Tuesday, April 7, 2009

OK, all you menu planners - how are we doing? I heard from a couple of you and it looks like we're making good progress. I hope the rest of you are working along with us, too. If you want to look at a few dinner ideas you can go here to Tonia's blog to see her list and here to Stephanie's blog to see her list. Thanks girls for posting them!

So, I'm off to a good start this week. I ended up adding a few more meals to my list (thanks to some suggestions from my Sis-in-laws comment a while back) and I actually came up with 7 weeks of meals! Oh and I don't think I'm done. There are some meals that I know we will want to eat more often than every other month, so I need to go back and revamp it a little - put the favorites in more frequently. So I'm hoping to end up with about 10 weeks of meals, but for now - this is what I've come up with {Notice that I haven't assigned days to the meals, that's so that I can rearrange them as needed for that week.}:

Week 1
Chicken Noodle Soup
BBQ Pork sandwiches
Chicken Bombs
Chicken and Asparagus Casserole
Breakfast Casserole

Week 2
Chile Verde Soup (Chicken)
Sub Sandwiches
Crispy Onion Chicken
Blackened Chicken Alfredo

Week 3
Santa Fe Chicken
Taco Soup
Tuna Melts
Spring Rolls
Pot Roast

Week 4 - this week's menu, since the Ham will be eaten on Easter
Hawaiian Haystacks
Potato Cheese Soup
Crispy Onion Chicken
Blackened Chicken Alfredo

Week 5
Chicken Salad Sandwiched
Stir Fry
Chicken Pot Pie
Pork Chops

Week 6
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Tater-Tot Casserole
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Blackened Chicken Alfredo
Crispy Onion Chicken

Week 7 - I just notice that this week as A LOT of rice, I think I need to fix that
Hawaiian Haystacks
Chili and Rice
Kalua Pork
Chinese Noodles

So there you have it. Just getting this part done made my shopping so much easier. I got a whole weeks worth of food in less time and money than I usually need to go shopping. I was at the store for about 40 minutes (I had Abby and Juliana with me) and I believe I spent just under $150. I think that rocks for a week's food for 6 - especially in Hawaii.

So, on to your assignment for this week:

  1. Finish making your week meal plans
  2. If you feel the urge - share them with us
  3. Collect all the recipes for your meals (or at least write out ALL the ingredients so the next step is easier)
  4. Make COMPLETE shopping lists for your weekly menus. Even the little things that you know you always have on hand. If you make a complete shopping list you can just do a quick glance over your pantry and cupboards and cross off the things you already have on hand and then just buy the rest. Trust me - it's better this way, and it really cuts down on those last minute runs to get the one thing I forgot....
I'm not sure where we are page number-wise in the pamphlet, but that sounds like enough work for this week. I know that there are some great shopping list templates in there - I print a bunch off yesterday (and actually used one while shopping). I loved the way it helped me put foods in the same categories, so I didn't miss anything and have to walk back across the store for one thing (though my store is pretty small, so it's not that much of an inconvenience). However, while I was at the store, I wrote down what aisles had what items and the order of the aisles - well, the way that I shop them. That way I can streamline the process even more and hopefully be able to continue to cut down my shopping time, because frankly hanging out at Foodland is not my idea of fun - well, unless its the middle of August and incredible hot outside, then yes, hanging out at Foodland is great! And trust me, half the community will be there, too - it's the only big air conditioned place around for miles (and the next closest one is a grocery store, too).

OK I'm totally getting off track here. Menus, recipes, shopping lists. Get to work!

PS - Juliana says, "Baaaaah -bah!" Actually, that's the only thing she says. Everything is Bah-bah - mama, dada, baby, bottle, sissy, brother, monkey, button (as in belly). That's about everything that she actually can identify, but it's all Baaaaaah-bah! With a finger pointing at whatever it is she's talking about.

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