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Monday, December 19, 2011

MENU PLAN MONDAY: Budget Shopping and Cooking What's Fresh

I didn't do much this week. For what has come out of my efforts, I've put in a lot less effort in total in the past three weeks than if I hadn't done any meal planning at all. I didn't even have to do much grocery shopping. In fact, I probably spent more on beer than on groceries. Oops.

This is my menu planning from last week:

The Meals:
Monday: Sausage and pepper sandwiches, coleslaw
Tuesday: Enchiladas (from the frozen ones I made two weeks ago)
Wednesday: Sweet potato chili (adapted from Once a Month Mom's Sweet Potato Chili recipe. I added ground beef. I didn't have pepper, so I didn't use it.)
Thursday: Apple chicken nuggets, cucumbers with vinegar
Friday: Eat at Mom-Mom's
Saturday: Chicken and rice soup (everyone was a little under the weather)

The Method:
I only spent about $25 at the grocery store this week. Here's a picture of what I bought. (I had already started cooking the ground beef when I was inspired to take the picture, so that's what's in the pan on the stove.)

Some of what I got wasn't exactly necessary. I got some neon food coloring because it was on sale and Baby T likes doing cornstarch painting with it on the driveway. I also bought peppermint extract, because I really wanted to try this recipe for peppermint mocha coffee creamer from Alli N Son.

Monday: I pulled the sausages and pre-cut peppers and onions out of the freezer. When they thawed, I cooked up the peppers and onions in a little olive oil. There was a lot of liquid, so I poured out some of it as it rendered, and I kept the heat up pretty high so the veggies would brown. I cooked the sausages in a pan afterward.

Tuesday: I had originally planned for the chili today, but I didn't have time to go to the store and get ground beef. I pulled out some enchiladas from the freezer, thawed them for half the day out of the fridge, then stuck them in the fridge. They took a while (like an hour and a half) to cook because they were still frozen in the middle. I ended up sticking our plates in the microwave to heat them up all the way.

Wednesday: Went to the store today. I realized that I have a lot of cooking to do today. I have to make zucchini muffins (recipe coming tomorrow!) for a pot luck on Friday morning, and I have to make a Pineapple Casserole for the Christmas party at the boys' daycare Friday afternoon. I don't intend to spend all day cooking on my kid-free day, but I had to make the chili (browned the beef and onions and threw them in the crock pot with everything else) and zucchini muffins.

This is the problem with my poor decision-making skills and lack of attention span, though. I spent about 5 minutes debating whether to cook all 3 pounds of beef and throw it in the cihli, put some in the freezer raw, or cook it with the onions and put it in the freezer as is for another meal. I ultimately decided to throw it all in the chili and to freeze portions of the chili. Big T doesn't love beans or sweet potato, so he'll appreciate a meaty chili. And hear I am on Wednesday, writing this all on the computer so I don't forget. Ok... have to get back to making the muffins. I'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday: I didn't do anything to prepare for dinner today, and when Big T came home, I had to give the kids to him so I could work on it. I just have to say, the apple chicken nuggets were amazing. Don't be put off by their green appearance. Big T almost didn't eat them because they sounded way too healthy. But they were delicious. I have made healthy chicken nuggets before and they have turned out really dry. With these, I couldn't taste the apple, but they were perfectly moist. Score. Too bad Baby T didn't eat them.

Saturday: We are all a little sniffly, so I pulled some homemade bone broth out of the freezer. I also pulled out some chopped onions from the freezer, and I chopped some of the mushrooms I had bought at Costco 2 weeks before (somehow they were still in good shape). I cooked the onion and mushrooms in butter until soft, added the frozen stock and cooked it until hot and added some salt. I cooked some rice on the side, added it to the soup, and we healed our colds.

And here it is, Sunday night, and I haven't even prepared for this week. Yikes. I will not fall off the wagon, I will not fall off the wagon...

For more meal planning obsessiveness inspiration, check out!


Kelly said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for the link up and the great review for my apple chicken nuggets! Have a great week!

Tmuffin said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for the recipe, Kelly! They really were awesome.

Judi @ Frugal Frolic said... Best Blogger Tips

It all sounds yummy! Having some things in the freezer definitely helps a plan stay (mostly) on track.

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