Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

{Linking up to Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday}

Wahoo! Last week I cooked all our meals!! Ha ha that's a rare occurrence at our house lately. I didn't cook in order (but I don't always) but all the meals I planned and shopped for were cooked last week.

This week I have a friend coming in to visit for the last half of the week, so I pulled out my super yummy meals to share. :)

Monday: Shredded Chicken Sammies with salad & corn
Tuesday: Tuna Casserole with salad & steamed veggie for Ben
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Thursday: Tortellini Soup with French Bread and salad
Friday: Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken over rice and a salad
Saturday: Reuben sandwiches with salad & fries
Sunday: Spaghetti with steamed veggies & garlic toast

Do you menu plan? I've found it's so much easier for me to feed my family a nice variety of foods. Before I menu planned routinely, I felt like we were making spaghetti & burritos once a week and eating out more often than we needed to because I didn't know what to make. I hate that feeling at 4:30 of panic about not what to have for dinner, not having anything defrosted, etc.

Since I started routinely meal planning, I've noticed we eat a lot more variety in our meals. I usually try about one new recipe a week (none this week, I went back to our old favorites this week) and our meals are more balanced. I pay attention to how many nights a week we're eating chicken and beef and try to make more meat free or meats other than chicken or ground beef type meals. I've been trying to remember to plan sides as well - this week we're doing a lot of salads. Sounds yummy and it's healthy. :)

I usually just meal plan for the week. I plan Monday - Sunday as I go grocery shopping Monday mornings. Some times I'll plan for the whole month, but for the most part I just do one week at a time. I keep my menu plan in a giant Excel spreadsheet - I have all of my meals since October 2011 on there. This helps me visually see what we've eaten the last few weeks and make sure I keep it mixed up. Some times I scroll back and copy over a whole week of food - this really takes the thought out of menu planning. ;)

When I put in my meals, I also write down all the ingredients each meal takes. This really helps me make sure I haven't forgotten something key for a dish. I HATE going to cook dinner at 5:00 and discovering I needed to buy 2 cans of diced tomatoes and some how ended up with 1 can of stewed tomatoes. Very irritating (this happened last week, ugh). For the most part, I'm pretty good at getting what we need for that weeks meal. Not a whole lot of "oh crap, I don't have that" anymore.

K that's all. Enjoy! :)

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