This is the week that I am counting on Menu planning to really pay off. Matt and I both will be working full time and the kids are don’t start school until next Monday. I did try to stock up on Breakfast foods this past weekend.
Breakfast- Saturday-Breakfast burrito bowls (using gravy from Friday), Sunday- Eggs with pesto and cottage cheese for Zach and me, Pop-tarts for the girls and left over burrito bowl for Matt. Monday- Burrito bowl minus gravy for me, fruit for kids and cereal for Matt Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday- Choice of pop-tarts, breakfast burrito bowl, egg muffins, cereal, eggs or grits.
Lunch- Saturday-lunch out with friends Sunday- Pizza from Dominos. I will be eating out most of the week at my new job, Monday- left over pizza and bagel bites, Tuesday- burritos for everyone but Kendall who is eating a lunchable. Wednesday- Mac and chesses, the blue box kind, Thursday- Sandwiches, Friday- left-overs or uncrustables.
Dinner – Saturday- Hot dogs Sunday- Baked potatoes , Monday- Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, green beans and watermelon, Tuesday- Chicken Enchiladas from freezer, Wednesday-Slow cooked pepper steak , Thursday- Corn dogs from Sonic after meet the teacher and Friday-Pull pork, veggie and fruit.
Matt and I actually planned the menu for the next six weeks but will make adjustments and changes are we see fit. I am so excited and ready to see the kids every night at dinner!
- The past week has really flown by. I was able to accomplish almost everything on my list for this second vacation week! Including hair cuts for all of us and a nail trim for Rugar!
- Starting Monday, both Matt and I will be working full time. This will be the first time in our marriage (13 years) that we will both be working full-time.
- One of the main things I am concerned about is cooking and groceries. We will all continue to take lunches as well as eat the majority if not all of our meals at home. I have spent a considerable amount of time and money on groceries this week. I have visited Costco twice, Food Lion three times and Walmart and Harris Teeter. I have spent a total of $467 just this week. I will probably end close to $500 as I am going to stop at Food Lion for more Diet Cokes over the next several day. I am able to purchase 10 2L of Diet Coke for $9.52 until Tuesday. After doing most of the cooking on Monday, I have continued to add simple things by cooking double most of the week.
- We finally got around to weeding and watering the garden today. I discovered that my lettuce had self seeded and I have a bunch of small plants. I am going to leave and see if any grow larger enough to eat. We also harvested several watermelon and two full buckets of green peppers. I am hopefully that we will continue to harvest tomatoes, pimentos and peppers for at least another month. I was also very excited to see that my sweet potatoes are starting to grow. They can stay in the ground until the first frost which is around the end of October.
- I was also able to complete a picture collage using pictures from our Disney 2015 trip. I have only had the collage picture for 4 months!
Did I mention how excited I am to start at Davie County Schools on Monday?
One of the biggest changes or should I say most difficult change for me, is going to be that I am responsible for dinner most days of the week. Both Matt and I will be working until around 4:30pm each day. I know myself and realize that if I don’t have something that is already complete in the crockpot or can be placed in the oven with five minutes or less of prep than I will want to eat out. But really after working all day who does want to cook? With this in mind, I spent most of my day today working on meal preparation. I know there are a couple of people who wander what and how so I am going to provide probably too many details.
First up was left-over chicken and pasta from the beach. This was an excellent meal made by Amanda but we had leftovers especially chicken breast. I shredded 1/4 of the chicken breast, mixed in about half a block of cream cheese together with the left-over pasta and this was our lunch today. I shredded the rest of the chicken breast, added a bag of frozen vegetables, cut up a potato, 2 cans of cream of chicken soup mixed with a cup of chicken broth and pour on top. Kendall wrote a index card with the directions for the topping and in the freezer it went.
I purchased a 10 pound bag of chicken breast from Costco that I pulled out next. I used my insta pot to cook approximately 4 pounds, really as full as it would go. Next, the kitchen aid shredded the chicken. I was able to make 2 containers of Chicken Broccoli Casserole . I have learned that I needed to chop up the broccoli in order to make everyone happy. I also made 2 batches of Chicken Enchiladas- I don’t add the salsa or cheese on top before freezing. Finally made a regular Chicken Pie. Kendall added a card with instructions. I also labeled both the top and side with what each thing was. I added about another 3 pounds of chicken breast to the instapot and cut this is cubes for Chicken Fried Rice. ( I will try and add the recipe for this soon). I left 6 breast in the bag and added a bottle of Italian dressing. This will marinate for 3 or 4 days and become awesome grilled chicken. That is a total of 8 meals from one bag of chicken and 9 meals prepped for the day.
