Tuesday, April 28, 2009

4 Week Menu

As mothers, sometimes it takes extra time to make life easier, but it is so worth it! Yesterday I took about an hour and made myself a new 4 Week Menu, as I prepare to go shopping for the month. (Once a month-- this should be exciting!)

Let me share my thought process behind all of this. I have ten children, and sometimes getting them all fed is a big job! My four oldest children now do most of the cooking, and so I have simplified most of our meals to facilitate and teach them, while giving them the best chance to be successful in cooking. (And making the meals more edible for us all! LOL!)

Each week, I have Breakfast and Lunch already decided, with room for variation and personal tastes. It just makes it easy when kids ask what they should fix: "Mom? What should I make for breakfast?"

(Insert whine HERE.)

My response usually goes something like this: "Well, it's Tuesday, so you can make pancakes or waffles. Would you like help making a special syrup (like strawberry or peach)?"

Sometimes my comments are followed with wailing and gnashing of teeth, and sometimes with skipping to the kitchen, but either way, breakfast eventually gets made.

It's all about choice and simplicity, people!

Just for fun, I thought I'd share our family's newest 4 Week Menu, in the hopes that it will inspire and/or motivate you in your meal planning. (I use a spreadsheet to make life easier.)

Below is my 4 Week Menu (as a Google Document) and the accompanying shopping list. (I won't give amounts, because I'm too concerned about putting my sweet readers into anaphylactic shock. Sam's Club loves us-- need I say more?!)


Staples to Replenish, as Needed
  • wheat*
  • oil
  • salt
  • yeast
  • sugar
  • oats
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • popcorn
  • Mapeleine
  • brown sugar
  • rice
  • chicken boullion
  • beef boullion
  • honey
  • grits
  • raisins
  • chocolate chips
Canned Goods:
  • peaches
  • pears
  • fruit cocktail
  • applesauce
  • refried beans
  • tomato sauce
  • pineapple chunks
  • tuna
  • cream of chicken soup
  • olives
  • black beans
In the Dairy Section:
  • cheddar cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • butter
  • eggs
  • cottage cheese
  • sour cream
  • milk
  • pepperoni
  • chicken
  • ham
  • hot dogs
  • beef roast
  • hamburger
  • bacon
  • ground sausage
Frozen Foods:
  • frozen fruit
  • corn
  • broccoli
  • hashbrowns
  • mixed veggies
Breads and Pasta:
  • flour tortillas
  • corn tortillas
  • spaghetti noodles
  • macaroni noodles
  • Ramen noodles
  • tortilla chips
  • peanut butter
  • jam
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • mayonnaise
  • pickles
  • soy sauce
Fresh Produce:
  • tomatoes
  • carrots
  • lettuce
  • green onions
  • bananas
  • potatoes
  • fruit in season
  • other veggies in season
*(I'm planning on making our own bread, rather than buying it. My eldest daughter is game, and my husband is willing to teach her, so why not?)

Feel free to copy, change, adjust, or reject. *grin* I'll post some of my recipes soon.

Please post any questions or recipe requests in the comments section. I look forward to hearing from you! :-)


  1. You're amazing Rachel ... and such a good example to me! I can't wait for recipes!

  2. I just discovered your blog through Chocolate On My Cranium and I'm so glad I did! It's wonderful! I'm going to add it to my sidebar.

    Thanks for sharing your menu. I really need something like this.

  3. I love that you posted this, Am I an idiot that I can only see until tuesday?

  4. Hi Tricia,

    I'm going to change it to a PDF document. The spreadsheet didn't all fit! :-(

  5. Thanks that would be awesome-don't let all your good work go to waste by only sharing some of it!

  6. It's a bit late, but my Four Week Menu is now available as a Google Document. Sorry for the long wait! :-)

  7. I promise I won't go into anaphylactic shock - our amounts may be similar to yours. LOL I did my 4 week menu last week, and used your idea of doing a the same main dish for a week day, just different varieties (ie, Tuesdays hamburger could be meatloaf, spaghetti, sloppy joes, etc) and it made my job tons easier!! Thank You!! I try to make menus every month, but it's always such a headache that I hate doing it - now it's a breeze!! YAY! Thanks a ton!

  8. (I'm posting this for a friend who is having trouble posting comments to this site.)

    You are right! The hardest part of cooking a meal is figuring out what to cook! I also hate shopping and when my kids were small, I would only go once a month and it made my life so much easier. That is one reason that I like food storage so much, that and it is cheaper to live out of your basement than the store.

    I was really concerned about my food storage and I kind of knew how much I needed of everything, but I wasn't absolutely sure. What I decided to do was to build a menu (similar to yours), break each item down as a recipe and then run it through a couple of spreadsheets. The end result is a list of exactly what foods, and the exact amounts, I needed to store for my family - for three months, six months or a year! And we get to keep eating the food we like.

    I have the worksheets posted for free on my website at www.apreparedhome.com. The fun result, after finishing everything, is that I had all of my recipes typed in a nice format and I just finished printing off my own personal family cookbook with all of our favorite recipes, and with the amounts needed to store to make them - no matter what!

    A direct link to the Food Storage Worksheets is www.apreparedhome.com/food-storage-worksheets/


Old Fashioned Motherhood will not approve any comments that are rude, negative, or disrespectful. Thanks for being civil! :-)

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