8 weeks of family dinner meal planners and shopping list
So here we have it: eight weeks of family meals (dinners only), complete with shopping lists for each week. I've gone through every recipe book I own (and favourite recipes I've kept from magazines and newspapers) and have tested them all on my family - I've take out those that didn't work (if they were too time consuming or we didn't like them). Family cooking is about compromise - I would be eating more salads if I had my way and the kids woul be on rotation of spaghetti, fish and chips and pizza every three nights. So here are 56 family recipes that suit all of us. I have one fussy eater who is not so big on carbs and spicey food, and the boys in the family who would only eat carbs and stodgy food if they had their way. I'm not a massive fan of cooking, so I can't stand (a) cooking two sets of meals for adults and children, (b) eating the same old stuff week in and week out and most importantly (c) spending every day at the supermarket trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Fed up with all of those after 12 years, this is what I've come up with. Nothing is too fancy (this is about time saving, every day cooking, not dinner parties) but just good, wholesome food that is easy to knock up and most likely to be enjoyed by all the family.
The great thing is once you've shopped for all the ingredients, everything is in the fridge so you can print out the dinner recipe for any particular night and pass it on to your partner to do the cooking (I have loved this part especially). I haven't included things like flour, butter, olive oil and pantry basics in the shopping list. I have added notes on some of the recipes to make them work better, or to amend them to suit your needs etc. The ingredients should last the whole week after you have done the weekly shop (if you don't have a herb garden, buy herbs in the plastic containers - they will keep for 10 days) and chop veggies and store in tupperware and they'll keep for the week. Or store them in plastic bags.
As parents we are always so pressed for time, and this weekly meal planner has cut hours out of shopping and planning time each week for me (as well as slashing the grocery bill). I'm currently up to Week 6 of testing, but will upload each week those when completed. Once we get to week 8, it's time to start again at week 1. And if anyone in the family objects to eating the same meal 55 days after they last ate it, they can take the wooden spoon and .... cook up something themselves.
The planners are easily customised so if you don't like a particular recipe, just replace it with one of your own (on the grocery list, each item has a corresponding day of the recipe next to it so you can just easily find the items for that recipe and remove from the grocery list). Of course you don't have to eat the recipes on the day it says - that's just there for planning and to locate the corresponding ingredients to the recipes.
Enjoy and let me know if there's something that doesn't work or an ingredient that is missing that I might have missed. This eight week planner is for the winter months (lots of slow cooker, winter warmer recipes etc). I'll do another one for summer months.