How to Plan a Weekly Menu

Weekly Menus & Shopping Lists

These Weekly Menus feature tasty combinations of our family-approved recipes. Each one offers a solution to the “What to Cook for Dinner” question, includes vegetarian alternatives and corresponds to its own shopping list. Use the handy, tear-out shopping lists included at the end of the book, or make your own with our template.

How to Plan a Weekly Menu:

We usually plan a Weekly Menu that includes four meals. Even we do not cook seven nights a week! There is always pizza night, a leftover night or a “go out to eat” night.

THINK SEASONALLY: First, we think about what’s in season. We like to use local seasonal ingredients for better, healthier results and because they are often cheaper. Nowadays it is hard to know what’s in season because most fruits and vegetables are available year round. Visit your local farmer’s market to discover what’s growing in your area. It’s a great experience for the whole family!

LOOK AT THE WEEK: Then, we plan balanced meals based on one main dish ingredient for each night: chicken, beef, seafood or vegetarian. Keeping in mind our family favorites, we generally include a vegetable or two and a starch with every meal. We try to think of how one ingredient could be used twice during the week to save shopping and cooking time. We often introduce new recipes to keep dinner time exciting and we add a dessert once or twice a week. Anything you make from scratch – even if it has butter, sugar and cream – always tastes better and is healthier than store-bought sweets.

MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE: Finally, we make a shopping list including items for each recipe, extra fruits and vegetables, school lunch ingredients and pantry essentials that might be running low. Shopping lists make grocery shopping more efficient and cost-effective. We take our list with us to the store and avoid going when we are hungry so we don’t buy unnecessary snacks. We even use our grocer’s online shopping cart. Nothing beats shopping from home or office and having the groceries delivered!