One of the blogs I follow has a menu plan Monday and other's will link their meal plans to her blog. I am going to start posting my meal plans on my blog, but I don't think I'll link to her's just yet. I'll get a bit more experience blogging first before I jump into something like that. If you are interested in looking at the other mealplans, go have a look here.
I've been planning meals a week at a time for ages, but I'm changing the day I do it now to Mondays because of this blog thing. What I usually do is get a piece of paper and pencil or pen and look at the sale flyers for good deals. I know when something is a good deal because I keep a price book. With this in mind, I take a walk to the freezer and the pantry to see what I have on hand. I have some meal ideas in mind while I'm looking around. Then I go sit down somewhere and plan it all out. After I've got my menu, then I shop my freezer first. I pull what I need for the first half of the week and put the 2nd half on top to get before the weekend. I make notes of whatever meats/freezer items I still need to buy for the mealplan. Then I shop my pantry. I list whatever I still need to buy and I look over my perpetual grocery list for items that we're running low on that I should pick up. I also look at the sale ads and compare with my price book to plan on purchasing things that I stock in the pantry or freezer that are on deep discount or that I might have coupons for.
All that said, here is my week of menu's:
Leftover stew from two weeks ago (I made a large batch, divided into thirds, used one then and froze two for other meals...saves from eating the same thing day after day)
Grilled cheese to accompany (Abby loves grilled cheese sandwiches)
boil 2lbs fettucinni, melt a stick of butter and then add 1/4 or so of flour. When your rue thickens up, add in about 2c cream, half and half or milk richened up with butter (whatever's on hand). Add a little garlic, salt, pepper and 1/2 c parmesan and pour over the noodles.
Serve with Broccolli and Oatmeal Bread. I make the dough in the bread machine and cook it in my oven especially in the winter.
Hash Brown Casserole I have some potatoes I need to use up that I bought on sale. Also, I use cottage cheese in place of the ricotta. It's on sale this week at my grocery store and it's always cheaper than ricotta.
I am serving this with Bacon as it is also on sale this week
Biscuits (I have a homemade version of Bisquick mix that I keep on-hand to make biscuits from. It's as easy as canned and much much cheaper to make)
Chicken Lo Mein
boil box of spaghetti while you're cooking chicken (whatever cut is cheapest) in wok. Season with salt, pepper, garlic and ginger. When the chicken finishes take it out and add the veggies in. I use onion, garlic and a frozen oriental mix (or what I have on hand if I don't have that). When veggies start to get tender, make your sauce by combining 2 T sesame oil to 6T soy sauce (I usually double that amount to feed my crowd, but that ratio is probably for the normal serving size.) The sesame oil is the key ingredient to get that oriental taste...so I wouldn't substitute that.
I don't make anything to go with Lo Mein since it's pretty much an all in one meal, but I usually make some type of dessert for anyone with a sweet tooth after eating.
2T yeast dissolved in 2C warm water
5 c flour
mix yeast mixture to dry mixture and knead for about 5 minutes or so and then roll and stretch to put into pizza pans. Bake 450 12-15 mins. This will make two pizzas, adjust recipe as needed. I find that even for all our kids, that two is usually enough if I will put out other things to nibble on, veggies with dip, etc. I will throw on another if they have friends over.
For the sauce, take 8oz tomato sauce, add pinch of italian seasoning, dash each of garlic powder, onion powder and pepper and a palmful of sugar. This will make 2-3 pizzas.
You will also need toppings. This week we're having pepperoni (purchased a bag for 1.00 and it will make about 4 pizzas or so.) You can also put ground beef, chicken, I've even used hotdogs...I know it sounds gross, but it's not as bad as it sounds...Abby loves it!
Southwest Lasagna Rolls I bought lasagna noodles on sale some time ago and this looks good. I use homeade chili from my freezer (again, I use one, freeze two) and cottage cheese instead of ricotta for money saved.
I will serve with a large salad and potato rolls. I make the dough in my bread machine and make into rolls to cook in the oven.
Red Beans & Rice (is a recipe really necessary for this?)
Monday (as I'm making my shopping days Tuesday now, I thought I would add on Mon/Tue for next week as well.)
mashed potatoes and gravy
canned grean beans
Jar of Spaghetti Sauce plus enough water to cook pasta (3 cups or so)
noodles (elbow works best and is cheapest)
lb of beef or sausage, browned and crumbled
veggies as desired (I always use onion, add others that I need to use)
Dump it all in casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake 30-40 mins until pasta is done. Add cheese to top and put back into oven until melted and yummy.
Tomorrow I will go shopping for this menu. I already have everything I need for Monday. I will check back tomorrow (hopefully) with shopping lists. Then I will continue posting menu's on Monday's and maybe I'll have enough guts to post mine with Orgjunkie's next week.