Last week was my first week back taking care of my kids and doing my normal things (housekeeping, homeschooling, etc) for about 3 weeks. Thankfully friends from church still brought meals this week. It was a nice ease into doing my normal routine not having to cook dinner every night, plus we got some yummy food. So this week I am back full-force including meals. It is so crazy to me that after only 4 weeks, I feel like I have to re-remember how to meal plan for the week. LOL! So I figured I would share my tips on how to meal plan as a learning or refresher.
Now there are a lot of different ways to meal plan:
- Some people pick out the meals they want to make, make a shopping list, shop, and cook.
- Some people look at the sale paper and pick out meals based on the sale paper, make a shopping list, shop, and cook.
- Some people have a stockpile of non-perishable and freezer items and look through that trying to use as much as possible of what they have on hand, make a small list of what they need, shop, and cook.
I prefer to do #3. I feel like I spend too much money if I do #1 and I feel like I spend too much time if I do #2. I like to coupon and stock up on things like pasta, rice, sauces, marinades, veggies, and meats. I try to only buy things when they are a certain price. http://organizedhomemaking.blogspot.com/2010/08/goal-price-list.html That way I do not have to buy chicken at $5.00 a pound when I can get it for under $2.00 a pound. So I go through my freezer first and make a list of what meats I have (hoping I have enough for the week). Then I go through the pantry and look at what I have that would make a meal. I try to make a meal plan that requires very little from the store besides fresh produce. Then I shop and cook.
Here's what I have in my freezer this week:
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 lb chicken tenders
1 lb Italian Balsamic chicken tenders (I marinated them when I bought them)
Tons of frozen veggies
Here's what I have in my pantry this week:
Various rices and pastas
Frank's Red Hot sauce
So, here's the meal plan for the week:
Sunday – Leftover pizza from the weekend
Monday – Baked Ziti
Tuesday – Italian Balsamic Chicken Tenders, Rice, Veggies
Wednesday – Dinner at church
Thursday – Buffalo Chicken Tenders, Rice, Veggies
Friday – Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies
Saturday – Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies (Leftovers)