Yep, I wrote out the meal plan on Sunday, but for some reason haven't posted it.
Due to my kids cleaning out all the staples when they were home for Christmas break, we were out of a ton of stuff so I am already running low on this month's grocery budget. As a result, I'm planning a lot that uses up the pantry (what's left of it), freezer items, and anything else we have on hand right now. Also, I have potatoes on hand and arugula and kale in the garden this week.
As mentioned in my last post with a meal plan, I plan my meals to be similar to my family's but Paleo with my own allowances so I don't have to prepare different meals.
A lot of my meal planning revolves around trying to not waste what we already have.
So here goes:
Monday was: Breakfast was breakfast bowls (note to self, share that recipe soon).
Dinner- orange roasted chicken- it was a new recipe I wanted to try and was friendly to my eating habits too so we all ate that. I also had raw veggies with ranch on the side and served the chicken over brown rice for the rest of the family.
Tuesday: Breakfast- cereal for kids, leftover cauliflower soup with prosciutto dippers for me
lunch for me - tuna on lettuce rolls
dinner - crock pot chili and corn bread - I'll have the chili without the cornbread
Wednesday- Breakfast - croissants with homemade pomegranate jelly, bacon, and fruit. I'll just have the bacon and fruit
lunch for me- cinnamon broiled grapefruit and I'll probably throw some nuts or meat slices in too
dinner - egg rolls, I'll have my filling on lettuce.
Thursday- Breakfast: cherry muffins for the kids and hubby, leftovers for me
lunch for me- nuts, hard boiled eggs, veggie sticks
dinner- homemade creamy chicken taquitos, I'll have the chicken filling on a salad.
Friday: Breakfast - sausage and applesauce for kids and I
lunch- arugula prosciutto salad rolls with arugula from the garden and leftover prosciutto
dinner- Black bean lettuce wraps with mango avocado salsa for everyone
Saturday: Breakfast- breakfast bowls
dinner - out after church
Sunday: cereal bars for kids, leftovers for me
lunch- harvest Cobb salad with eggs and kale from the garden
dinner- appetizers I make with leftovers
Are you getting into the habit of meal planning right now? I have a few tips that I thought I'd share as several of my friends have asked me for help in this area lately.
1- Look at your schedule for the week before you plan. I have chili in the crock pot tonight because I know I have a meeting after school and there will be a time crunch for meal preparation. Planning this way helps me know when I will and won't have time to put something in the crock pot, when I can just prepare a chunk at some point ahead during the day, or when I can cook at a leisurely pace. Doing this has helped me eliminate fast food dinners! This is especially helpful when we're in the middle of a sport season and have practices and games that make dinner time hard. I really sucks to take the time to meal plan and then realize that on Wednesday you have practice and if you make the casserole no one will be eating until bedtime! Deep breath.
2- Look at what needs to be used up and by when. It doesn't help to know you need to use up lettuce if you put in on the end of the week and it's limp and gross by then. Put it earlier in the week.
3- Of course shop your fridge, freezer, and pantry first (and garden if you have one). Don't know what to do with odds and end you need to use up? Put it on a quesadilla or pizza, or in a burrito, salad or eggs. One of those options usually ends up working out for me.
4- Check out the grocery ads. This doesn't help so much with meal planning, but totally helps with the budget!
5- This may not help you but it helps me. Check the weather forecast! I live in an area that doesn't get much soup/chili weather. I plan it on one of the few days that are going to be cold! Same for salad in the summer. I plan things like Chinese chicken salad on the hottest day of the week.
Have any other meal planning tips? Share them in the comments!