Monday, January 28, 2013

Meal Plan Monday



Meal Plan Monday  1/28 thru 2/3

Until I have more of my own recipes posted I will include some links to my favorite recipes!
Monday:  Crock Pot Beef Stew, Biscuits (Martha Stewart Beef Stew)
Tuesday: Baked Mac 'N' Cheese, Steamed Broccoli (Bobby Flay's Mac N Cheese Carbonara)
Wednesday: Teriyaki Chicken, Honey Dill Carrots, Rice
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
Friday: Crock Pot-Pot Roast, baked potatoes, corn (Momma Neely's Pot Roast)
Saturday: Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad
Sunday: Leftovers

A few tips for Meal Planning.... 

For years I was that mom that would just kind of "wing it"  far as dinner went...resulting in a lot of last minute meals thrown together or pizza ordered at the last minute.
I would throw out tons of expired food from the fridge or mystery meat from the freezer (you know those Ziploc baggies of frozen longer identifiable, that you never labeled.  The container of cottage cheese two months past due, never opened,  that you swore you were going to eat to be healthier.)
In the last year I have embraced the "meal plan" idea and it has made my life so much easier.
The fridge tells me every morning what I must get ready for dinner.
I haven't got the whole system down completely yet but I am definitely much better off than I was this time last year.
My meal planning tools:
I bought this gem at Staples  Martha Stewart Weekly Dry Erase Planner
(pictured above)
I LOVE this planner from ThirtyOne Fold and Go Organizer
It holds my coupon organizer from day runner, pad for my list and a pocket for the coupons I am using for my next trip!

Monday mornings after all the kiddos have left....
~I search through the fridge, freezer and pantry to find out what needs to be used for the week.
~I quickly peruse the calendar and figure out which days will be crock pot or casserole days and which days I will actually have time to cook.
~I print out new coupons from and grab the Sunday paper coupons.
~ Then I sit with my flyer and coupons and come up my grocery list.
(I shop on Tuesdays or Wednesdays simply because that is my "weekend")
  *I am not a crazy couponer and I tend to not be brand loyal....I only clip coupons for items that we eat/use.  I try to combine coupons and sales.  I only go to one grocery store.  I usually save anywhere from $50 to $80 (I am spending anywhere from $100 to $200) a week depending on the sales and what we need.
~After I have my list compiled I get together a basic Meal Plan for the week. 
Sometimes I change a few things here and there (sides or veg, or I swap days if I have run out of time to make something)  After I shop I will often add on specifics like a bread side or sauce that I was unsure of.
My biggest ally when it comes to meal planning is PREP,  I try to carve out a few hours after my shopping trip to prep my ingredients which is essential for not only making dinner easier but lunch packing and snack time as well .
I divide up all bulk meats into freezer Ziploc bags, add marinades, double bag, label and freeze.
I divide up all fruits, some vegetables, hummus, cottage cheese, dips etc.... and dry snacks into snack baggies or small Tupperware for lunches.
WARNING: Failure to follow through with your plan will result in "looks", sighs and whines from the kiddos and hubby when they thought they were getting Shepherd's Pie and sit down to Hot Dogs and Man N Cheese. 
 Hey at least they are eating!

What are some of your Meal Planning Strategies?






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