Showing posts with label Menu Planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Menu Planning. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

10 Money Saving Hacks For A Happier (And Cheaper) Holidays!


In 10 Money Saving Tips for a Frugal Holidays, I focused on how to save money on gifts and stockings. Those tips have saved people a lot of money since the post was published. However, during the holidays, saving money on gifts is not the only way to save money!

During the holidays, normally frugal people can even go crazy and spend money that they know better than to spend! Something about the holiday spirit makes people throw out their budgets and good caution. We want to be generous, treat people well, and generally have a good time. That is great to do, but we can all practice good sense with these money saving hacks listed below!

1. Respect the traditions. If you have certain things you do every year and you know your family will miss them if you don't do them, keep the traditions alive as long as you can afford it. The costs of these traditions should already be in your holiday budget. If you take the whole family to a big show every year, that costs should already be figured into your budget. Another idea would be to make that big show a gift to the family members that go.

If the traditions become too much and cause too much of a strain on your budget, maybe it is time to reconsider. Which leads to...

2. Create new traditions. Think about the things you really love about the holidays and set up a new tradition that supports what you love. Do you love the extra time you get to spend with family? Start a Christmas movie night and have popcorn, hot chocolate, and cookies while watching the movies. Love the holiday lights? Take a driving tour of the lights in your city. Love to sing? Go caroling with your family and neighbors and take a plate of cookies to the elderly.

3. Set a menu and a meal plan. If you know you are hosting the big meal, are contributing to a potluck, and/or will have family around for a few days, time to meal plan. Remember to include some of the family favorites, have a soup night, a leftover night, and a pizza night! This way you know what to buy, how much to budget, and you can buy in one trip. Hopefully, you will avoid having to send someone to the grocery store!

4. Make the big meals potluck. Big holiday meals can be such a strain on the host! To make this holiday season easy on everyone, make the meal a potluck. You can still make the meat and a side, but assign someone to bringing bread, salads, appetizers, side dishes, desserts, and even drinks. The variety is great and your day will be much easier (and cheaper)!

5. Do Not Buy Your Wrapping Paper or Christmas Cards Until After Christmas! This should go without saying, but buy your wrapping paper and cards after the holidays for the following year. You can save 50-75% off!

6. Use what you have for decorations. More than likely, you do not need any more decorations. Personally, I have enough decorations for three trees and I only put one. Not to much the knick-knacks, the garland, and the million of other holiday things I have. You are probably in the same boat. Get creative and ban yourself from buying anymore Christmas decorations!

7. Stick with homemade goodies instead of store bought. You can plan ahead and freeze the cookies that can be frozen. Store bought goodies look so good, but those cookies and cakes are so expensive. The inflated cost on them is ridiculous! If you are a novice baker, offer to host a cookie swap. Everyone can bake together or just bring what they baked. Then you can swap with each other and bring home some different and delicious goodies!

8. Think simple in terms of decorations, food, and festivities. It is much more frugal to be simple in your approach to the holidays. Going overboard is nothing but a big pain in the wallet! You might like to "wow" your guests, but your guests will appreciate whatever you serve and your presentation. The point of the festivities is to spend time together! Going overboard can complicate that and make your guests feel overwhelmed or inadequate.

9. Have small, intimate gatherings instead of big parties. Everyone will get more quality time together, the food and drink expenses will be cheaper, and you won't have the potential clean-up expenses from a large crowd. You could go a step further and specify "no gifts" to keep the costs down more. This is about spending time together during the holidays, not about who can spend the most.


10. Ditch the matching holiday outfits. Unless you can truly afford it, ditch the cute Christmas dresses for little girls and stop trying to find matching pajamas for everyone in the family. I have heard of people spending hundreds of dollars just for everyone to match and look just so. You are trying to save money, not spend more! The cute little holiday dresses only get worn a few times before the season is over. If you are lucky, you can pass them down. Otherwise, the dresses and the outgrown pajamas end up being donated or thrown away. Just avoid it! Save your money!

These tips are just small things you can do to save money over the holidays, but they can save you a lot of money! Little things can add up in terms of spending and saving money. Christmas is a great time to show your love and appreciation of those around you, but keep the spending within your budget. Do not let the little things and the desire to impress others ruin your budget!

