Monday, May 3, 2010

Menu Planning

 This post is part of the May challenge that I have given myself.

In order to continue feeding my family good, healthy food- on a budget, I have to menu plan. If I dont menu plan, I run into several problems.

  1. I dont have all the ingredients on hand for meals. I end up with pasta, but no tomato sauce.  Salad, but no get the idea. I do have a pretty basic list that I work off of for groceries, but since I dont buy a lot of canned things or boxed food, its harder to keep things on hand for later without planning.
  2. I'm making less than healthy foods, like hot dogs and fries for dinner, because I am rushing to find something to make that is quick and easy. Not completely unhealthy since we eat only all beef, kosher hot dogs and the fries are homemade, fried in coconut oil, HOWEVER when I make these kinds of foods, my children are less than willing to eat the broccoli I set before them the next night. Nothing wrong with these foods occasionally, but I'd much rather have a roasted organic chicken in my crockpot and some sweet potatoes ready to go...just takes a little planning ahead
  3. A lot of food goes to waste. We end up with wilted lettuce because I forgot it was in the fridge, for example. This is one of my main problems and the way I try to remedy it is by cutting (that wont get strange on me) and getting them ready for dinner ahead of time. I have found that cutting up my romaine and spinning it in the salad spinner and then tossing in a ziploc with a paper towel is very time saving on me when I just need to grab a salad for lunch or dinner.
Those are just a few examples off the top of my head of problems that a lack of menu planning have caused here (and recently LOL!) so I am making sure from now on that I stay on top of my menu planning, even if I have to resort to eating the same thing every week to retrain myself back into that habit. Something tells me that my family will help me with this one ;)

So with that said, here's next weeks dinner menu:

~Monday- Chili and cornbread
~Tuesday- Roasted Chicken, Brown Rice, and Green Beans (Make stock on Wed for Thurs dinner)
~Wednesday (Cinco De Mayo)- Cheese Enchiladas, homemade refried beans, Pan Dulce
~Thursday- Crock pot Chicken Noodle Soup, hm dinner rolls, salad
~Friday- Homemade Pizza Night, salad, cookies (we try to bake something on Friday afternoons together)

I will plug this into my Microsoft Works Calendar (been doing this for a few years now) and just keep adding each week's menu to it. After a month, I have a full 30 days worth of menu ideas and just rotate them the following month...the planning is done for me for the most part, and if I decide to do some bulk cooking, It makes it just that much easier.

Have a blessed Monday!

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"Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do unto the glory of God" 1 Corinthians 10:31