Thursday, March 24, 2011

All In A Day....Meal Planning

Oh, what would I do without my menu plan? Based on my life prior to using a plan, I would be standing in the kitchen at 4:00, scratching my head and wondering what to make for supper. I'd be calling my husband saying, "Watcha feelin' like eatin' tonight?" And he'd either say, "Oh, I don't know" (being no help at all) or "Let's have squash casserole and that chicken dish you made last month" (being no help at all again because I 'm fresh out of cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions). I'd run to the store and spend way too much money, because I wouldn't just pick up a can of cream of mushroom soup, but I'd also pick up a pair of cute sandals on sale for $5 and a pound of peaches because they look so good and a dozen Krispy Kremes because I'm starving and who doesn't want a doughnut this close to suppertime?

With my menu plan stuck to the fridge, I can call him and say, "Watcha feelin' like eatin' tonight? Here are your options." And he can choose from the 5 supper plans I have listed. What man doesn't like options?

For the sake of your sanity and your bank account, and your waistline I cannot stress enough the importance of making a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly menu plan.

See my post here on how I plan and grocery shop.

We have gotten smarter about our grocery shopping since I wrote that post, mainly due to advice given by Angela from The Grocery Shrink. If you are looking for ways to cut your spending, this lady knows her grocery stores. She's got some skills, y'all.

We are currently working on creating a spread sheet that lists the prices of items we most commonly buy, by store, so we can check an item that is advertised to be on sale, and know which store offers the best deal. Just last week, I sat down and numbered a page to 60, and brainstormed for 60 different suppertime meals (I've only come up with about 45 so far), so when it is time to plan my weekly menu, I can see those meals and try to work with what I already have on hand.

Since my chilluns are a little bit bigger, I don't feel so confined to just go to Wal-Mart. We're broadening our horizons and our money-saving potential :).

Here are a couple of my favorite quick, delicious meals:

Sour Cream Chicken
(not for the faint of calorie):
4 chicken breasts (amount will vary depending on your family size)
1 can cream of mushroom
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pkg french fried onions

Place chicken breasts in a casserole dish with one tsp of butter dolloped on top of breast. Put in oven and bake at 350 until chicken is done. Mix cream of mushroom and sour cream and spread on top of chicken. Put back in oven until mixture has created a bubbling gravy. Remove, spread french fried onions (about 1/2 pkg) over chicken. Serve over rice or potatoes and with your favorite veggie.

Italian Chicken
Chicken breasts (however many you need for family size)
Container of spaghetti sauce
Mozzarella cheese

Place chicken in crock pot (frozen) and pour spaghetti sauce over liberally. We use our own homemade sauce made from our own homegrown tomatoes. Cook for on low for about 3 hours, or less if chicken is thawed. When chicken is done, sprinkle with mozzarella and serve over rice or whole wheat noodles and with your favorite veggie.

This is a great dish for Sundays. You can put your chicken in before church and pour the sauce on when you get home, allowing to simmer while you prepare your veggies and rice.

Yep, we like chicken.

I would to take this moment to say:

I love blogland.

Thank you, bloggers for sharing you wisdom, insight, ideas, and inspiration. This girl would be fumbling around in the dark in so many areas if not for you wonderful women who are willing to bare your soul and share the nitty-gritty facts of your life with us all. Wow.

p.s. How do you like my colors and fonts and such? I just noticed the "Compose" tab up there in the draft section. What fun! Yeah...duh. :)

Now head on over to the other All in a Day Bloggers to see what they are making so quick!
Carrie @ Our Full House

Christi @ Where the Creek Meets the Lake

Elizabeth @ Yes They're All Ours

Kathy @ Kathy Mom of Many

Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

Lori @ Happy Busy Mama

Monica @ Natural Mama

Renee @ Bakers Dozen


Natural Mama said...

I love a menu plan as well! I also like having a deep freeze full of frozen veggies and meat on those times when my menu plan has run out before the money has come in! :) Which would be, uh, now. :)
I miss seeing your 'live' photos. Is your camera still on the blink? I have an extra camera that I could have loaned you while you were down!
PS. Love the 'faint of calorie' comment!

Kathy - mom of many said...

Yeah, those Krispy Kremes look good at suppertime, don't they? I laughed out loud when you commented about your children's misuse of objects in your house. Thanks for sharing.

MameyJane said...

My camera works fine, but unfortunately, my PC quit reading the memory cards :(. I miss sharing my pics, too!

I second the deep freezer notion...we have a deep freeze full of deer meat in all forms and soon, rabbit meat (we have new bunnies-so cute, wish I could show pics).

Anonymous said...

I know that I have to have a plan.

Those dishes you share sound very yummy.

Ashlee said...

I'm not organized enought to plan for two weeks or a month ahead but we do plan each week's meals and grocery shop for those items only! That saves a lot just doing that! I love the sour cream chicken recipe....I'll be trying that soon.