Thursday, November 1, 2012

Monthly Meal Planning

 I've put it off for as almost 4 years. The dreaded (to me) meal plan. Why was I so opposed to making a menu? I don't really know, to be honest. But I just did NOT want to do it. But then, I found this blog on Pinterest. And the lady had practically done it for me. I caved and created my own. Check out the blog I used for more menu ideas, and for her system.

As always, my version is changed a bit to suit our family's needs. We can't get to the store for a big trip more than once a month, so we invested in a new used freezer to stockpile the entire month's worth of groceries. I purchased everything, including produce, and then froze it. I chose not to prepare all of the meals at the beginning of the month, because I don't have time for that, but you could if you wanted to.

Before the shopping, I made a quick little calendar template on Excel (nothing fancy), and decided on my meals. Most of which come from Pinterest. :) I went easy on myself and allowed one night each week to order pizza or eat out. I plan to push that back to two nights a month. I also planned a night for leftovers each week. On the recipes that allow it, I will make more than enough for our family and then freeze the rest to use for those nights. The hope is that there will be plenty of options that will carry over to the next month as well. This month also happens to have Thanksgiving (a freebie!), and one night with a scheduled family dinner. So in total, I had to come up with 20 recipes. I've linked the recipes that came from Pinterest, and indicated which meals are Crock-Pot with a "(CP)". Disclaimers: Some recipes I've tried before and some are new, so if you choose to use one of these recipes, no guarantees on taste. :) Also, this month's menu did not take into consideration nutrition or expense. I'm just starting out, so I hope to be able to create healthier menus on a budget as I go.

1. spaghetti w/meat sauce
2. mini-meatloaf
3. pot pies - the frozen kind
4. bacon & cheese chicken (CP)
5. chicken enchilada casserole
6. pot roast (CP)
7. parmesan honey pork (CP)
8. chicken cream cheese "chili" (CP)
9. veggie soup - this can cook for 3 minutes and be ready to serve. NO JOKE! It's delicious and great for food storage!
10. OMg chicken
11. Korean beef
12. Asian chicken (CP) - I used breasts instead of drumsticks becuase that's what I had.
13. taco salad
14. BBQ chicken  mac & cheese
15. shredded chicken sandwiches (CP) - use 1 bottle of any kind of sauce, marinade, or dressing that you choose. Shred and serve on buns.
16. weight watcher beef tips (CP)
17. cheesy chicken & rice
18. chili (CP) - my recipe is vegetarian, so it's great for a food storage recipe. Also, add in some worcestershire sauce to jazz it up! So yummy!
19. Thai chicken pasta
20. tomato soup & grilled cheese

First and foremost, this is a family blog, and I would like to keep it that way. I am always up for helping out a fellow mama, however. :) So, if this has been helpful to you and you would like me to post my menus each month, I am more than willing to do so. Also, please comment with any recipes that are your family favorites and have worked well for you! Let's share the love, and the load. :)


desertdeb said...

This is fabulous. I was reading it to Peter and he said, "Tell Abby I think this is very admirable, but where is the Maine lobster?"

Kensie said...

This looks great! I need to do this! By the way, have you tried the Korean Beef before? We had it once and it is delicious, but I would highly recommend way cutting down the spice. I LOVE spicy food, so I was fine with it, but my kids were dying! It is so delicious though!

nancy said...

what? no kielbasa?

Kelly said...

Looks amazing! Cannot wait to try a few! Love your ideas!!

Eli Bowman said...

Hey, there might not be kielbasa, but she DID put Pot Roast on there...I figure if we have pot roast about 100 more times than it will tie the amount of kielbasa we have eaten.

...or just do each once a month. HOLLERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!


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