My sister gave me a recipe box filled with some great recipes when I was in college. Before that I considered Hamburger or Chicken Helper dinner. From those recipes and all those years I have learned a lot about cooking and added to my collection of recipes and I hope to share something that I mostly enjoy doing! Sometimes I still have weeks that I struggle to come up with ideas.
A little about how we eat: I like variety! I don’t have a set rotation of menus (although that could make life a bit easier) I do keep my menus/grocery lists in notebooks and will go thru them if I need some inspiration. Kyle even gets a little frustrated that I don’t make favorites as often as he’d like.
I make one meal. The kids don’t have other options. So far I have 2 really good eaters, 1 not so great and the youngest is too early to call.
We don’t eat a lot of red meat. You’ll see mostly chicken, fish or meatless meals.
Some of my meals are time intensive. I enjoy cooking so this doesn’t bother me. I also find that the more I can do from scratch the better it tastes! Kyle and I are to the point where going out to dinner is disappointing because I’m thinking “we just spent a weeks worth of grocery money on a meal for two that I could have made at home for everybody for 20 dollars, but then I’ll have to do dishes, so never mind :)”
For a family of six (Zane and Nate are close to our portion size and sometimes more and the other two count not quite as one), so closer to 5 at the moment we stick to a budget of 100 a week at Wal-Mart and 150 every 2 weeks at Sam’s Club.
So how I meal plan: I plan 2 weeks of menus at a time. I shop at Sam’s club at the beginning and try to plan to use perishables during the first week. I shop at Wal-Mart every Friday and Sam’s every other Friday. I shop on Friday because the ads come out Wednesday and I can price match at Wal-Mart since the ads (especially the 2 day ads) run on Fridays. I know lots of people detest Wal-Mart, but it’s what I have found to save me the most money.
- Sundays – Soup, Salad, Sandwich
- Monday- Meatless
- Tuesday- Mexican
- Wednesday- Asian or Breakfast
- Thursday- Slow Cooker or Comfort Food
- Friday- Italian or Fish
- Saturday- Grill
Here’s the first 2 week menu plan:
- Friday: Hamburgers (frozen patties from Sam’s), sugar snap peas from the garden and fruit
- Saturday: Pineapple Teriyaki Salmon http://www.mixandmatchmama.blogspot.com/search?q=pineapple+salmon with brown rice, fresh green beans and fresh pineapple
- Sunday: Grilled Cheese and Gazpacho http://heartyhelpings.blogspot.com/2013/07/gazpacho-two-ways.html and fresh cherries
- Monday: Veggie and Cheese Bagel http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/07/veggie-cheese-bagel/ with chips and cantaloupe
- Tuesday: Creamy Chicken Taquitos http://www.annies-eats.com/2011/04/27/creamy-chicken-taquitos/ with steamed carrots
- Wednesday: Pumpkin Pancakes http://www.annies-eats.com/2009/11/10/pumpkin-spice-pancakes/ with bacon and strawberries
- Thursday: Sloppy Joes http://www.thesisterscafe.com/?s=sloppy+joes with tator tots and more sugar snap peas and watermelon
- Friday: Grill with friends bringing Avocado Cranberry Salsa http://www.marthastewart.com/317080/cranberry-avocado-salsa (I use craisins instead of cranberries though and use store bought pita chips) and a cake I got from my sister: bake a regular yellow cake in round pans and slice each one horizontally so you have four rounds. Spread Strawberry preserves on the cut side of the bottom rounds and lemon curd on the cut side of the top rounds. Sandwich them back together and on the top of one spread homemade whipped cream and a layer of sliced strawberries. Then add the second cake on top and on the very top another layer of whipped cream and decorate with fresh strawberries.
- Saturday: Rosemary Chicken Kabobs http://www.thesisterscafe.com/?s=rosemary+chicken+kabobs with grilled zucchini, yellow squash, peppers and red potatoes.
- Sunday: Subs (I buy day old Jimmy Johns bread) with carrots, chips and cantaloupe
- Monday: Summer Tortellini Salad http://www.thesisterscafe.com/?s=tortellini+salad (I sub the zucchini with cucumber)with watermelon
- Tuesday: Grilled shrimp and veggie quinoa bowls with garlic mojo http://www.annies-eats.com/2015/06/22/grilled-shrimp-and-veggie-bowls-with-garlic-mojo/ with sweet potatoes
- Wednesday: Italian Chopped Salad http://www.annies-eats.com/2015/02/24/italian-chopped-salad/ with caprese baguettes
- Thursday: Crockpot Chicken Quesadillas http://www.thesisterscafe.com/?s=crockpot+chicken+quesadillas with garden salad and strawberries
Hope this helps you all! Give me feedback, suggestions….share your time saving and money saving tips…and of course your own favorite recipes!