Saturday, August 25, 2012

Meal Planning . .. .

I'm trying to embrace meal planning.  For a person who doesn't really love to cook, meal planning is, um, what's the word . . . oh, I know . . . hell.  However, I have discovered that when I have a successful week of meal planning and it goes well, I stick to the plan and execute, I feel really maternal and successful.  This week, despite the litany of medical things that cropped up, I did stick with it.  I meant to blog my plan last week, but here it is instead.

Sunday . . . I had a meeting so MOTH took the kids out for Back-To-School dinner.  They went to Old Chicago and came home with 1/2 calzones for lunchboxes. Bonus.

Monday . .  Tiny Shells with Bolognese and white sauce.  We had spaghetti on Saturday night & I did a double batch of sauce to carry lunches and leftovers through the week.   Salad.  I made homemade breadsticks with Mimi during the day.

Tuesday . . . Lettuce wraps.  MOTH was fulfilling our Bingo obligation to Middle's gymnastics booster club.  I usually make something with chicken on Bingo nights because MOTH doesn't eat chicken.  The kids, however, chow it right down.  Leftovers went into Middle's lunchbox the next day and I made four rice balls for snacks.

Wednesday . . . by request from Middle . . . home made calzones.  Along with two extras for lunch boxes.  I made pizza dough in the Ninja and it was da bomb.  Must do that again . . .

Thursday  . . . was an all around crappy day.  It called for comfort food and I was lucky enough to have it on the menu.  This cheesy potato skillet.  New recipe for us.  I made dinner and left it on the stove to get to Big's Open House at Middle School . . . but MOTH text me during AP Science to say, "this is frickin' yummy."  That's my husband.  Very, very eloquent.

Friday . . . . Fend.  I call it Fend.  As in, Fend For Yourself.  FFY night.  Or Forage night.  There was leftover everything.

Also this week, I made bran muffins for morning (I know, but my kids AND husband love them), and applesauce muffins for breakfasts.  I made a pasta salad for lunch boxes, a cucumber salad that's always a hit around here & an extra batch of noodles for the fridge.

On the dollars and sense side of meal planning, I've been on a personal mission to crack down.  Nothing pisses me off more than wasted grocery money.  I feel exhausted and defeated with grocery shopping and having the grandest of plans and then aborting a well placed meal mission for "let's order pizza."  And I get really in a twist when I clean out the fridge and have to throw away ingredients that have gone un-used.  I hate wasting money.  I hate wasting money.  I hate wasting money.  So . . .  for now the second consecutive month, I've done "big" grocery shopping on one single day.  Last grocery shopping mission is circled in red on the calendar.  It was August 17th.  I may pop in and out of the grocery store for fresh produce or small things, but I'm not doing another big run until September 17th . . . which is the week I'm scheduled for surgery.   Once per month.  I can do it.

I've also given a go two new methods.  Well, new for me.  One:  freezer to crock pot meals.  The recipe batch that I found was primarily chicken, and in a "MOTH doesn't like chicken" household, that's a tough, but I did a couple of freezer to crock pot things that we're trying.   I love the idea.  Second, a method where you make one thing at the beginning of the week and re-purpose it through the next few meals.  I think it's a Rachel Ray thing.  I did it with spaghetti sauce this week and am planning to modify that just slightly this week.

Recipes.  I've been collecting all of mine in one spot (not here).  I'm really liking having them all there.  I can pull them up in the kitchen from the iPad.  So easy.  No little cards or papers stuck to the counters.  I'll link them if they are recorded, otherwise, I guess I just added to my to-do list.  Does it surprise anyone how many things are in your head . . .  like how to make cucumber salad, even through it's never been written down . . . you just remember your mom doing it.

And that's all I have to say about meal planning this morning.


Disney Redhead said...

Once a month? Nice. I go once a week. But I go to Walmart/Target once a month to stock up on things like cereal, noodles, beef/chicken broth, and other things that last a long time. They are significantly cheaper there than at our store. I wish I could plan a month of meals in advance. But we have a hard time even planning one week at a time.

Our "fend" night is called a "scrounge" night in our house.

Homestead said...

I made calzones last night! But I just use the quickie Betty Crocker pizza dough recipe.

Glad you are back at it because you inspire me.

We have a "cucumber salad" recipe.... two of them actually. One is... sliced cukes & sweet onions in a vinegar/water bath. The other is slightly more complicated and involves soy sauce and sesame seeds.

I shop Costco twice a month with a $200 goal for each visit. Then I have $25 to spend per week on the little details from the grocery story.... this week it is poppyseed dressing, candied walnuts, feta and fresh salsa.

I'd love to get more organized. Sigh.