We, Matt and I did an inventory last night and we have 2 meals of cowboy beans, a meal of taco soup, several meals of Salisbury steak, taco meat and sloopy joes all prepared. Matt is also excited to find 10 more frozen burritos.
Taco meat is easy, brown 5 pounds of hamburger dump in crock pot along with water and seasoning, cook on low for 3-4 hours. We divide ours into 1# bags for either tacos or nachos.
Sloppy joes are similar with 5 pounds of browned hamburger, this also cooks in the crook pot for several hours. These are also packed in 1# bags, which feeds the 6 or 7 of us easily.
We also have lots of beef from the cow we purchased. I do want to make some easy breakfast this week but am starting to feel more comfortable with our meals. The last stage will be writing out a meal plan for the month some time this week.
I really think it is more important to have a menu plan on vacation than on most normal weeks. The reason is that a plan allows you to bring food from home and prevents overspending. So here is our plan for this week.
Sunday: breakfast- Biscuit King, lunch-TGIFridays, dinner-pasta salad, made at home.
Monday- breakfast- gravy and biscuits, lunch-sandwhiches,dinner- hot dogs
Tuesday- breakfast- Jimmy Dean crossiant, lunch- tacos, dinner- Cheeseburger in Paradise
Wednesday- breakfast- Poptarts or leftovers, lunch Pizza, Dinner- baked ziti
Thursday- breakfast- Atlantis, lunch- sandwhiches or leftovers, Dinner- Amanda cooking
Friday- poptarts; toast donuts or crossiant, lunch sandwhiches or leftovers, dinner – seafood
Saturday- breakfast Atlantis, lunch- leftovers or McDonald’s Dinner- leftovers
Sunday- Breakfast- Atlantis, lunch- fast food on way home, Dinner- chicken nuggets
Life happens so you have to adapt some days. We usually plan out our menus a month in advance. This way we can use what we have and then purchase what we need. I also hope that it eliminates trips to the store. However, life happens, on Friday, Matt discovered that our small refrigerator in the building went out. We were able to salvage everything. But that meant we grilled 24 pork chops and I used the crock pot for a 5# bag of chicken legs. You will notice, we are eating a lot of chicken and pork this week. We also leave for vacation on Sunday, so I like to empty out the refrigerators as much as possible.
Breakfast- Saturday-BLT on sour dough bread with fresh tomatoes , Sunday- Bagels Monday- smoothies for kids, eggs and grits for me. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or grits.
Lunch- Saturday-veggie day- to use our fresh garden vegetables and some we were given , Sunday- Lunch with friends. Matt and I will have leftovers or sandwiches and the kids will be treated to lunch by my mom at least 3 days this week. She is picking them up from VBS.
Dinner – Saturday- Grilled pork chops or BBQ chicken legs, potato salad and fried squash, Sunday- Leftovers from fridge, Monday- Steaks with veggies again from refrigerator , Tuesday- mashed potatoes or cowboy beans ( Lily and Zach have orthodontic appointments) , Wednesday- Chicken pie (using chicken legs), Thursday- Pork Fried rice (using grilled pork chops) and Friday-free style- including left-overs.
This is a very different menu plan. The little kids are all away at camp this week. My initial plan was to throw my hands in the air and say “let’s go out to eat or make something for yourself.” Fortunately, my frugal ways took over and I had to come up with a partial plan.
Breakfast- Saturday-frozen French toast , Sunday- Bacon, eggs and toast, Monday- toast with Nutella or peanut butter Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or grits. I am encouraging eggs as we were given 3 dozen by the neighbor.
Lunch- Saturday-chicken salad wrap at the pool , Sunday- Baked ziti with friends. I have left over pizza and tuna helper or a salad for my lunch this week.
Dinner – Saturday- Cheeseburger pizza with homemade crust. , Sunday- Nachos Monday- Tuna Helper , Tuesday- Steaks and twice baked potato, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday-free style- including left-overs. We may eat out one night but I am debating that option.