What do you do to save money during the holidays?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

60 Ways To Save Money Today


Saving money is always important. For most people, it is a part of every decision they make. 

With the economy in a precarious position, we all need to work on saving more money! Practicing good money-saving habits now will help you in the future when the money might be tighter than ever. The tips below will help you save more money and might even give you more ideas on how to save money in other areas of your life. 

With that said, here is 60 Ways To Save Money Today:

1. Eat up the leftovers in the fridge. It's just food!

2. Eat from your fridge first to use up the food that will go bad the fastest.

3. Do not eat out - unless you scored a free meal for yourself or your family!

4. Use your gift cards - saving them for some rainy day is wasting money.

5. Use coupons on things you buy.

6. Use your store loyalty cards. Load coupons and store specials on them.

7. Sign up for free samples and accept them when shopping. Free is good!

8. Use sites like Swagbucks to earn points for gift cards and Ebates to earn money back on online purchases.

9. Buy soda pop from the store instead of the convenience store. You will save over $1.00 a bottle and $.50 a can.

10. Better yet, give up soda pop and drink water instead.

11. Use your public library for books and movies. If the library doesn't have the book you want, they can usually get it for you a different way!

12. Make your coffee and tea at home instead of buying it at the fancy coffee places.

13. Check the pressure in your tires. Properly inflated tires will help your fuel mileage and save money on gas!

14. Bring your lunch and snacks to work. Eating out is just expensive!

15. Shop for clothes at thrift stores and garage sales.

16. Make a budget and stick to it!

17. Commit to a clothes buying ban. See how long you can go without buying clothes.

18. Start a no spend month. Set boundaries and see what you can live without.

19. Buy used instead of new. Rarely do you need anything brand new.

20. Bring your snacks and drinks to kids' ball games. Buying at the concession stand can be expensive!

21. Have movie night in instead of going to the movie theater. Pop your own popcorn, rent a movie, and relax in your home for a lot less money!

22. Cut your own bangs, groom your eye brows, and even trim your own hair. I save myself $10 by cutting my own bangs tweezing my eye brows in between hair cuts.

23. Make your own laundry detergent instead buying the expensive stuff at the store.

24. Make your cleaners with vinegar, water, baking soda, and salt. If you already have essential oils, add them in too!

25. Wash your vehicles at home. Detail the insides of your vehicle at home too!

26. Rent or borrow equipment you are only going to use once or twice.

27. Hang clothes outside or on a clothes rack to dry instead of using the clothes dryer.

28. Cancel the cable and/or satellite. Sign for the cheaper Netflix, Hulu, or just watch YouTube videos for free!

29. Drive right by the coffee shop, the convenience store, and the donut shop! Don't stop!

30. Never, ever shop without a list. The list will help you remember what you are getting (saving extra trips) and you should not be tempted to buy anything else.

31. Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan. Knowing what you are going to make will save you from being tempted to eat out and/or making an extra trip to the grocery store.

32. If you have people coming over, make the meal potluck or have them bring their own drinks.

33. Turn old shirts and socks into rags and stop using paper towels!

34. Stay home for the day. Get things done around the house or just chill for the day!

35. Fix your own things and do your work if possible. You can Google or YouTube for instructions.

36. Run errands while on your lunch break or after work. You will save money doing that instead of running them on the weekends.

37. Look at your grocery ads to see what is on sale. Plan your menu around them.

38. Wait 3-7 days before making any major purchases. Sometimes you can find a better deal or realize that you can live without it.

39. When shopping online, add items to your cart and then save it for at least three days. A discount may come along or you may realize that you no longer want those items.

40. Use cash when shopping. When the cash runs out, you are done.

41. Have at-home date nights. Pop in a movie, make your steak dinner, play cards or a game, and chill in the comfort of your home. Going out is so expensive and overrated!

42. Shut off lights in the house and unplug the electronics chargers.

43. Go one step further. Shut off the air conditioning and open the windows. Your house will get aired out and your electric bill will go down. (Of course, use your discretion on this.)

