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This Week’s Menu Plan: The We’re On Vacation Edition

We drove to Arkansas yesterday afternoon to spend a few days on the lake with my extended family. This is our annual get-together and it’s something everyone looks forward to each year.

We share all our meals together and cook/bake all the food in the kitchen in my parent’s cabin, taking turns helping with the meals and clean up for each meal. My parents provide a lot of the food and the rest of us pitch in by bringing what extras we already have on hand (we’re all couponers so we typically raid our pantries and incorporate the excess items into the menu plan for the week!).

Since everyone splits up the cooking and clean up duties, it makes mealtime pretty simple to pull off and keeps it a laid back week for all of us. This not only saves a lot of money, but it gives us more time to spend enjoying the lake and a break from the normal busyness of life.

Silas “driving” the rental boat with my dad

Since I’m not in charge of planning the menu, I’m not exactly sure what all is on the menu this week. So far, we’ve done spaghetti (last night’s dinner) and hamburgers (tonight’s dinner). Breakfast was French Toast, bacon and eggs, smoothies, and juice this morning. Lunches have been sandwiches both days.

We have somewhat of a plan for the rest of the week, but we’ll also wing it some and probably create some new recipe creations using odds and ends of things we brought, too.

What’s on your menu this week? Share details and/or your link to your menu plan in the comments.

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  • says:

    That sounds like so much fun and such a deal to share in all the duties!

    Our $100 Budget Weekly Menu is here:

    and my daughter’s Simple Gluten Free Menu is here:

  • says:

    Have fun! Your sweet little ones look like they are having a ball!

    Last night we grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip, served with grilled potatoes and carrots, and french bread. My husband grilled up some peaches with homemade caramel sauce for dessert. This week we’re also having Tri-Tip Balsamic Salad with Feta Cheese and Toasted Walnuts, and Spinach Ravioli with Homemade Pesto.

    The entire menu is here:

  • says:

    Your vacation sounds wonderful! Here’s what’s on the menu plan at our house (we’ve headed back to school . . . but we’re not quite ready to be back!)

  • says:

    I love those collaborative family dinners!

    Our kids are spending some time away at “Cousins’ Camp” so hubby and I are making the most of a few rare date nights. I’m amazed at how little we can spend dining out when it’s just the two of us! No wonder we used to eat out all the time!

  • Samantha says:

    Ohhhh where in arkansas??? I live near Branson Missouri =] Hope you are having fun and staying cool =]

  • says:

    Your pictures are so cute! Have fun on your vacation!

    My husband is gone this week and I don’t like to cook much when he’s away. My menu is pretty simple based on food from my garden – and I’m keeping it mostly meatless until my husband comes back on Friday.

    Wish I could just feed my kids cereal and popcorn and not cook at all…but I guess that’s not very responsible of me! Here’s my link:

  • says:

    Hi Crystal,
    We will also be with relatives for half of the week… so my planning was easy! Here is a link:
    Have a great vacation! 8)

  • Jennifer says:

    menu for this week is Stuffed green peppers, au gratin potatoes and corn; jambalaya w/cornbread; tuscan chicken w/garlic mashed potatoes n rolls; southwestern goulash w/ fresh baked bread, red pepper parmesan tilapia w/steamed broc n parmesan noodles; spicy sausage penne w/mixed veggies n cresent rolls. All from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking mag & Diet Comfort Food cookbook!

  • says:

    Crystal have fun and relax!!

    With my menu plan I listed all the calories, a make ahead action plan, and a sample grocery list. I hope it is helpful for people trying to make meals ahead of time and freezer.

    Here is the link:

  • says:

    My boys just returned from their summer week of fun at Grandma and Grandpa’s. That means I need to menu plan again this week…I took last week off since they weren’t home. Enjoy your vacation!

  • Elias says:

    Sounds like fun! I hope you are having a blast! We just got back from our friends lake house last week. Generally, I enjoying cooking but when I’m on vacation, I really like to keep it simple. I also raided our pantry and here are some of dinners we did.

    Frozen pizzas with salad. We stopped at a produce stand on the way and got some really yummy tomatoes to go on it

    Raviolli and salads

    pasta salad, grilled burgers and hotdogs, and another side. I think it may have been baked beans or gr beans.