As I was searching for the last menu plan, I realized I have not posted once since March. I am seriously hoping to get back on track in June with blogging in addition to everything else.
This is another busy/usual week for us. This past weekend, the kids went camping with Amanda so our eating has been way off. Lily finishes school on Wednesday, Kendall and Zach finish on Friday. Zach’s baseball team starts a tournament tonight and will play each night until they lose. We have quick and easy meals most of the week. I also purchased lunchables for less than $1 each several weeks ago. These make school lunches so much easier and quicker in the mornings.
Breakfast- Saturday-grits , Sunday- Bacon, eggs and hashbrowns , Monday Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs, pancakes, grits or pop-tarts Thursday- Baked oatmeal
Lunch- Saturday-chicken nuggets , Sunday- Costco. Lunchables for the kids and I plan to eat at work several days. My favorite sandwich is on the menu and I am treating myself.
Dinner – Saturday- Arby’s , Sunday- Shrimp scampi Monday- Chicken Nuggets with French Fries , Tuesday- Soft tacos/burritos Wednesday-Spaghetti with meatballs , Thursday- Mongolian beef? or left overs , Friday- hamburger helper.
Yes we are day three of April before we could put together a meal plan, but better late than never. You will notice a huge trend in this weeks menu…LEFTOVERS! Not exciting but a necessary part of our food lives. I spent a huge amount of money in the month of March on food so the focus for the entire month of April will be to keep grocery spending at a minimum. By menu planning for the entire month at one time, I was able to determine that other than fresh fruit and veggies, we have no needs right now. I hope this translates into very little spending in the next several months. This week will involve a little bit more effort than normal as the kids are out of school and Matt is at home until Friday.
Breakfast- Saturday-Gravy and biscuits , Sunday- Church provided. , Monday Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or left-overs, Thursday- Pancakes or waffles depending on the mood.
Lunch- Saturday- left-overs , Sunday- Dinner with my Family , Monday- Ham salad sandwiches, Tuesday-Friday Leftovers!
Dinner – Saturday- Leftovers , Sunday- Left-overs Monday- Grilled chicken breast with left over sides , Tuesday- Chicken nuggets and French fries(kids choice) , Wednesday-Rice Kreole , Thursday- Beef and Broccoli, Friday- pulled pork.
I ended up with half a snow day today so decided to add dessert and homemade mac and cheese to the menu. Both turned out well and we (the kids and I) spent some quality time together.
Breakfast- Saturday-Cereal and left-overs , Sunday- Breakfast bowls (leftovers turned into burritos) , Monday Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or left-overs, Thursday- Baked oatmeal
Lunch- Saturday- left-overs , Sunday- Stuffed Green Pepper soup , Monday- Pigs in a blanket. The kids are taking 2 day of sandwiches and 2 grab and go days. I plan to eat at work a couple of times this week as they have my favorite sandwich.
Dinner – Saturday- Ground beef enchiladas , Sunday- Breakfast including gravy and fried eggs. Monday- Chicken Nuggets, mac and cheese, pears and peanut butter cookies, Tuesday- Leftovers, Wednesday-Hamburger Helper, Thursday- Country style steak or chicken from Costco, Friday- Pork chops or pulled pork.
Find out the day that your local supermarket reduces the meat and that is when you shop.
I can honestly say, I have heard of this way to saved money but did not believe it was true until this week. I had planned to shop at Food Lion this weekend due to Lunchables being on sale for $1 each. These are quick and easy lunches that my kids consider a special treat. In the past, I have been able to stock up on these just prior to school starting but that was not the case this year. My mother was with us and helped to find some of the deals. I was able to purchase over one hundred dollars worth of meat for $66. This is a 40% savings on meat!
I grabbed several packets of thin steaks for Fajitas, a pack of steaks, several pack (ok 6 packs of chicken nuggets with cheese, meatballs and both chicken and pork bites. These are not the typically way we would eat these items but I am super excited that we have a chance to try some new and different things without breaking the bank.
This meat deal could have not come at a better time for us as we will be purchasing a whole cow in the next 2 months in addition to 80# of chicken from Zaycon. But in the meantime we still need meat and the kids insist that they have meat at least 2 of the 3 meals
What good deals have you found lately? Leave a comment to prove you read!