44. Use rags instead of paper towels.

45. If you can, walk or bike instead of driving.

46. Use your grill or slow cooker instead of your oven in the summer. Keeps the house cooler and saves on electricity.

47. Mend your clothing instead of throwing them away.

48. Get organized. Knowing what you have and where to find will keep you from buying a item that you have and can't find.

49. Before you make a purchase online, find out if there is a coupon code available. If there is, use it!

50. Stop the kids cold with all the requests to buy stuff at school. I swear I get a new request for a t-shirt every other week. Unless it is necessary for the class or participation, don't spend the money.

51. Want to hang out with your friends? Invite them over for coffee, tea, or drinks. Take a walk together, watch a movie together, or just hang out and talk!

52. Before purchasing anything, ask yourself if it is a need or a want. If you are really strapped for cash, then you know what you need to answer.

53. Take shorter showers and use cold water to wash laundry to save money on electricity for your water heater and (if you have one) well pump.

54. Wear clothes more than once if you can. Wearing clothes more than once saves you money because you will do less laundry!

55. Down to the bottom of that soap bottle? Doesn't matter what kind of soap you are using, add a little water to the bottom to get the rest of that soap out! 

56. Clean and declutter your house. You will feel better when you have it done and you may never know what you will find! You will also have a lower heating/cooling bill because you won't be heating/cooling as much stuff.

57. Grow a garden. You will be growing your own food for a lot less money than buying the produce in the store.

58. Get rid of the subscription services like Stitch Fix, Just Fab, Birch Box, etc. You are paying a fee for every one you are subscribed to. Stitch Fix takes $20 out of your account on the month you get a fix and you don't get that back unless you purchase an overpriced piece of clothing.

59. Buy generic over brand name. I have very few things I am brand loyal too anymore, but OTC medications, body wash, and many more things are just fine as generic!

60. Invest in some mini-scrapers and super skinny scrapers. They will help you get the last of the peanut butter, ketchup, mustard, lotion, etc. By not doing this, you will be throwing money away when you recycle the bottles. 

Did you get some ideas? What will you try first? What ideas do you have to save money today?

Thanks for reading,
Erica



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Once A Month Shopping Challenge: Month 2 and November's Meal Plans


Here we are, Month 2 of the Once A Month Shopping Challenge!

I tried to be a little more prepared for this month. I have officially made my three planned stops as of yesterday. The first stop was to K-Mart to get:

2 bags of dog food
2 bags of cat food (grain-free for the cat with a sensitive stomach)
1 bag of cat litter
1 bottle of shampoo (for me)
1 bottle of shampoo/conditioner (for Dane)
2 bottles of conditioner (1 for me, 1 for Paige)
2 bottles of Vitamin C gummies (buy 1, get 1 free)

I cannot find the receipt right now, but I know I spent $76 with taxes and we saved $25 with coupons and discounts. Some things like cat litter have gone up a bit and that surprised me. 

The second stop was to Menards. I have this receipt! At Menards, I bought:

1 Plastic Window Kit to cover my inside windows
1 Plastic Door Kit to cover my back door until I get a new storm door
1 Garden Hand Shovel to replace the one the dog chewed up
2 different size drill bits because the ones I had were dull
1 set of sticky mouse traps
1 bag of Fast Set Repair Mortar for the basement drain. We have caught snakes coming up through the sides of it where the cement has crumbled. 

I had a Menards rebate check for $10. My total after that was $19. Not too bad! I also got another rebate to mail in when I bought the window kit. 

The third stop was to Fareway. This trip was for groceries and this one hurt! I won't list everything because this was a big grocery shopping trip that included Thanksgiving. I am hosting it this year!



The highlights and deals:
Frozen vegetables for $.77 (I bought 6 bags)
Shredded cheese - 8 oz. packages for $.99 each (limit 3)
Pork Sausage for $1.99 a pound (I got 3 - 1 lb. packages)
10 pound roll of 85% ground beef on sale for $2.99 a pound (I got one roll)
Store pasta on sale for 10/$10.00
A lot of produce 

I spent $174.00. I am still in shock, but I am trying to step back and realize if this is for the whole month, that is not bad at all. I shopped a lot of deals and saved quite a bit that way. I did have to buy meat which always kills me. I bought two roasts in addition to the meat listed which were $18 total. That is just expensive, but both roasts will provide two meals and 2-3 days of leftovers afterwards. That is not bad.

