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About Everything Wiki » Food » How to make a menu for the week

How to make a menu for the week

29 May 2023, 13:58, parser
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Get ready for planning

To make a menu for a week, it will take 20-30 minutes. Choose the right time for this.

The ideal option is the first half of Sunday. Then you will be able to estimate without haste how many products are left in the refrigerator and kitchen cabinet, and you will have time to buy for a week.

You will need:

  • several sheets of paper;
  • pen or pencil;
  • cookbook or just internet access;
  • several plastic files or folders in which you will store recipes. Folders on your computer will also work, if it's more convenient for you.

Start with general planning

1. Prepare a menu template for the week

The simplest and most visual option is in the form of a table. Draw a sheet of paper into four columns: days of the week, breakfast, lunch, dinner. Like this:

Menu template for the week. Illustration: Anna Guridova / Lifehacker

Visibility is an important thing. First, with the help of such a sign, you will estimate how often you will have to cook. Secondly, it will be easier for you to make a varied menu, making sure that the dishes are not repeated day after day.

2. Cross out the graphs that you don't need

If you work or study full-time, you will most likely eat out. This means that you do not need to plan lunches during the working week.

On Saturday, let's say you have dinner at a restaurant. Or you traditionally meet with friends and order pizza for everyone. So, the food on this day is also not your concern. And on Sunday, for example, you have a meeting with your parents: you go to them for lunch and stay late at night. So your menu plan for the week will look like this:

Illustration: Anna Guridova / Lifehacker

Agree, the task has become much easier.

It will be even more simplified if you have breakfast according to a template. For example, before you run off to work, you only have time to grab coffee with sandwiches or oatmeal with tea. In this case, the second column can also be filled in almost automatically. At least for working days.

3. Plan the menu in the most general terms

A person needs protein, fats, carbohydrates and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Providing such a diet is actually easier than it seems.

Enter in each remaining free column the main product or category of the dish — the one you want to focus on. It can be meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, cereals, legumes. Or, let's say, soup, porridge, pasta.

Illustration: Anna Guridova / Lifehacker

That's it, the basis of your menu is ready. It remains only to add details.

Specify the menu for the week

If oatmeal or cottage cheese does not need to be specified, then meat and cereal dishes, pasta and even cheesecakes can be prepared in dozens of different ways. You need to decide which recipes will be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the next seven days.

In order not to get confused and forget nothing, print out each recipe on a separate sheet or write it down by hand. The pieces of paper can be fixed on the refrigerator with a magnet or folded into the "Menu for the week" folder.

Later, the recipes should be sorted into separate categories depending on the main product. When you need to figure out what to cook from meat or vegetables again, you just open the folder with the right name and quickly pull out the appropriate option.

Remember your signature dishes

Surely you have your favorite recipes. For example, fried potatoes with mushrooms, omelette with vegetables or, let's say, pasta with your signature sauce. If you don't have the strength to invent something new, just enter these dishes in the appropriate columns of the weekly menu.

Interview your loved ones

If your own imagination fails, ask your family a simple question like: "I'm going to cook something from vegetables, what would you like?" Zucchini pancakes, stewed cabbage with meat, stew - the choice of vegetable dishes is almost endless.

Repeat the same question, substituting meat, buckwheat or rice, fish, pasta instead of vegetables. The menu, compiled taking into account the wishes of loved ones, will certainly go with a bang.

Take a look at the cookbook

In such publications, recipes are conveniently divided into sections. Just open the page you need, whether it's "Poultry dishes", "Soups" or "The best Pasta recipes", and choose the option you like.

Use internet recipes

There are a lot of culinary resources on the Web. In order not to make a mistake, choose popular ones with a large number of visitors and detailed recipes, preferably illustrated. For example, try the Lifehacker service "There is time": in it we have collected thousands of delicious, healthy and inexpensive dishes, breaking them down into categories.

Be sure to read the reviews for each selected option. This will save you from possible unpleasant surprises.

Make a list of necessary products and make a purchase for a week

This is the most time-consuming part. Lay out all the recipes prepared for the week in front of you and make a summary list of the necessary ingredients.

Then add everything you might need for a template breakfast. For example, coffee, tea, oatmeal, cereal, milk, toast bread, cheese. Don't forget about desserts and snacks: they are not included in the main menu, but they definitely make life tastier. Therefore, feel free to fix dried fruits, waffles, dried fruits, nuts or whatever else you like at the end of the list.

Before going to the supermarket, take a look at the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinet. Perhaps you still have rice left — so you don't need to buy this cereal, cross it off the list (if it is there). Or maybe last time you took several packs of tea at once for the promotion, and now there is no need for this product either.

Think over life hacks in case there is no time for cooking

Cooking dinner, even planned and with an already purchased set of ingredients, is still a time-consuming event. It is enough to stay at work or just go through a tiring day — and there is no strength left. Remember this.

If you have a hard week ahead of you, try to make your life easier.

  • Prepare the ingredients for the recipes in advance. For example, peel and chop vegetables, cook cereals, prepare pasta sauces. All this can be stored in the refrigerator and taken out as needed.
  • In your free time, prepare and freeze cutlets, meatballs, cheesecakes, pancakes with stuffing.
  • Make two or three large meals for the whole week. For example, you can cook a pot of borscht, then pour it into serving containers or special storage bags, freeze it and get it right before eating.
  • Prepare large portions of dinner. Leftovers can become lunch or dinner again the next, very busy day.
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