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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

5 week meal rotation calendar

Ever ask yourself what should I make for dinner??? I do, and it galls me. To understand my frustration let me start by admitting I am not a Type A personality. My craft room has half-finished projects scattered all over it, my house is not spotless or ordered, my children don’t do their chores or homework without constant prodding, and my husband sometimes comes home to a pile of unfolded laundry on the bed and front room full of toys.

I am, paradoxically, a prepper. Emergency preparedness and food storage are right in my wheel house. I get a great deal of satisfaction in seeing my storage shelves fill with food and having enough water to fill a small pool should the need arise.

Because of my love of preparedness and my complete disdain for coming up with a daily menu, I developed what I have named my 5 Week Meal Rotation and made it part of my Command Center {here}. 

I started by compiling my families favorite recipes.  I asked my children and husband to tell me their favorite recipes. That gave me 12 recipes. Then after adding my favorite recipes I was up to 20. Then I added quick easy meals and a few new recipes I found on other blogs. In the end I had 35 meals my family would eat. I know 35 meals sounds crazy! In the beginning it takes some effort but in the end it will be worth it!

I either typed and printed these recipes or found them on the internet and printed them. I compiled them into a 3 ring binder and slide protectors in categories. I love using this method because you can always add more if you want.  I also use it to teach my sons to cook.  Each summer they pick a few recipes  from the binder and learn to make them.  Each year they will build there knowledge of cooking and be ready to head into the world at 18 they will know how to make more than Ramen noodles.

Next I decided on 7 meal categories
Sundays- Meals that take a little more preparation
Mondays- Chicken
Tuesdays- Soup or Salad depending on the season.
Wednesday-  Steak or Hamburger
Thursdays- Crockpot meals
Friday- eat with your hands, sandwiches/pizza
Saturday- Quick and easy.  Meals that if you go out to eat you do can
leave with a sitter or not worry about it. 

5 Week Meal Calendar Download {Here}

Down load the file above and add your own meals using Photoshop elements.

I also have a bread category and favorite treats section in my binder.  I often use bread for my meals as a side dish. I also bake homemade wheat bread each week for my family.

Some of the recipes I use are pretty simple and basic. Others require more effort and planning.  I keep many of these recipes in a cookbook on Recipe Magic.  A few are from other blogs.
Here is the link to my Cookbook on Recipe Magic.{Here}

Here are the recipes I use:

Whole Wheat Bread

Chicken Night (Monday)
Chicken Crescent Rolls
Chicken Pasta Casserole
Monterrey Chicken
Fetuccini Alfredo
Chicken Legs

Soup Night (Tuesday) In the Summer this will change to salads.
Taco Soup
Cheeseburger Soup
Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup or Vegetable Chowder
Tomato soup (Campbells)
Homemade Chicken Noodle

Meat Night (Wednesday)
Porcupine Meat Balls
Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Crockpot meal (Thursday)
Poppy Seed Chicken
Italian Chicken
Pork Burritos
BBQ Chicken with rice
Beef Broccoli

Fun Night (Friday) These meals are ususally simple, quick or easy to leave with a babysiter for a date night.
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
Ham & Cheese Slider
Home made Pizza

Leftover Night (Saturday)
These are easy meals that we can make.
Hot Dogs
German Pancakes
Spaghetti  French Bread
Baked Potato Bar

Nice Meal (Sunday) Meals that take a little more time and effort.
Japanese Chicken & Ham Fried Rice
Pot Roast
Chicken Cordon Blue
Parmesan Chicken

So I added my meals and printed my calendar.  From my meal plan I made a grocery list.  I buy everything I can at a Sam's club or Costco for the month.Especially canned, boxed or frozen things. Then each week I head out to the store for basics like fresh fruit and veggies and milk. I usually spend about $50 a week for my family.

If you want to take it a step further you can times your grocery list by 3. This will give you a 3 months worth of dinners.

I decided that I would try my meal plan for 3 months.  After 3 months I can change the meals if we didn't love it or to add something new to try.  I am also going to change my soup day to salad day in the summer.
So far it is going really well.  I have been doing it for 7 weeks.  Sometime I mix it up and trade days.  And that is okay because I have all my ingredients. Some days we go out so I just save that meal for another time.  Especially if it is a freezer meal.
I love this plan because it allows for all families to build  your meal plan the way you want it!

I am sure this is clear as mud.  If you have any questions please feel free to email me or leave a comment.  I would love to here what you have to say! I also shared this on my local TV station. Take a peek.

Over this last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Build Your Blog Conference It was fantastic. The Six Sisters really know how to throw a great conference I was so excited to meet the them and a few of my other favorite bloggers.
So to help you build your family recipe book I have a wonderful giveaway for you!!

I keep many of my recipes on my blog as well as recipe magic. Recipe magic is a growing website  with all your favorite recipes from many established bloggers. The website is brought to you by the Six Sisters.


The Six Sisters have just come out with a new recipe book. Released today! I am so blessed to have the opportunity to give one away to one lucky reader!  And let me just say this book is amazing.  Easy recipes that use ingredients found in your home. Plus fun craft ideas, cleaning tips and list of activities for you to do.  I have loved looking through this book. I am trying to decide what I am going to do first.  I promise you will love it!

When I link you will find me Here!
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