I already have the turkey and ham in my freezer for Thanksgiving. I bought potatoes, stuffing, apple cider, cranberries, and fried onions for the green bean casserole. I have a lot of food in my pantry already for side dishes. Plus our holiday meals are potluck so many other people will be bringing more food. 

The November Meal Plan is going to look similar to October's meal plans. I will be incorporating more slow cooker meals that are low carb for me. The kids will probably have rice with them, but I need to be more diligent about sticking to eating better. I have my freezer meals for the slow cooker and we are also trying Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef and Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja. I can't wait to try them!

November Meal Plan
Chili (slow cooker)
Beef Stew (slow cooker)
Mongolian Beef (slow cooker)
Ropa Vieja (slow cooker)
Chicken Noodle Soup
Cavatini (for sports banquet)
Pork Chops and Roasted Vegetables
Homemade Pizza
Fajitas
Tacos (2 times)
Baked Rigatoni
Taco Chili Mac
Turkey Pot Pie
Spaghetti
Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and vegetables
Chicken Loaf, rice, and vegetables
Fritatta
2-3 Freezer Meals
Thanksgiving 
Thanksgiving Leftovers
Leftovers from slow cooker meals

I realize the leftovers are a tentative thing. I usually make a lot when I make slow cooker meals so we have plenty of leftovers. However, I am living with the joy of a growing boy. If he is hungry and even remotely likes the meal, he can eat a lot! Holy moly! Paige can also eat a lot too which makes for an interesting meal time some nights. 

As always, I make my own bread and snacks for myself and the kids. We have chickens that produce eggs which is my breakfast almost every morning. This month, I am going to try to make my own tortillas (those are more expensive than ever!). 

How is your shopping challenge going? What are you planning for meals for November?

Thanks for reading,
Erica



Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Once A Month Shopping Challenge: Month One Update


My first month's Once A Month Shopping Challenge will be done in just a few days. I will probably go grocery shopping a few days early due to how my budget works and when I get paid. However, I wanted to give you an update so you can see how it is going so far. 

The successes:

I feel like I have been freed from shopping. Really! We have found so many creative solutions to problems like Paige's Halloween costume. The kids have been on board with this challenge and they like it so far. They even went grocery shopping with me for the month. They thought about things I had forgotten to write down and what I had not fully planned out (cold lunches).

For the first three weeks, this challenge went smashingly. We are naturally frugal as a family so this challenge didn't hit us too bad. We had a lot in food storage and full freezers which helped greatly. We made a good dent in the upstairs freezer and hope to get more done there in the next month. 

We made bread like usual, brownies, molasses cookies, and energy balls for snacking on and to add to cold lunches. 

Like I thought in the original challenge, we did not need to purchase any personal items like shampoo, conditioner, and whatnot. I know we will need to this next month, but I need to take inventory today.

I actually don't like shopping so this was a win for me. I just need to plan a little better!

The failures:

This last week was the failure. Rob came down for the weekend, Paige had a sleepover, and Halloween happened in one weekend. I went to the grocery store and Kmart twice each! 

The truth of this was I didn't have these things on my radar when the month started. I also believe in having things that the guests would like on hand. Rob is not exactly a guest, but his morning beverage of choice is Diet Coke and I got him some. We got some ice cream that Paige could have for her sleepover. Dane conned me into buying more Go-Gurt that was on a really good sale because 11 year olds are good at spotting those things. We also got pumpkins for carving and garlic bread for lunch. 

Kmart runs involved a new phone charger, face paint for a Halloween costume, a tiara for Paige's costume, make-up remover wipes, pots for replanting herbs, and more potting soil. 

I was bummed that I had to place an order on Amazon today. However, we need fish filters and weekend feeders for the goldfish and I got some more gifts for the holidays so the hit on my budget will not be so bad by Christmas. The fish filters are $16.00 cheaper on Amazon then buying at our local store. I also got an eight pack of stainless steel earrings ($8.00) since I have really sensitive ears. The only jewerly I were is earrings so this is important to me. Some of the sizes are not ones I would wear, but I will turn those into stocking stuffers. 

