Sunday, July 6, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

So here I sit another Sunday night with my families favorite meals listed in front of me, the grocery store sales copied down and my freezer/pantry list trying to make out a plan for yet another busy week! So why do all that work you ask...because meal planning which does involve a little bit of work on Sunday nights/Monday mornings has saved us lots of money in the past couple of years. Since we have been married (almost 3 years) we have been trying to buy our grocery's for $50 a week! You think that is little but its actually just the right amount when you make everything from starch, drink skim milk powder, stock up when on sale and meal plan! I know you are all probably thinking "well they must not eat very healthy" and if you are new to the blog you might want to know that I am a Registered Dietitian and we always have vegetables and fruits on our plates at meal times. You see when you meal plan you can use what you have in your cupboards/freezer (always from previous sales) and combine it with items that are on sale to make fabulous, quick or simple meals.

Now there are lots of different ways to put a meal plan together here are two popular ways. You can take a week, two weeks or month and place in different meals you would like to have for those days. You can plan breakfast, lunch and suppers. I usually only tend to do our suppers because I always have different breakfast foods on hand (cereal, toast, yogurt, fruit and granola) and lunch usually consist of leftovers for both hubby and I.


You can plan each day to be a specific theme meal say Monday is vegetarian night, Tuesday pork, Wednesday beef, Thursday chicken, Friday fast food...etc. Then for the month under each them night you can have a list of family favorites and new recipes. As the month goes on you mark off the meals you have had. This adds more variety to your meal plan as you can cook things that you are craving; until of course you get down to the last week of the plan when you make whatever didn't get made at the beginning of the month. Here is an example.

Hash brown casserole
Mac and cheese and beans
Mexican Lentil casserole

Shake and bake chops (homemade)
Curried pork chops
Ground pork tacos
BBQ pork kabobs

Shepard pie
Mexican Mash
BBQ meat pie

Pineapple curry chicken legs
BBQ chicken
Roast chicken
Shake and bake Chicken

drum sticks and fries

One thing I like to do with meal planning is I always plan the main dish and add lib the sides I want to accompany the meal. I make sure I have ingredients on hand, say frozen vegetables/ salad stuff, to fill up our plates.

Now that you may have some basic understanding of meal planning here is my plan for the week. For the last couple of weeks I have been taking about the weather and how difficult it was to plan meals as I don't want the oven on in the afternoons making the house even hotter then what it already is. Well just last night after talking with a faithful blog reader. I had a revelation that I never thought of before...CROCK POT!! I don't know why I wasn't thinking about this little invention for the hot summer days. Not to mention I can fix it and forget it on those days I want to be outside, at the park, hanging out or swimming with the little guy. So from now on no more complaining will just be crock potting all the way. I just so happened to stumble upon this blog so I am sure I will have some adventures with her recipes!

Meal Plan

Monday: Shepard's pie (hubby's request)

Tuesday: Crockpot salsa chicken

Wednesday: Left overs

Thursday: Pork Chops

Friday: Picnic in the car

Saturday: International Family Fun day

Sunday: Lunch date with friends

For more yummy menus check out meal planning Monday!


Minimalist Mommy said...

Oh that crock pot site is so cool. I have tried and loved a couple already. Wow $50 a week, that is impressive. I am $100 week but I have two more adults I feed for supper every night. I know I can still be more cautious but with them and a baby that eats more than I do I am finding it hard to go below that.

Clara said...

Love your ideas! Especially the theme days and listing out favorite menus for a month. I'm going to look into more crock pot meals, too.


ahorne said...

Ooooh, I love that crock pot site too. We are having dinner in the crock pot tonight! It's such a great way to easily make dinner.

Stephanie said...

I live in France without AC, soI am right there with you about not using the stove. I had also totally forgotten about my crock pot until I was looking for some new recipes to try this week. Thanks for sharing your menu planning ideas. My menu id still a work in progress.

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