Monday, May 17, 2010

Menu Plan Monday-

Menu Planning can be done in baby steps- or gigantic leaps!
Some plan the night before they cook, looking to see what is on hand or what they can pick up on the way home...and that may work for some homes perfectly.

For me- I have found it easier to shop once a month, usually the first week of the month, as that's when they often run the best sales. Sometimes I will make out a menu ahead of my shopping trip, listing all needed supplies. But what has seemed to work for me lately is making my menus around what I found on sale. I know basically what my family will eat, and thankfully they're not too awful picky! I take a day to print, cut, and sort coupons. I take another day to write out what's on sale and where, and if I have a coupon to add to a sale price, I often will make a note of it so I don't forget. I take two days to shop. I hit about 3 stores each day, gathering sale items and items I know that my family wants here! ;-) Once the shopping is completed, I then use my receipts to keep track of what I bought and plan menus accordingly. I try to make sure I use the most perishable foods first, such as fresh fruits and veggies. Root vegetables last longer so they can wait. I try to make sure I buy plenty of frozen fruits and veggies, even some dried fruits when I can, and those are served during the later part of my menu/shopping cycle. I usually try to set aside part of my shopping $$ for about 2 weeks into the cycle, to go get more fresh items. I also try to keep baking supplies stocked such as, sugars, honey, molasses, flours (plain, self-rising, whole grains such as wheat and I currently have spelt, rye, and kamut), oils and fats, salts, yeast, baking soda and powder, gluten, cocoa, etc. I try to keep a note of what I run out of for the next shopping trip and I buy in bulk when I can. I try to keep simple things on hand that can be used to turn out quick and/or frugal dishes or casseroles, such as tomato sauce, pasta, brown rice, beans, canned salmon, etc. I also try to keep some handy things frozen when I can that can be turned into a meal or at least part of a meal, in a pinch. Right now in my freezer are a few "convenience foods" such as; preservative free packaged lasagna, homemade cookie dough, cooked diced chicken, cooked diced turkey, and even a couple of packs of nitrate-free hot dogs!

Now on to Menu Plan Monday!

-kid's choice
-spaghetti with whole grain pasta, peanut butter kamut cookies
-tuna salad on kamut pita bread with lettuce, fresh brocolli and carrots with dip, cookies
Snacks:leftover easy homemade ice cream, apples, salsa and chips

-biscuits and gravy
-sausage and Kamut English Muffins, hash browned potatoes, apple slices
-grilled chicken quarters, mashed potatoes, slaw, pineapple
Snacks: liver pate with crackers, 10 grain muffins, apples

-eggs and Kamut English Muffins
-whole grain cheeseburger macaroni, slaw, green beans, peanut butter kamut cookies
-grilled chicken breasts, potato salad, lima beans, apple salad
Snacks: corn chips and salsa, pita crackers with liver pate, grapes

-10 grain muffins and milk
-beef-icelli, brocolli, speckled butter beans, cookies
-salmon patties, mashed potatoes, green peas, cranberry salad
Snacks:Coconut-pumpkin muffins, apple slices

-soaked oatmeal
-shredded chicken sandwiches, carrot sticks, apple slices
-lasagna, green salad, corn, no-bake cookies
Snacks: homemade wheat and rye crackers with cheese, popcorn

-biscuits and sausage gravy, pear preserves
-tuna salad on homemade pita bread, pickles, carrots, leftover cookies
-roast and veggies, cornbread, fried apples
Snacks: salsa and chips, sunflower seeds, dried fruit

-kids choice
-tilapia, potato wedges, peas and carrots
-fried chicken legs, slaw, mashed potatoes, sauteed yellow squash from the freezer
Snacks:Chocolate Cherry-berry Muffins, seasoned almonds, cranberry slush

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