Friday, July 9, 2010

Menu planning and lists... oh boy! Part 1

I like to be organized.  But liking it and living it all the time are two different things right now!  One area that I have just struggled with is menu planning and grocery budget.  I am also learning all kinds of new things about healthy eating.  And it's not always cheap.  So, struggle on struggle.  I am thinking that once a month shopping will be the best bet for budgeting.  A little of the budget will be set aside for weekly replinishment.  We eat lunch as our big  meal of the day.  I needed to have a main meal planned and then just fill in the gaps for each day.  This is what I did:
  • I made 5 weeks worth of daily main meals.
  • I made a list of dishes to eat for breakfast and light dinners.
  • I made a list of things to make on Bake Day (breads, snacks, etc.).
  • I compiled recipes for all of the above.
  • From these lists I made a master grocery and pantry list.
It was a labor of love, let me tell you.  But definitely satisfying work.

To make it easier some of the meals are repeated during the weeks and I tried to stick with little variety in the meats.  I do not have beef or pork in these meals.  The only frozen meat I got in bulk was chicken, ground turkey and fish.  "HM" stand for homemade in the list.

Monthly Meal Plan- Summer/Spring
Week 1
1. Crockpot chicken, vegi, bread
2. Chicken salad (made from leftover chicken), vegi,  HM bread
3. Taco salad
4. Quesadillas (HM tortillas), vegi, fruit
5. HM Pasta & meatballs, salad
6. Hot dogs, HM bread, roasted vegi
7. Leftover-palooza

Week 2
1. Ham, squash casserole, beans
2. Turkey burgers, HM bread, oven fries
3. Pepperoni roll, salad
4. Beans, rice, salad
5. Oven-fried chicken, quinoa, vegi
6. Fish, vegi, fruit, HM bread
7. Leftover-palooza

Week 3
1. Crockpot chicken
2. Chicken salad, vegi, bread
3. Quesadillas, vegi, fruit
4. Homemade pizza, salad
5. Pate McMuffin, fruit
6. Turkey meatloaf, baked potato wedges, vegi
7. Leftover-palooza

Week 4
1. Crockpot meal
2. HM Pita pizza, salad
3. Mac-n-cheese, w/ beans, vegi
4. Fajita salad
5. Loaded potatoes, salad
6. Quiche, fruit, jello
7. Leftover-palooza

Week 5
1. Chicken Squash Bake
2. Easy 3 cheese enchiladas
3. Turkey burgers, HM bread, oven fries
4. Homemade pizza, salad
5. Lasagna, peas/green beans, garlic bread
6. Fish, roasted vegi, sweet potatoes
7. Left-over palooza

Because I will have most of the ingredients for all of the meals, I can mix and match if I want.  That's the idea anyway. We used the bigger part of our budget at the first of this month, but we are still working that part out, too, so I will have another mini shopping trip after mid month payday.  I have a paper copy of the meal list from when I went shopping.  To keep track I just mark the date by the meal I made.  Since this will be a work in progess I'll tweak it each month depending on new ideas and recipes.

Next I will post the breakfast and light dinner ideas. 
Then the master shopping and pantry lists .
Then Bake day (if the goods last long enough for a picture!).
And finally the notebook that brings them all together.  I love noteooks almost as much as I love lists. 


1 comment:

  1. Glad to know that I am not the only one who struggles with menu planning, at home and at church! :) Thank you for visiting my blog. Look forward to learning more about you and your HS'ing adventure!