First, a recap on October:
My first month trying this full menu for a month planning. It worked so WELL! I cooked more than normal with less stress than normal, and less money than normal. I baked almost all of my bread myself… Including rolls, which worked for hamburger buns, tortillas, and sourdough bread. I still bought 2 loaves of wheat bread at Costco, as well as a pack of muffins, which is my Sunday morning saving grace… I came in under budget. I do my bulk shopping in the first week of the month, with a smaller trip to replenish dairy items and produce ONLY sometime during the third week of the month. I have done this the past few months, and its been an awesome money and time saver. (Taking fewer trips!) The monthly meal plan is just an extra bonus to take off some of the work.
Having a weekly meal pattern helps with the planning too. Sometimes I like to cook according to what everyone actually wants, so by making the days of the week correspond to a certain type of meal (crockpot… soup… taco… etc.) it allows me to easily switch out say this Tuesdays bean burritos for next Tuesdays white enchiladas or something. It really helps it not feel so set in stone while at the same time… being kinda set in stone!
We eat tacos most Tuesday nights because we have to drive to youth group pretty much as soon as David gets home from work. I admit to bribing Hailee to eat her refried beans (she’s hated them since she was a baby with a really bad gag reflex… but they have to exist for my budget to exist!) by feeding her fresh chewy tortillas.
Everyone loves soup around here, and we eat soup most Thursdays. I like to make a giant loaf of sourdough bread to help fill them up… But (honestly) it also makes it a more relaxing dinner since Claire is too little to use a spoon on her own yet, and the bread works well for her to “dipdipdipdipdip!!!” (she’s obsessed with dipping!)
I try to make double of one meal each week to freeze leftovers. This works well for when I can’t be home for dinner, or a day that gets totally off ceneter. I have to track them closely and make sure we eat them within a decent time frame so I can continue to replenish my freezer as well as not end up wasting all that effort in couple of months, throwing out forgotten meals because of freezer burn, etc.
Here goes nothing! (Except a few hours of planning work between lists, menu and shopping!)
- Saturday Sherried Tomato Soup topped with mozz and French cheesy bread
- Sunday, ________
- Monday, Fresh Cream of Mushroom Soup with Sourdough & Oven Roasted Green Beans
- Tuesday, Freezer Meal: Bean burritos
- Wednesday, Dijon Chicken and Mushroom Linguine
- Thursday, Burgandy Beef Stew (over egg noodles) *
- Friday Calzones & Ceasar Salad
- Saturday Whole Baked Chicken with root vegetables (x2 chickens and shred for freezer!)
- Sunday _______
- Monday P.W. Beef and Snow Pea stirfry
- Tuesday White Chicken Enchiladas (freezer for shredded chicken)
- Wednesday Quiche & Potato Casserole
- Thursday P.W. Hamburger Soup
- Friday Chicken Fried Rice (chicken from freezer)
- Saturday Crockpot Chalupa (x2 for freezer)
- Sunday _______
- Monday Salmon, roasted butternut squash, and brown rice
- Tuesday Ground Beef Tacos
- Wednesday Pizza & Salad
- Thursday Crockpot Chicken Taco Stew & Spanish Rice (x2 for freezer)
- Friday ______ (< ran out of meal ideas! Maybe inspiration will strike that day and I’ll get super creative?!)
- Saturday Italian sausage saute on pasta
- Sunday ______
- Monday P.W. Drip Beef Sandwiches on Fresh Rolls, & Oven Roasted Green Beans
- Tuesday Freezer Meal: Sloppy Joe’s
- Wednesday Sweet and Spicy Coconut Curry Chicken
- Thursday THANKSGIVING!!!
- Friday ______ (because everyone has thanksgiving left overs!)
- Saturday Freezer night- Chicken Pot Pie (because we’re all tired of cooking!)
- Sunday Turkey Noodle Soup & Soudough Bread