How I Plan Our Weekly Menu

Because I work Mondays to Fridays, I do my grocery shopping once a week so it doesn’t get in the way of my work schedule (See my article “How to Make the Most of Your Grocery Shopping.”) Besides, I work at home, so it becomes quite a chore to dress after work just to buy groceries. I’m usually tired by then, and the only energy I have left is for taking care of my son Justin.

Suffice it to say that I have to prepare the week’s menu ahead of time. Before I head to the nearest supermarket, I make a mental or physical list of all the ingredients of the meals that we’re going to prepare at home for the entire week. Now, there are things I consider when preparing our family menu for the week.

First, I take into consideration each family member’s food preference. My husband likes sinigang or nilaga, so I make it a point to include any of those in our weekly fare. He’s not really a fish person, but when he’s in the mood to eat fish, it’s usually the small types, like tawilis or salay ginto, so again, I make it a point to buy any of those or both if they’re available. My son Justin, on the other hand, likes tomato-based dishes, so it’s imperative that we have one of those in our weekly menu, too. For myself, I prefer fish (bangus, especially) and vegetables.

Of course, I also have to keep in mind my family’s health, but as you can see, we already have a good (healthy) combination of food from our individual preferences. For one week, we usually end up having one or two pork dishes, one or two chicken dishes, and three or more fish/seafood dishes.

Here’s a sample weekly menu for my family:

Monday – Fried tawilis and sautéed ampalaya with shrimp
Tuesday – Chicken tinola
Wednesday – Adobong pusit
Thursday – Menudo
Friday – Sarsiadong tilapia
Saturday – Fried chicken and chopsuey
Sunday – Pork sinigang

You might be wondering why we only have one dish for the entire day. I also planned it that way because Justin’s nanny doesn’t have time anymore to cook new dishes every meal. Besides, I want her eyes only on Justin the entire day. When Justin was smaller, our next day’s meals were prepared the night before (See my post “How to Have Some Semblance of Order in the House When You Have a Baby.”) Since I now work at home, I have enough time in the morning to look after my son before my work shift, so the nanny can now do the cooking in the morning.

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