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Cottage time is about rest and relaxation, not hunting for missing ingredients at the closest convenience store – which, depending on where your cottage is, may not be all that convenient. The key to a hassle-free cottage weekend? Meal planning. To maximize your dock time, plan a simple weekend menu in advance and do one big shop before you go.

We’ve designed an affordable, low-fuss meal plan for a family of four to get you through the weekend — from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch with a few snacks in between. And we drew up a handy shopping list, too, which you can check against your cupboards before you head to the store. Now all you need to do is cross your fingers for sunshine!


Transportation Tips

Traffic makes timing unpredictable, so be sure to pack your perishable items carefully.

  • Use ice packs in coolers for frozen and refrigerated goods, and avoid opening them too often to keep the cool air in.
  • Wrap raw meats, poultry and seafood in individual re-sealable plastic bags to prevent leakage.
  • Keep raw meats compartmentalized as a group, in their own bag or box, to avoid the risk of contaminating other foods.
  • When you’re in the grocery store, pick up refrigerated and frozen goods last, to minimize their time at room temperature.
  • Always keep perishable foods cooler than 4°C (40°F).
  • Should any frozen foods defrost on the trip, don’t refreeze them — use them that same day.


Our Cottage Weekend Meal Plan




  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Potato salad from the deli
  • Kale Quinoa Feta Salad from the deli
  • Halved baguette topped with brie and sliced tomatoes
  • Vanilla ice cream topped with sliced strawberries



  • Warm all-butter croissants with fresh honey
  • Store-bought fresh fruit platter
  • Tea, coffee and/or fruit juice


  • Grilled salmon burgers on buns, with sliced tomatoes and onions, romaine lettuce and Citrus Honey Poppy Seed Dressing
  • Strawberry and Arugula Salad, made using apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic




  • Bacon and eggs
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Toasted and buttered artisan bread
  • Tea, coffee and/or fruit juice


Snacks and Drinks

  • Granola bars (either store-bought or homemade — try our recipe for Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars)
  • Kettle chips
  • Mixed nuts
  • Sparkling water
  • Soda


Grocery Checklist

Print out this handy list, and then cross off each item once you’ve added it to your cart.

View and print your grocery checklist.


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