Weekly Menu Planning

Every week, usually Friday evenings, I like to sit down with the circular for Harris Teeter, our coupon notebook, and our ridiculous quantity of recipes (both “To Try” and “Tried and True”) and figure out what we’re going to have for the next 7 days. In the name of frugality, I try to build the menu around what’s on sale and what we have, while incorporating one or maybe two new recipes each week.

Those of you who do this as well know that it gets pretty old after awhile. Even if, like we do, you have a binder of approximately 100 recipes that you adore, coming up with ideas week in and week out that will keep everyone happy is a bit of a Herculean task. However, I’ve learned the hard way that if we don’t do this on a weekly basis and try to wing it, we end up doing the “What do you want to have?” “I dunno… what do you want to have?” dance every night and eating quesadillas more times than is either recommended or sane.

Last week, the DreadBrewer decided to do his part to lighten my stress load and came up with the menu and the grocery list for the week.

And I can say that neither my wallet nor my waistline nor my free time can afford to have him help out like this more frequently than every few months.

The DreadBrewer picked out a new recipe for us to try every single night of the week. He created his menu with no heed to what was on sale or what we had in the fridge/freezer. ((Okay, I lie. He did pick one meal that incorporated some chicken thighs I had bought on sale the previous week. One.)) I’m pretty sure he picked the most decadent, calorie-laden, labor intensive meals he could find.

This was the DreadBrewer’s menu for the week:

Shrimp & Grits-Shrimp and Goat Cheese Grits with Bacon Jam

-Cheesy Potato Leek Chowder

Chicken & Sausage-Spanish Chicken and Chorizo

-Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Roasted Brussels-Roasted Brussels with Pancetta

-Pork Chops with Herb Butter and Rice Pilaf

Yes, the recipes were delicious ((With the exception of the chowder – which was terrible)). Yes, it was a huge help not to have to worry about what to feed everyone for the week. And yes, I was very, very grateful for the help. ((That’s for you, buddy.))

Not as grateful to make a recipe that required an hour and a half to cook the Bacon Jam. Not as grateful to spend God-only-knows how long prepping Brussels and pancetta while fighting off the Littlest Brewster who kept insisting the pancetta was her play doh and she was going to make a rainbow with it. ((On the bright side, she learned how to say pancetta.))

So this week, we’re back to BrewsterMama’s way of doing things. It’s probably not going to be nearly as exciting or delicious ((those Brussels sprouts were probably some of the best I’ve ever had, good enough to rival the one’s from Brian’s Pourhouse in Hood River)). But we spent a heck of a lot less money at Harris Teeter this week. And my arteries will probably thank me. Chicken and vegetables with biscuits is pretty darn tasty in its own right. Right?

But dang, I’m gonna miss those Brussels sprouts. Maybe I saw pancetta on sale somewhere? 😉

5 thoughts on “Weekly Menu Planning

  1. Roasted Brussels sprouts w pancetta is one of our very favorite things to eat!! (It’s even good without the pancetta–Alan says he likes them as much as French fries!).

    That was so sweet of DB. 🙂

  2. Oh man, I’m so sorry. I’m still giggling reading this though. Did you actually spend the 90 minutes cooking the bacon jam and trying to cook while fending off LB? I would have been tempted to say “we’re done here” about 10 minutes into that mess and called for Chinese delivery. 😉

  3. Pingback: BIT’s 28 week update | BeerCat Brewing

  4. Pingback: DB picks the menu, take two | BeerCat Brewing

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