And then there is the matter of the Halloween costume. I bought one off of Ebay for cheaper than I could find it otherwise. Dane insisted on being the Joker and we had nothing we could make work for that. Grrr...but he was a good Joker!



However, it will only be one order for Amazon and one order for Ebay. Nothing else left to buy for this month. I hope. 

What I had already planned on:

I did stop at Walmart one weekend and pick up dog food. I had that already figured in for a shopping trip, but I am already thinking I should have bought a bigger bag. I ordered chicken feed through my work and that should last us two months by my last calculations.

What I forgot about:

My Amazon Subscribe and Save order. I won't actually receive it until the new month starts, but I am not sure where that falls into this challenge. I use this to get things I use a lot cheaper. This month's order included protein powder, cod liver oil soft-gels, vitamin D gummies, green tea, ground cinnamon, dog treats, and face wash

Coming up for next month:

We will need cat food and dog food next month. I also need to pick up a bag of cat litter since our current bag will probably not last another month. I will probably pick up a chicken feed block too to help combat boredom and fighting in the chicken coop.

I am still planning my grocery list. I have kept a careful list of what we ran out of so I would remember to get those things again. I am not sure where we are having Thanksgiving yet, but I have two whole turkey breasts and two hams in my freezer that can be used if at my house. No matter where we have Thanksgiving, it will be a potluck affair so I just need to have the basics. I have plenty of things on hand for desserts. 

I will probably do some more Christmas shopping during the month so I am not doing it all in December. I will have to also do some birthday shopping for Paige since her birthday also falls in December. 

How are you doing in your challenge?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Shared on the From The Farm Blog Hop

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October Monthly Meal Plan - A First In My World!



In junction with my once a month shopping trip to the grocery store, I needed to work out a month of meals to make. This was actually pretty easy for me because we have a lot of the same meals from month to month. I usually try 2-3 new meals a month as well, but I don't always get it done.

From October 8th, when we went grocery shopping, this what I have made so far:

Thursday: Frugal Refrigerator Clean-out Frittata

Friday: Slow Cooker Roast Chicken with Rice and Peas

I put the carcass of the chicken back into the slow cooker, filled it with water, added 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, and left it on low to cook all weekend.

Saturday: Breakfast and Lunch were find your own or leftovers. Paige and I were at State Marching Band Contest. Supper was Chicken Broccoli Casserole using chicken leftover from Friday's meal and broth from the slow cooker.

Sunday: Baked Oatmeal for breakfast, Chicken and Noodles for lunch using chicken from Friday night and broth from the slow cooker. Whatever broth was left in the slow cooker was canned Sunday night. Dane and I had popcorn for supper while Paige had supper at youth group.

I am not planning out the meals specifically by the day for the rest of month because I want some freedom to use up leftovers or for a change in our plans. For example, last night I made some chicken thighs that I had used a half package of for a meal last Wednesday. They needed to be used up as well as the extra rice from Friday night's meal. I added a can of green beans to it to round out the meal.

The same will go for tonight's meal. I have two Italian sausages that need to be eaten up before they become dog food. Paige will be at a cross country meet so this will be perfect for Dane and I. We had some renegade potato chips make it into our house that I cannot have, but I will have Dane eat some with his meal. I will have leftover rice again if there is any left.

For the rest of the month, this is the list:

One-pot Chicken Lo Mein
Crazy Crust Pizza
Homemade Pizza
Roast in the Slow Cooker with Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions
Homemade Mac and Cheese
Chicken Noodle Soup
Spaghetti
Corn Casserole
Pork Chops and Roasted Vegetables
Tacos (most Saturday lunches)
Chicken Loaf, Rice, and a Vegetable
Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, and Corn
Beef Stew
Ham Steaks and Eggs
3-4 Freezer Meals - these are mostly soups or stews
Chicken Fajitas

This may not seem like enough meals, but we will be gone two weekends. I am also allowing space for leftovers that we may need to eat. If we have the whole family home (five people plus boyfriends and friends), I have everything to make lasagna or chili and will do so to feed a large crowd. Some nights we are really busy and will have just fried eggs with toast, sandwiches, or quesadillas.

