Sunday, November 2, 2014

Getting Back on the Meal Planning Train

It's the beginning of the month and so the perfect time for refocusing myself to a meal planning.  Are you a meal planner?  Do you tend to make the same comfort foods?  Or do you enjoy new foods for every meal?

I like the simplicity of making the same foods over and over again.  I know it sounds boring, but it works for me.  And I do change up the seasonings and add in new recipes so I think it's a good mix.

As a homemaker, I think meal planning (and preparing) is my biggest challenge.  Off-the-cuff cooking rarely works for me, so a plan is a must.  But sitting down and writing out a plan is just-so-hard!  (I know.  Poor me, right?)

So, here we go for November:

Breakfast
cocoa & toast & fruit
fruit & yogurt (homemade) & granola (homemade)
BLT & egg & cheese (stole this one from Bob Evans)
cold cereal or granola & milk & fruit

Light meal
egg salad sandwich
tuna salad sandwich
leftovers
ham & cheese sandwich
cheese & tomato sandwich
grilled cheese & ham sandwich

Big hot meal
shepherd pie
beans & rice
potato soup
chili w/cornbread
chicken w/potatoes & Gbeans
chips & toppings (nachos, salsa)
sloppy joes w/mashed pots & veg
BBQ pork sandwiches
pot roast & pots & veg
pork steak & fixins
pizza
spaghetti
mac & cheese
chicken & rice & veg

Snacks
HB eggs
nuts
fresh veg
cheese
crackers
PB
fresh fruit
yogurt

Salad
greens
cheese
peas
croutons
cubed ham
HB egg
dressing
carrot
mushroom

I'm aiming for our big hot meal to be the noon meal (dinner) and then a lighter meal for supper.  But I know Kenn likes a big hot meal for his evening meal. And since he gets sandwiches for his noon meal, that's a reasonable request.

Last month, I did prepare a big noon meal and then warmed it for his supper using the slow cooker.  One was a casserole so I just turned the slow cooker back on about a half hour before he came home.  For the other, the meat was in the slow cooker and the veg were on the stove.  I put the veg into a pyrex dish and set it in the slow cook on top of the meat and warmed it all together.  This was better than reheating the veg on the stove where they tend to burn to the pan.  :(

Also I'm aiming to do a couple meatless meals each week and only 1 beef and/or 1 pork meal with the rest being chicken-based.  Part of this is health and part of it is financial.  I can get chicken thigh/leg pieces for $.95/lb and ground beef is $2.59/lb.  Pork steaks are about the same and beef roast is more.

It's easy to take a big package of chicken thigh/leg pieces, cook them up in the slow cooker, and remove all the meat to add into chicken dishes.

Slowly but surely a plan is coming together.  I'd love to see your meal plans.  Maybe we could take turns writing out the plan for the week!  Ha! ;-)

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