What’s for Dinner? Week of January 5, 2014 (plus Free Printable!)


The first full week of the new year and even a free printable to share with you (see the link at the end of this paragraph). This is the time where we will put those resolutions to the test. Let’s stay focused and motivated and we can all make ourselves better :). One of your resolutions may have been to save money. Well, one way to save money is to cut back on the take out food. You will be surprised by the delicious restaurant-style dinners you can prepare right in your own kitchen, and for half the price. My biggest tip about planning a weekly dinner menu is to make one list for the week and one trip to the grocery store. Plan out dinners you would like to prepare that week, check your pantry for ingredients you may already have on hand, then make a list of everything else you will need. Make one trip, and you will be surprised how much you can save. How many times have you gone to the grocery store to pick up items to make for dinner and end up buying 3-4 things that you did not need or intend to buy? I know I have.  But, if you only go to the store once, you will save yourself the cost of those extra items that could have probably waited until the next week (or not at all). Now, I’m no extreme couponer by any means, but I do believe a good place to start saving pennies is by making that one-stop shop for the week. I have even created a printable Weekly Dinner Menu Grocery List to make your life easier. Simply fill in the items you need under the appropriate category to organize your trip according to the sections of the store. Try it this week and let me know what you think.

The menu for this week consists of some recipes already posted on this blog as well as one recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Giada, that I cooked up for my family over the Christmas holiday. Giada’s recipe is simple and elegant and tastes like you ordered it from a restaurant, definitely worth trying. The other recipes are ones right from Make the First Bite Count and have been neglected recently. I wanted to highlight some recipes that are easy and inexpensive to start off the new year. You will see that the ingredients/leftovers from one dinner can be used in dinners later in the week.  For example, leftover meatballs from Wednesday’s Rigatoni and Meatballs in Tomato Sauce can be used on Friday for Meatball Sandwiches.   You can even toast up extra almonds for the strings bean on Tuesday to use in the Buffalo Chicken Salads on Thursday.  Don’t be afraid to alter as you see fit for your own taste buds as well as your family’s.  Enjoy the dinner menu this week and let me know what you think. Make the first bite count!


MondayPenne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce | Salad  (Giada – Foodnetwork,com)

TuesdayApricot Chicken | Brown Butter String Beans with Toasted Almonds  (Make the First Bite Count)

WednesdayRigatoni and Meatballs in Tomato Sauce  (Make the First Bite Count)

ThursdayBuffalo Chicken Salads  (Make the First Bite Count)

FridayMeatball Sandwiches  (Make the First Bite Count)


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