    Ham steaks from walmart, Simply mash potatoes and a frozen veggie

    One night the adults just ate chips and salsa with margeritas and the kids had boxed mac and cheese. What can I say, I like it simple! Good luck!

  • says:

    We’re super busy here with VBS at church (I’m directing!):

  • says:

    Our menu this week is below. I have already deviated from it, as dinner tonight isn’t going to be enchilada casserole, but the rest of the week should be close.

  • says:

    Our farmers’ market is in full summertime swing, so I based my meal plan around that. (With shopping tips!)

  • says:

    Your vacation sounds like so much fun! Enjoy! We went to Virginia one week and Pa another for vacation…visiting both sides of the family! Loved it!

    I must say that I haven’t been making a menu list but here are two recipes that I tried out for the first time:

    I am trying to be creative with what we have in our pantry. Trying to make new things so my husband and I do not get bored. That can lead to us going out to eat and that really is not an option. Our budget for the month is to stay under $150 for the 2 of us and our 1 year old daughter. So far we have spent less than $35 on essentials. I LOVE Aldi!

  • says:

    Our menu plan is from last week because hubby is out of town for training. Still have some yummy ideas though 🙂

  • Krista says:

    Welcome to Arkansas! I live in North Little Rock. 🙂 Enjoy your time here and try not to melt! 🙂

  • says:

    Have fun!!!
    Here’s my 2 week groceries and menu plan (although I did shop some more this weekend and have tweeked the menu a little):

  • says:

    Weekly menu (mostly vegetarian)

  • says:

    Here’s my weekly menu as well (since we’re all sharing :))

  • Angie Janowiec says:

    Hi Crystal…we were just vacationing on Greers Ferry Lake in Arkansas and I wondered if that is where you are too? Have a great time!

  • says:

    We always pitch in and cook together when we vacation with extended family. Most nights we grill out–cheap and easy (and the guys are in charge of the grilling…an extra ). This weeks menu includes taco stuffed pasta shells with roasted corn and tomatoes (this was a new recipe and a huge hit last night), cheese tortillini with spinach salad, spinach and potato fritatta with whole wheat toast and cut up fruit, crock pot chicken fajitas, whole wheat pasta with green beans, and turkey burgers and oven fries.

  • Sarah says:

    Here’s my menu for the week. Its all been yummy so far. Whole wheat apple muffins,Cinnamon sugar banana oatmeal, Strawberry banana smoothies, zucchini potato frittata, three bean beef chili & buttermilk cornbread,grilled chicken with homemade marinade.Snickerdoodles made with whole wheat. Minestrone, split pea soup, Pork chops and garlic mashed potatoes, pizza snacks made on whole wheat english muffins, egg salad wraps.

  • says:

    We do the same type of thing on Cape Cod every year too. We’ve been doing it every year since my cousins and brothers and I were born, and now we all bring our kids. We had a great time making sand playdough with the kids this year.

    Here’s my menu this week. I’m keeping things simple:

  • says:

    Hey, there! We do monthly menu planning at our house. It is full of all of our favorite meals, with one or two new ones. If I try out more than two new recipes a month, I go crazy! Our monthly grocery budget is $200.

    Here is our August Menu:

    P.S. Crystal, we live in Arkansas but more towards the Little Rock area. I hope you enjoy your time on the lake! They sure are pretty around here.

  • says:

    Here’s our meal plan for the week:

    Also I’d love to know from others: What is your favorite cooking blog? I need more recipes!

  • says:

    I’m in Jonesboro, Arkansas – pretty much straight East of where you are. Hope y’all enjoy the lake and as someone else said, try not to melt! 🙂

  • yvonne says:

    I live in Arkansas too! In Heber Springs, it was so hot this weekend! I hope your trip was great!

  • Lee says:

    I just have to say that I can’t believe how big Silas looks!!!

  • says:

    We were at Silver Dollar City this weekend and a little girl there looked very similar to Kaitlyn. It then made me wonder if it was time for your annual AR vacation and if it might be you guys. I then saw her go to a parent and it wasn’t, but I got excited for a moment that I might get to meet your family in person. Have fun on your vacation!

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