Tip 5: Make a weekly dinner menu for four to five nights of meals
Why four to five, you ask? Because one or two nights you'll inevitably eat leftovers, and you likely have plans with friends or plans for some awesome cheap eats at least one or two other nights.
I'm a creature of habit when it comes to breakfasts, lunches and snacks. But I need different dinner choices each week. Before I started making a weekly menu, I found every evening a little stressful. How would I make a decision on the spot with so many choices, so few ingredients and so little direction? Now, my menu is my guide. Matt and I make the menu on Monday because that's grocery day. I hate going to Wegmans -- a.k.a. "my grocery store" that everyone else infiltrates -- on the weekends. Monday the shelves are fully stocked, the people are away, and I maximize efficiency. More on grocery lists later.
In case you're wondering what's on the menu for this week, here we go:
- Day 1 -- French onion soup, bread and salad. I'm trying out this recipe for the first time tonight, hence the caramelizing onions (step 1!). I'll let you know how it goes.
- Day 2 -- leftover pizza
- Day 3 -- Grilled portobellos with balsamic vinegar, roasted beet salad with blue cheese and walnuts and green beans with shallots.
- Day 4 -- Shrimp scampi with linguine.
- Day 5 -- Chicken with prosciutto and mozzarella, with roasted asparagus and potatoes.
These are in no particular order, except for tonight's soup, which we decided to make now because we bought bread tonight too, and Matt is a bit of a fresh-bread snob.
We got all the ingredients for this week's dinners, snacks, lunches and breakfasts into three grocery bags. We spent $81.
Next up...making your grocery lists and stocking your pantry.