable and he is playing independently more and more. I don’t really have an excuse not to make dinner for Rob. I don’t love cooking, but I love making my hubby happy, so it seems worth it.

On Mondays I make a menu for the week and then Eli and I go to the grocery store to pick up ingredients. I plan it so Mondays is meat, Tuesdays is soup/sandwich, Wednesday is breakfast for dinner,  Thursday is pasta and Friday is pizza. The weekend is usually a toss-up – depending on our plans. Our breakfasts are usually oatmeal/cereal/toast, lunches are leftovers, snacks are fruit/nut/yogurt, and we always buy milk/OJ/bread.

I decided to create my own menu planning template, based loosely on futuregirl‘s three column design but without her adorable little graphics. The first column I added the days of the week and write down what the food is. The second column I use to write down the groceries we need (which then gets transferred to my nerdy grocery notebook in categories!). The third column are things to remember (for example: “add 15 more minutes to baking time”).

I print out a bunch of copies and keep them together on the fridge with a magnet clip (I love those clips).

Do you want to use my menu planner?!? Click here to download the pdf I made and use for your very own menus! (And don’t be shy – leave a comment to let me know if you use it!)

Here are some of the things I’ve made. I’m so proud.

– Chicken Korma & Kale Salad
– Monte Cristo sandwich & Tomato Soup
– Homemade Mac & Cheese with Salad
– Tomato Tart & Grilled veg
– Hamburgers & salad
– Egg, brie, spinach, bacon English muffins
– BBQ chicken pizza & homemade butternut squash soup
– Sun-dried tomato chicken & rapini
– Grilled veggie sandwiches & homemade broccoli soup
– kabobs with sweet potato soufflée
– tex-mex chicken + rice casserole
– Turkey meatballs with carrots + parsnips
– Pulled pork (slow-cooker) + coleslaw
– Tuna + White bean quesadillas with salad
– Avocado + tomato sandwiches with macaroni salad
– Portobello Mushroom burgers + sweet potatoes
– Cheddar/Ham/Basil grilled cheese + white bean soup
– butternut squash lasagna
– Morraccan Stew with couscous
– Pear French Toast + pemeal bacon
– BBQ chicken pizza + squash soup

(Most of the recipes come from my old Chatelaine magazines or foodnetwork.com)

*this post has been adapted from two other posts that I published here a while back.