As I write this post on New Year's Eve, I'm finding it difficult to believe that the year is over already. In some ways, it's been a really rough year and I'm somewhat happy to see it go. I'm looking forward to some changes in the new year and I'm looking forward to getting started on following the resolutions I've set for myself. Although, I'm not so sure how I'm going to feel about them come Monday morning!
We spent way too much money in 2011. This has to change. We really have to start living a more frugal life. I find that I go through spurts of frugality, I need to make this our way of life, rather than something we do to recover from a major spending spree!
This morning, while Joe was keeping Grace occupied, I cleaned out the fridge and took inventory of the freezers in order to plan out this week's menu. I'm planning on starting the year off with a very low grocery bill for the month! And by the looks of the freezer, that won't be too difficult! There's plenty of good food on hand to prepare some great meals this week....and even next week!
Here's what I have planned for this week:
- Saturday: New Year's Eve. Dinner with Friends. I'm not sure what good food they've planned for us, it's my job to bring dessert. I'm thinking of making a gooey butter cake and possibly some cupcakes...we'll see how productive I feel after I finish this post and get a shower! (I ended up making both the Gooey Butter Cake and some Funfetti Cupcakes with Fantastic Frosting...links will be added soon.)
- Sunday: New Year's Day. Chicken Cutlets, Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower, Corn. After seeing that my buddy Nicole from Colie's Kitchen made fried chicken for the last time before she begins her diet on Monday, I decided that was a fabulous idea! I rarely make fried chicken because it's so time consuming. BUT, once I start a diet, it's always one of the first foods I want! Since I'm beginning my diet along with Nicole on Monday, we'll be enjoying our fried chicken on Sunday night! I'll pack any of the leftovers for Joe to take to work with him on Monday, so I'm not tempted to nibble.
- Monday: Chicken 'n' Dumplings. Probably not the most diet-friendly meal to start off with. But it's tasty and filling and goes well with my resolution to save money. I've already made the broth, so this will be a very quick and easy meal. For the weekend, I'll add some broth and vegetables to turn the Chicken 'n' Dumplings into the soup shown above.
- Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner. We have a couple dozen eggs left in the fridge. Joe stocked up before Christmas, hoping to make a big breakfast each day of his Christmas vacation. A few busy days sort of squashed those plans. I'll start off my French Toast and bacon dinner with a bowl of non-fat vanilla yogurt and some fruit to help me keep my portions of the non-diet foods smaller.
- Wednesday: Tuna Noodle Casserole. This is my stand-by meal for those weeks that we're wanting to skip the grocery store. I almost always have the ingredients on hand. We might have to pick up a box of elbow macaroni, though. I think we used the last box when we had hamburger soup last week.
- Thursday: Spanish Chicken, rice, salad. Several weeks ago, I saw a really good deal on bone-in chicken. We picked up a couple big packs and stuck them right in the freezer! This is my favorite recipe for bone-in chicken. So easy and makes a lot!
- Friday: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos, Sweet Potato Fries. There's a small container of Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili in the freezer, the perfect amount to roll up in a few tortillas for a quick and oh-so-yummy dinner! I have 2 big sweet potatoes in the potato bin, I'll slice them up and bake them in the oven....I've never done that before with sweet potatoes, so if you have any tips or suggestions, I'd love to hear them!
- Saturday and Sunday: Leftovers, Leftovers, Leftovers! I'm sure by the end of the week, we'll have a wide selection of leftovers to choose from! We'll just choose something from the fridge and pop it into the microwave! So easy! So frugal!
If you're looking for more recipes or menu planning inspiration, follow me over to I'm an Organizing Junkie's weekly blog carnival, Menu Plan Monday. Or, if you like what you see here, check out our past menu plans.