Monday, January 11, 2016

Menu planning ideas and updates

It's been awhile since I've given you an update on my menu planning and shopping so I thought this would be a good time to do that. Typically in the winter months we are significantly more broke than usual because we're coming out of Christmas, utility bills are higher and just life in general is more expensive. We have a few other reasons this year is especially tight so I have to be extra mindful on where we spend our  money so it's been challenging.

This shopping trip totaled $142 and I bought a few extra meals just in case Matt's check isn't great (or we have higher bills) and some deodorant for Matt because it was buy one get one free and he is on his last one. But here's our menu:

Chicken Parmesan (served on rice)
Chicken Noodle Soup
Shake & Bake Chicken, butter noodles, peas
Meatball Subs, garden salad
Pork Chops, long grain wild rice, corn
Hamburgers, french fries, baked beans
Sloppy Joe's, chips, garden salad
Fish Sticks, macaroni & cheese, mixed vegetables

Extra meals I bought for either to use for the next meal cycle, or if I get lazy and don't want to put any effort into cooking, or if there is a day I just say no thanks and I make Matt cook. But those meals include: a few hamburger helpers (which I don't like, but they were $1 and Matt can make that), frozen lasagna, tortellini, and chicken tacos. I might even make the chicken tacos for lunch this week because I can get a few lunches out of that for myself. Yum!

A common question I get is what do we eat for lunches and breakfasts? Well for breakfast I always have a variety of cereal on hand, frozen waffles, frozen pancakes, and Jackson really has taken to liking the Toaster Scrambles. I have things that the kids can make with little to no supervision in the morning. On the weekends I usually make hot breakfasts of eggs, french toast, pancakes, and all of that and those are actually pretty inexpensive to make.

For lunches the kids usually bring a lunch with the exception of a few days they have school lunch. When they make their own it consists of a sandwich (I always have a variety of lunch meats and sandwich things on hand), a snack item (granola bar, crackers, fruit snacks, grapes, apples, etc) and a juice box.

In the city I live in, we have a gas station chain called Kwik Trip and they have the best prices on butter, bread, eggs, and milk, so I get all of those things there, oddly enough. We do have an Aldi in town now but I haven't gone there yet, I always forget about it. Plus it's clear on the other side of town and I just don't have it in me to drive that far some times!

Does this make sense for you all? If you have questions I haven't covered in this post (or this one where I really detail my process for menu planning), let me know and I'm happy to answer them!


Unknown said...

I need to get as organized as you are. Meal planning for a family of 6 with different schedules is stressful. I'm going to check out your past posts to get a start! Thanks my dear!

elaine Gallagher said...

i just wanted to say, you are AWESOME.

Ruth said...

I use to do menus well. Twenty years later, I kind of half-ass them.