Sunday, August 5, 2012

Monthly Menu Planning

When I started this blog, I planned to update it at least weekly. But with working full-time and going to school full-time, pretty much all my blogging has been at a stand still.

BUT, all I have left right now is one more week of one class and then I will graduate from Concordia University Ann Arbor with a BA in Psychology!

Which means, I'm back!

So here's what's going on in my kitchen. I spent all day Saturday shopping and assembling dinners for the next four weeks. I was inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest from Callie at "Greater Things". Now Callie is a Mom with more mouths to feed, and around here it's just me and Studdly Hubby. So I didn't follow her plan exactly, but she did inspire me.

So I picked out some recipes, some from my head and some from Pinterest. I tried to plan around the ingredients for each recipe. So, if I'm making Parmesan Honey Pork Roast one night, I can use the leftover pork for Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

I didn't make 7 dinners a week. Since there is only 2 of us, I planned on some leftover days. And I figure there will still be a few days here and there where we will eat out, have frozen pizza or have a special event. So I made 4 per week.

Once I planned out the menus, I created my shopping list. It was really hard to stomach the total at checkout, but I reminded myself that I spend a lot more in a month when I shop every week. The final bill was less then $300, but it also included some toiletries, cleaning products and a couple personal products. Not bad for a month of dinners really. We'll probably have to pick up a few fresh products along the way like yogurt, fruit, etc., but nothing major.

When I got home, I started assembling the weeks. I put all of the fresh ingredients for the meal I was working on in quart sized storage bags, then put those in a labeled gallon sized bag. Things that are canned or wouldn't go bad, like pasta, were left out.

I put three meals directly in the fridge to use this week, then crammed the rest in the freezer. This is what I ended up with:

I haven't assembled the Fish Tacos or the Cilantro Chicken yet, simply because I don't have any place to put them! I'm planning on throwing them together next weekend when I pull out a couple more meals.

So what I plan to do is post my menu plan today, then I'll share the recipes as I try them. Ideally, I'll calculate the Weight Watchers Points as well. I'm not claiming that these are all healthy choices, but you should be able to make an informed decision and plan your points accordingly! Without further ado, here is the plan:

Week One:
Parmesan Honey Pork Roast
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Beef and Broccoli
Chicken Quesadillas

Week Two:
Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
White Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Quesadillas
Chicken Pot Pie

Week Three:
Roasted Lemon Garlic Herb Shrimp over Fettucine
Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice
Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers
Roast Beef Paninis

Week Four:
Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Pizza Quesadillas
Fish Tacos
Cilantro Chicken

This is all an experiment at this point! I don't know how well some of the ingredients are going to freeze, but we'll find out! :-)


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