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Meal Plan Mondays

September 21, 2009

It took me 13 years of grocery shopping to figure out that when you shop with a list, you don’t spend as much money.  Well, DUH.  About two months ago, I started making a months meal plan ahead of time to keep us eating right, saving money, and most importantly, saving us time.  Pre-meal plans left us eating an hour later than we should because we didn’t have what we needed to make dinner, we couldn’t make our minds up, or we were lazy.

Don’t be thinking I’m this gourmet chef by any means.  I’d rather be baking!  If the meal takes more than 15 minutes to make, it’s not going to happen because I’m tired at this point of the day.  I don’t have the time with 2 kids, extra curricular activities, house chores, and some me time.  Kudos to those moms that can do better!  I go for well balanced, economical, and something that makes us all happy.  I thought I’d share my weekly meal plans in hopes of sparking interest in someone who has been looking to eat out less, save some money, and get organized.  Save yourself some time:  copy mine and use it for next week.  Trust me when I say that dinnertime is so much less stressful.  We save the stress for bedtime now.

  • (Italian) Monday:  spaghetti (1 pound ground beef, 1 jar diced tomatoes, 1 can of spaghetti sauce, 1 box of spaghetti noodles, 1 box of 8 garlic bread slices)  A family of 3 table food eaters has enough left over to freeze for another night, including garlic bread.
  • (Mexican) Tuesday:  Burrito Bowls (1 pound chicken, small box of rice, 1 jar of salsa, 1 tub of sour cream, 1 bag of shredded cheese, 1 can of corn)  There are typically enough left overs for my hubby to have lunch at work.  There is enough  salsa, cheese, and sour cream from this meal to be used next Tuesday.
  • (Picnic) Wednesday:  Pigs in a Blanket (8 hot dogs, 1 tube of crescent rolls, 4 pieces of cheese, 1 jar of applesauce)  I typically buy the large 24 count hot dog packs at Kroger for $2.99 because it makes 3 meals.  We typically go through 2 jars of applesauce a week.
  • (Casserole) Thursday:  Chicken and Rice Casserole (6 chicken breasts, 2 cans of cream soup, 1 cup uncooked rice, 1 bag of dressing, 1 stick of butter, 1 can of milk, applesauce)  These casseroles leave enough to freeze for a second meal.   I always plan for 2 cassaroles a month, alternating them every other week thanks to the frozen left overs.  Recipe to follow.
  • (Brinner) Friday:  Biscuits and Gravy (1 tube of biscuits, 1 package of gravy, 6 eggs, 1 jar of applesauce)  You guessed it, breakfast for dinner.  I typically by the Tennessee Pride gravy because it’s always on sale 10 for $10 at Kroger every other week.  A dozen eggs purchased leaves enough eggs to make breakfast every other Saturday.

TIP:  I cook all of my beef and most of my chicken the Sunday after I go shopping.  I bag them all in one pound baggies and freeze.  Talk about making dinner quickly if you’ve already thrown a bag in the fridge to defrost.  A BIG time saver!

Take the pledge to start cooking at home and eating out less.  “Family meals lead to better physical and mental health for your children (Meals Matter).

By making out my meal plan for the month, I shop every other week for major groceries.  When I do my meal plans, I even write out what I need for each meal.  It make doing the grocery list that much easier.  We keep a list on the fridge for other necessities.  I do go every week to the grocery for just a few items like milk, grapes, bananas, etc.

Know what I need makes coupon clipping and grocery ad browsing that much easier.  But, that’s a whole other topic.  Funny, but I find it quite an accomplishment to say that I have cooked meals at home for 6+ weeks now. 

Bon Appetit!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2009 12:28 pm

    My sister and I do this regularly while we are in college (we are roommates)

    It really helps us to keep on track and not over spend b/c we SERIOUSLY don’t have the money to be wasting or the time.

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