Basic menu planning

Over the summer holidays, I take a more relaxed approach to menu planning. I have more time and we don’t have scheduled afternoon activities which makes going with a flow a lot easier.

Solidly into term one now though, all the associated after school activities have recommenced, as well as me being back at work means I have started formally planning our evening meals again. Grabbing suggestions from the kids and then sitting down to collate the plans is definitely time well spent. It is another way that I can avoid decision fatigue, leave more mental energy and time for other things.

Where to start if you have never menu planned before

If you have never menu planned before, I have a very detailed post you might like to read which has copies of my monthly menu planning templates you can download here – Updated free monthly menu planning template and meal list.

But if you just want to dip your toe into the menu planning water try this:

  1. Grab a piece of paper (or my menu planning app!) and write the days of the week on it.
  2. Underneath the days of the week, list any work or after school commitments that will affect the timing of your dinner.
  3. Write a meal under the day of the week that you will be able to cook within the time you have for that day (or someone else can cook!).
  4. Write down the ingredients you will need to make each meal to create your shopping list.
  5. Add in any recipe ingredients you will need for baking for school lunches and other additional grocery items.
  6. Shop and then you are set for the week!

Our family menu plans

These are our plans week by week with shopping lists included created in the PWK menu planning app for the next month:

Week 1


Week Commencing 22nd Feb 2016

MonCrispy mashed potato moundsSausages, veg and crispy mashed potato mounds
Tuesang choy bow mainSang choy bow
Wedzucchini bolognese mainZucchini (and Spaghetti) Bolognese
ThuMexibake - Mexican Family MealMexibake
FriLeft overs
Satsweet chilli chicken wraps
Sweet chilli chicken wraps
SunSlow Cooker Roast BeefSlow cooker roast beef
Shopping ListWeekly menu plan shopping list 22nd Feb

Week 2


Week Commencing 29th Feb 2016

Serving Many
Chicken Wings, Baked Potatoes and Corn
TueHomemade Hamburger Recipe With Homemade Chunky ChipsHome made hamburgers and salad

sauteed baby spinach.jpg
Slow cooker chicken satay (gluten free)

Sautéed baby spinach
ThuShepherd's Pie Full

green veggie recipe title
Shepherd's pie

Green veggies
FriLeft overs
2013 paleo homemade taco seasoning
Sunroast chickenRoast chicken and vegetables
Shopping ListWeekly menu plan shopping list 29th Feb
Week 3


Week Commencing 7th Mar 2016

Monlamb chops and vegetablesLamb chops and vegetables
Tuechicken, cashew and ginger stir fryChicken, cashew and ginger stir fry
Wedslow cooker honey sesame chicken gluten free.jpg
Slow cooker honey sesame chicken (gluten free)

Easy Pumpkin Soup
Fried rice

Pumpkin soup
FriLeft overs
SatLamb Souvlaki Wraps Kids Self ServeSouvlaki
SunSlow Cooker Roast LambSlow cooker roast lamb
Shopping ListWeekly menu plan shopping list 7th March
Week 4


Week Commencing 14th Mar 2016

MonDukkah crusted salmonDukkah crusted salmon with crunchy potatoes and garlic spinach
sang choy bow main
Sang choy bow
Wedslow cooker butter chicken

540 Mexi Cauliflower Rice
Slow cooker butter chicken

Cauliflower rice
Thuchicken-schnitzel-recipe-500Chicken schnitzel and vegetables
FriLeft overs
Satsweet chilli chicken wraps
Sweet chilli chicken wraps
SunSlow Cooker Roast Beef
Slow cooker roast beef
Shopping ListWeekly menu plan shopping list 14th March

PWK Menu Planning App

pwk menu planner app 600
If you are looking for further recipe inspiration, check out my complete list of Family Friendly Recipes. You might like to also check out the Planning With Kids Menu Planning App.

Menu Planner App

The kid friendly menu planning app allows you to:

  • Create weekly menu plans quickly, choosing as many meals per day as you would like to plan for.
  • Generate the shopping list for all the meals selected.
  • Modify the shopping list to check off items you already have at home.
  • Email the shopping list to yourself and/or others.

The most popular recipes from the blog have been included and more will be added on a regular basis. Each recipe lists the ingredients required, easy to follow instructions and a photo from the blog.

How is your menu planning going?