For breakfast on the weekends, I usually make overnight oatmeal, baked oatmeal, pancakes, or eggs and toast. On special occasions we will have French toast or apple fritters. If I am not feeling so great or it is a weekday, the kids can eat muffins, granola, yogurt, cold cereal, and oatmeal packets. I usually eat leftover breakfast from the weekend or eggs and toast. Some times I will fry up a bunch of bacon to eat during the week too.

If you are curious about any of the recipes, I can do a blog post on them if they are mine or I can put a link to them below.

Do you do a monthly meal plan?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Savings on the Homestead Week 6: Meal Planning and No Eating Out Week

Every Sunday I will be posting a Sunday Savings on the Homestead. This posts will concentrate on one money saving thing you and I can do to save money for the week. Some will be easy, some will be be a bit difficult, and all will concentrate on one way to save money for the week. Please join me in trying to live a frugal life in 2015!

I have been in a huge meal planning crunch lately. With junior high basketball over with, life is getting back to normal. And I need to get back onto the meal planning way as soon as possible. This challenge is just as much for you as it is for me.

We have been eating very quick meals that do not produce leftovers. I have also have a starving 10 year old son and 14 year old daughter to contend with. They are doing their best to eat me out of the house. Therefore, I have been having to eat out at lunch or buy more food for lunch. Both of those things can really hurt my budget. 

How do I meal plan? Sometimes very simply and sometimes I have to write a grocery list. I am using what I have this week because I got groceries on Friday after work. Sometimes I assign meals to days and sometimes I just write a list and go from there. I am just writing a list this week because I know we will have some surprises in our schedule this week. 


On my meal planning list, I include a list with leftovers so I know what to grab for lunch and what needs to be used up. I also include a list of potential breakfasts to make the mornings run easier. 

With this list, we eat out a lot less if at all. And that is the second challenge of this week, No eating out! (Again, this is as much for you as it is for me.) Eating out seriously crunches the budget especially if it is unplanned eating out. My budget doesn't need this and I doubt yours does either!

Join me this week! Sunday is a great day to plan this!

Thanks for reading!
Erica

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Do you have a list of meals?

I have resisted this idea for a long time. Making a list of meals that we make on a regular basis or that I would like to incorporate on a regular basis. I just didn't think it was necessary. I had many excuses for not doing this too. Excuses such as it was a waste of time, I try too many new recipes to have a consistent list, didn't see the benefit, etc.

After reading a few books in the last two weeks that emphasized having a list of meals, I began to see the wisdom and multiple benefits beyond just for organization's sake. Why I resisted this for so long baffles me now. This can take some time to do, but it is easy to start. I sat down and listed my favorite meals that I make. Then I asked my kids what meals they liked and could think of. Finally I turned to my cookbooks that I use the most and/or had tabs marking good recipes. This did not take me long at all.

The benefits of having a meal list are many:

1. Saving money: With your meal list, you can compare your list with what you have on hand and what is on sale at the grocery store that week. Then you can make your menu for the week and shop at the grocery store smartly. Having a meal list and menu plan helps you save money because you have a plan and will not be tempted to get take-out or eat-out nearly as often.

2. Saving sanity: Having a meal list will give you a game plan and save your sanity. You will not have hungry kids whining and complaining that they are hungry because you don't know what to make. Consult the meal list, pick a meal for the amount of time you have, and voila you have supper ready to go!

3. Food storage: By having a meal list, you will know what ingredients you can and will need to stock up for your food storage. Doing the stocking up little by little, you will be able to go to your pantry and know that you have the makings of a meal right at your fingertips.

4. Simplifying: Having a meal list and incorporating a menu plan keeps your life simple. You will come home from work and know exactly what you are making that night. If you stay at home, you will know at 4:30 what you are making and can get the meal started. Makes life so much easier!

5. Family meals: By having a meal list, you can have a good, nutritious meal on the table and be able to spend quality, stress-free time with your family talking over your day. How wonderful!

6. Delegation: With your meal list and menu plan if you choose, your family can help you prepare meals. They will be able to see what meal to make and be able to start the meal or help you prepare the meal. Children as young as eight can be a help to you at preparing meals. Give them simple tasks and lead up to more difficult tasks as they get older. My 11 year old can make a meal on her own now. It is a great blessing!

