I can't believe I didn't post at all last week. I started my menu plan post for last week over the weekend, fully intending to finish it on Sunday evening as I've done the previous couple weeks. After a very busy weekend, my brain just wouldn't come up with 5 meals (plus leftovers) for the week. I sat down and watched my Sunday evening shows, figuring I would get a second wind at 11:00 like I usually do. Nope, no second wind. This was pretty much the pattern for the entire week. Every time I tried to sit down and post, I just couldn't get the ideas in my brain into a post. sigh...blogger's block or just over-tired?
Anyway, with or without a menu plan, we still needed to eat last week. We had hamburgers with oven fries, Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili over rice, Un-Stuffed Cabbage Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, waffles, I even resorted to using some pre-packed, processed frozen foods....a lot of easy meals for this over-tired mama!
As I do in the beginning of any new month, I balanced our check book, wrote out bills and scheduled payments for the next couple of weeks. We had a lot of added expenses last month. Doctor bills, auto parts, etc. Plus, October and November are busy months for us. We tend to have a lot of busy (and costly weekends) during those months. Then we have Christmas after that. Why does money (or lack of) cause so much stress?
Every year, I vow to set money aside for our end-of-the-year activities. Every year, I fail. So, after taking a look at my pantry and freezer, I decided (yet again) to do a freezer/pantry challenge. This will (hopefully) keep our food bill down, while making room in the freezer for our holiday turkeys!
My goal is to "shop" from our pantry and freezer for 3-4 meals a week. For the other nights, I'd like to make a big pot of soup or stew that will allow for leftovers.
I'm sure we'll have to pick up a few things from the grocery store each week. Milk, bread, eggs. Along with an ingredient here and there to complete other recipes/meals. I've already told Joe of my plan and since he's the one that does the grocery shopping, I told him he really needs to stick to the list. That has been my problem with my other freezer/pantry challenges. I get discouraged and wonder why I'm even bothering to do it, when I can't get him to stick to JUST the items on the shopping list. So far, he's on board with the challenge.
In the coming weeks, you'll see quite a few meals that appeared on previous menu plans but for one reason or another, we never got around to preparing. I'm also going to try to include some new recipes that I find along the way. Recipes that I either have most of the ingredients to make or recipes that aren't very costly.
Here's what we'll be eating this week:
- Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos. This is a great way to stretch that leftover chili from the freezer, easy too! Just spoon some (thawed) chili and rice onto a tortilla (add some cheese or sour cream if you like) and roll up! Mmmm! I'll probably make a salad or just serve with some carrot sticks with dip.
- Pepper Steak over Rice. I never did get around to this a couple of weeks ago. This is one of Joe's favorite dishes. I have the beef cubes (diced London Broil) in the freezer and most of the dry ingredients. We'll have to pick up some fresh peppers for this recipe and some fresh broccoli to serve on the side. (This will be dinner for 2 nights.)
- Hamburger Soup. The last time I made this soup, I froze the leftovers. I'm so glad I did! This will be a quick and yummy dinner one night this week. Easy clean-up, too! That's probably my favorite part! (I thought I shared the recipe for this soup, but I can't seem to find it. Now, I'll have to look for my notes.) If there is any of this leftover, I'll serve it a second night with grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Breakfast for Dinner. We never get tired of breakfast for dinner! So many possibilities: omelets, pancakes, French Toast, waffles. I have a loaf of Texas Toast here that would be perfect for French Toast. There's also some breakfast links in the freezer! I'll cut up some Honey Crisp Apples and some oranges, too.
- Oven-Fried Chicken Fingers, Mashed Potatoes and Carrots, corn. We can't let a week go by without preparing some sort of chicken for Grace. I'll use Impossibly Easy Coating for the chicken and I'll use the Mashed Potatoes and Carrots recipe that I found on pinterest.
Well, there's my menu for the week! What will you be cooking this week?
Are you looking for more recipes or menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie!