I can do this! I can get back into the habit of planning meals ahead in order to manage our food resources better. I feel much more efficient when I have a plan made ahead of time, although I’m flexible enough that I don’t mind to toss something out if plans are changed or we just feel like having something else. It makes me feel better just having it down on paper to look at throughout the week and also really keeps me focused on what to purchase at the grocery store.
Part of menu planning is taking into account what activities your family has planned for the upcoming week and plan accordingly. If we’ll be getting home later in the day, perhaps a slow cooker meal would be best. If there is a special holiday, such as a birthday, we probably want a bit of a fancier meal that night. So this week I have an errand day Wednesday afternoon and church that evening, fellowship Friday evening and a party Saturday afternoon.
In addition, successful menu planning includes using up what you have on hand, which takes us back to food management. If I have a plan made ahead of time and grocery shop accordingly, then I am much more likely to use up what we have, rotate our pantry and freezer items and generally waste less food. I feel terrible when I find vegetables or leftovers in the back of the fridge that I have to throw out!
Menu Plan, 1/20 through 1/25
- Cream of Wheat
- Sausage Breakfast Muffins
- Eggs & Toast
- New Recipe: Breakfast Bowls (make ahead freezer food)
- Sandwiches ~ Lunchmeat
- Sandwiches ~ Grilled Cheese
- New Recipe: Broccoli-Cheese Bread Casserole
- New Recipe: Broccoli-Cheese Soup
As you can see from the lists above, I don’t formally plan each breakfast or lunch. This is what we have on hand or what I would like to try so those are the options. Our older daughter eats lunch at school, and my husband usually takes a packed lunch that includes a lunchmeat sandwich. Only myself and our younger daughter are home for lunch. The new lunch recipes are included this week because I have an entire gallon-sized bag of broccoli stems to use up from taking fresh broccoli florets on vegetable trays to last weekend’s ladies’ retreat. The new breakfast recipe is a make ahead meal for the freezer, as I am trying to build up some grab-and-go breakfast foods for the pantry/freezer so the teenager and hubby will eat something for breakfast.
- Monday~ Creamy Corn Chowder (I have corn on the cob from last summer’s garden in the freezer), Herb Bread (bread machine), Peach Cobbler (slow cooker)
- Tuesday~ Chicken Pot Pie (making extras to give away), Fruit
- Wednesday~ Spaghetti (homemade sauce), French bread (using up loaf in freezer), Vegetable (from freezer)
- Thursday~ Minestrone Soup (slow cooker; using up rind of Parmesan cheese block), French bread (using up rest of loaf from freezer), Fruit
- Friday~ Free Night (Gigging for my husband and fellowship for me. We may each have to take something for these events but not sure yet.)
- Saturday~ Deer Roast (slow cooker), Scalloped Potatoes, Vegetable (from freezer)
I’ll post the new recipes if they are keepers!