I believe having a meal list will be a huge blessing for my family and help us with getting the most out of suppertime and lunchtime. I also believe having a menu list will help us in our preps because we will be able to store what food we make.

Thanks for reading! Have a great night!

 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Meal Plan for Week of March 5

Below is our meal plan for the week. I need to have a plan and be accountable for it. I skipped a few weeks of planning just to get some things cleaned up and out of the freezer. I am trying to make room for the half of beef that I want to have ordered and processed soon. This week will be a little of the same, but hopefully focusing more on the healthier meals.

Monday - Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Celery, and Onions in the Crockpot
Tuesday - Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice, Leftover Vegies from Saturday's meal
Wednesday - Turkey Sloppy Joes, Homemade Baked Potato Chips
Thursday - Roast Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Corn (Frozen from last summer)
Friday - Easy Baked Rigatoni, Salad
This weekend's meals are still up in the air, but Saturday's lunch may include leftovers! Sundays we usually have brunch instead of lunch and that includes something like pancakes or French toast. 
Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Plan for November 7 - 20th-ish

Ahh, yes, the menu plan. I remember thee this week. I forgot about thee last week and we had a week of not eating so well. Alas, I made up for that over the weekend with corned beef casserole, oven beef stew, french toast, corn casserole, and chicken enchiladas.

Thus I will be getting back on course this week by having a plan. A novel idea, yes?

Monday - Volleyball/Football Awards Banquet
Tuesday - Leftovers from the weekend due to Parent Teacher Conferences
Wednesday - Leah's Spaghetti Casserole
Thursday - Slow Cooker Chicken or More Leftovers from the weekend due to more Parent Teacher Conferences
Friday - ? (I am not sure I will be home)
Saturday - MY BIRTHDAY (I haven't decided yet what I want or am making Rob cook!)
Sunday supper - Tacos

Monday - Oven Baked Chicken Thighs and Rice
Tuesday - Girls Basketball Jamboree - Spaghetti (?)
Wednesday - Pork Chops and Potatoes
Thursday - Chicken Noodle Soup
Friday - Kids Choice
Saturday lunch - Buttermilk Pancakes
Saturday supper - Chicken Fingers and Oven Roasted Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes
Sunday lunch - Chili (double batch so I can try to can it)
Sunday supper - Leftovers or FYO Supper

Same assumptions go for every meal: a vegie or a fruit will accompany each meal. I don't really plan those. Also these meals are subject to change or being switched for another night. Because unplanned things happen, right?

Alas, this is the best I can do! If you would like any of the recipes, I will be absolutely delighted to post them!

Thank you for reading and have a wonderfully delightful night!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Menu Plan for October 17 - 30

Here is the menu plan for the next two weeks. I am winging it for this time around because this kind of snuck up on me - just like my cold did!

Monday - Find Your Own Night
Tuesday - Chicken Fajitas
Wednesday - Spaghetti
Thursday - Chicken Tacos (Crock Pot)
Friday - Chipped Beef on Toast
Saturday lunch - Pancakes & Bacon
Saturday supper - Steak & Potatoes on the grill
Sunday lunch - Shredded Chicken Sandwiches **New Recipe

Monday - Chicken Loaf & Rice
Tuesday - Kids Choice
Wednesday - Pork Chops & Potatoes
Thursday - Asian Chicken & Rice
Friday - Sunday: I will be gone this weekend! Kids will be at Grandma's house!

Nothing fancy for these next two weeks. Most of these are recipes that are regulars at our house and have been made time and time again. If you are interested in any of these meals and want the recipes, I will be more than happy to post them or show you how I make them.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Menu Plan October 3 - 16

Here is my menu plan for the next two weeks. I am at a loss that I don't have any slow cooker meals planned, but as fall continues there will be.

