This week’s menu at Casa Moi
Weekly meal planning is supposed to save families a fortune by using what you have at home and then easily preparing the shopping list for the week, and eliminating lots of wasted fresh food that needs to get used that’s already in your fridge. In a typical month we were spending about $800 a month on groceries. One week into this month and after our first week of meal planning we have spent about $143. Multiplied by 4.3 weeks in the average month that would be about $614. A savings of $200. Not too shabby. I need to keep at it a few months and then check back and see how much we’ve spent. So much of what we eat comes from our pantry that it’s hard to calculate unless I average several months.
As the Chief Pantry Operator of our home, I mostly decide what’s coming in from the grocery store and what’s getting consumed. It’s a big responsibility, but I don’t want to be a Nazi about it. We eat chips and we eat chocolate. We eat veggies with dinner. Planning dinner is focussed on our dinners which we eat together every night. I replace all pantry items when they are getting low. I always have sauce, pasta, rice, sugar, snacks and lots more. We’ve run out of most of the produce from last year’s garden. We are down to sun-dried tomatoes and tomato powder. We moved last summer so we didn’t have a full harvest. We have a much bigger garden this year and we’re really excited about what meals we’ll be able to plan in the coming months. Then meal planning will really be based on what’s in season.
Having a plan is essential so we don’t end up spending our extra cash eating out or driving 10 miles to the nearest grocery store to get something we want with one of our dinners. If one day I just don’t like what’s on the menu or don’t have time to prepare it I’ll just swap the menu out for one of the other days. Also, knowing the menu helps to know how soon I need to start preparing the food. Bread takes a couple of hours to rise but it’s not labor intensive. Enchilada chicken needs to slow cook for at least 6 hours to get the delicious stringy chicken breast.
Yesterday, my son asked if we could eat out after we checked out a cute local coffee shop/used bookstore called The Full Cup in Weatherford, TX. Seeing as I’m too strict I pushed our final menu item onto this coming week’s menu. I like to be flexible and we were near Kincaid’s, my favorite burger joint so… The fact that it’s a mom and pop business is just an added incentive to make us want to eat there.
Here’s what I have planned for dinners this week:
Grilled Steaks with Rice and Frozen Peas (We have way too many peas in the freezer so I’m going to focus on reducing the supply this week.
Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, Salad (Had to find something to use some of the fresh onions in the fridge from last week, and I make my own breadcrumbs and we are over stocked, so this is perfect.) Lettuce, fresh spinach and some roma tomatoes left over from last week’s tacos are in the fridge fresh from last week so we’ve got to use them.
Ground Pork, Biscuits and White Gravy. White gravy is a southern thing and my farm boy husband loves it. Frozen Corn. Frozen green beans. (I Foodsavered (that’s a verb right?) frozen Costco green beans in small portions forever ago and put them in the freezer so we need to use them up. At least I’m pretty sure they won’t be freezer burned.)
Slow cooker Chicken Enchiladas with green chile sauce. To use more of the fresh onions, Some broken tortilla chips that the last bag was full of, and the guacamole that I made last week with the Avocado that was getting over ripe. Is that a run on sentence? So you should be thinking, if she made the guacamole last week shouldn’t it be all brown and disgusting. No my friends! Here’s how I preserve my guacamole: I make the guacamole and then put it in a freezer safe container and then defrost in the microwave. It comes out perfectly. My son is very picky about his guacamole and he thinks it’s excellent.
Usually Thursday is leftover day but we’ve got an extra mouth to feed these days and he loves leftovers so they might not make it until Thursday. In the event of not enough leftovers for dinner… It will be Fried Rice, peas, fresh carrots and with ground pork I got for half price at the grocery store. I bought all 3 packages they had.
Everyday the butcher marks down the “expiring” meats to near half price. They are about 45% off. I buy whatever looks good, take it home and immediately freeze. Sometimes there’s a line of elderly people waiting to see what the deal of the day is and by the time I get my turn to look it’s all picked over and sometimes I stroll up and there is an excellent selection. One time, I actually got edged out of my place in the mob. It pays to be flexible with the meal planning and let the people who are desperate go first.
I usually do my best dinner on Friday nights. In my recent discounted meat deal I got a great looking London Broil. Between now and Friday I need to figure out how I’m going to cook it. I’ll bake some homemade bread, and I’ll cook whatever is leftover of the fresh spinach in the fridge. Dessert is something I think was called Sex in the City cake… at least that’s what I wrote in my recipe book when I copied it down. It’s the most amazing rich cake made with tons of butter and cream cheese.
Pasta, jarred tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and some more of that half-price ground pork.
Sunday: Chicken Quesadillas (from Costco canned chicken–don’t knock it ’til you tried it), homemade flour tortillas. Tortilla dough needs to rest a bit before rolling out so this one takes a bit more time. Rice. Will use some onion, dried tomatoes or a can of tomato paste for added yumminess. I should be scrounging around for vegetables by Sunday. Hopefully, I can find something better than the icky bok choy that’s growing in our garden.
That’s not really me in the picture. : ) Just some dude at the zoo.