Monday - Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup & Bread
Tuesday - Turkey Meatloaf & Potatoes (new recipe)
Wednesday - Chuckwagon Wraps & Salad
Thursday - Volleyball Game
Friday - Corn Casserole
Saturday noon - Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (new recipe)
Saturday supper - Tuna Noodle Casserole
Sunday noon - leftovers
Sunday supper - kid's choice

Monday - Indonesian Chicken with Green Beans & Rice (new recipe)
Tuesday - Volleyball Game
Wednesday - Baked Rigatoni
Thursday - Volleyball Game
Friday - Chicken Loaf & Rice
Saturday noon - Volleyball Tourney
Saturday supper - French Toast & Bacon
Sunday noon - leftovers
Sunday supper - kid's choice

I am trying new things. We needed to have one meal where the leftovers are going to get eaten. We have a little too much for me to eat for lunches during the week. I also thought I would give the kids a chance to choose and/or make a meal at least one night a week although my girls are very capable cooks. They could make almost every recipe listed.

For volleyball nights, Paige, Dane and I try to eat at home before we go to the game. We will usually have a sandwich, some fruit, and one other thing. It keeps the trips to the concession stand down to a minimum!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

This menu plan has been linked to Menu Plan Monday over at the I'm An Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Meal Planning

Have you ever heard the saying you can not plan too much? I didn't believe that saying either until 2-3 years ago.  When Shali went to high school, I suddenly understood this saying in all its glory. One of the areas I knew I had to get my act together in was meal planning.

Meal planning is extremely important! I pride myself on having a thorough pantry that I can pull a lot of meals from, but when the clock says 5:30 pm I am just like anyone else. "What am I making for dinner?!? Ahhh!!!" I like having a plan and following, somewhat closely, the plan. Meal planning also helps with my food storage and building my food storage. How do I plan meals?

I know how you should do the meal planning. You should make a list of meals that your family eats and make a monthly meal plan according to the list of meals you made. You should then stick to the plan as closely as possible accounting for leftovers and whatnot.

I do not do that. I should. I really should, but I have a huge pile of recipes that I want to try and a lot of cookbooks I would like to work my way through. I like a lot of variety in my meals. I also only plan for two weeks at a time. I have never been able to make a monthly meal plan stick. This is how I do my meal planning:

I find a cookbook that I have marked with meals that I want to try or have already tried and made the family cut.


By the way, awesome cookbook! One of my favorites! See in the picture I have a bunch of tabs at the top of the cookbook. I use Post-it Tabs to mark my favorite recipes as well as recipes I want to try. From there I find a notepad and do this:


I write out two weeks worth of menus. I use recipes from the chosen cookbook as well as family favorites/stand-bys. I do not give a lot of thought to breakfasts, but we have a few options for breakfasts: pancakes of all varieties, waffles, oatmeal, eggs, cold cereal, yogurt, and fruit. I do plan lunch on the weekends. I also plan at least one crockpot meal a week. This is what my menu looks like:

Wednesday: Chicken Fingers, Brown Rice, Peas
Thursday: Tacos & Salad
Friday: Dane's Birthday Party - Frozen Pizzas, Ice Cream Cake
Saturday: Lunch - Hot Dogs & Cheddarwurst, Chips, & Homemade Baked Beans; Supper - Dane's Family Birthday Party - Fruit Salad (Grandma is making Lasagna & Cake)
Sunday: Lunch - Eggs & Bacon; Supper - Tator Tot Casserole, Vegie
Monday: Chicken and Noodles, Vegie
Tuesday: Supper at Grandma's for the kids because Mom has a work meeting
Wednesday: Asian Honey Chicken, Brown Rice
Thursday: Crock Stronganoff, Noodles, Vegie
Friday & Saturday: No plans because I am not sure what is going on yet...
Sunday: Lunch - Taco Soup; Supper at Sutherland
Monday: Lunch at Sutherland; Supper - Garlic Lime Chicken, Potatoes, Vegie
Tuesday: Corn Casserole
Wednesday: Crockpot Taco Chicken and Salad

Not too hard to do! If you don't do this already, please give menu planning a try. I took the summer off from planning menus and our eating habits as well as our healthy ways went right down the toliet. We ate even more junk that what appears on the menu. A lot of frozen pizzas instead just once in a while, ramen noodles galore, macaroni and cheese like you wouldn't believe. I was not impressed with our diet this summer.

I will explain on Preparedness Monday how menu planning will help with your food storage so stay tuned! Have a great day and thanks for reading!

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