Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Menu for the Week!

Wow, I am amazed at how easy it is to get out of cooking daily meals.  Too tired so let’s just go get Chinese buffet; oh it’s so late, let’s just go get a burger; I haven’t shopped yet, let’s just stop for a sandwich……and soon, we eat out more than we eat in. 

Not only is that very costly, it’s not always healthy or well-balanced. 

So now I’ve started the Meal Plan, I’ll set up a menu for the upcoming week, create a shopping list to match the menu, and make good use of bulk purchases and leftovers.

So here is this week’s menu and the coordinating shopping list.  You’ll see how I plan to use some of the items in more than one dish.

Oven-baked fried chicken *
Baked sweet potatoes
Southwest Fiesta Corn ¥
Cole Slaw

Pasta with vegetable sauce
Romaine salad

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie *≠¥

Scalloped pork chops and potatoes ≠ and diced ham ó
Baby Peas ¥
Baked apples

Roasted Turkey BLT’s
Homemade potato chips ≠

Chili cheese dogs
French fries

Potato Soup ≠
Ham Biscuits ó

* Chicken- I’ll purchase a package of whole cut chicken and use some for the for oven baked chicken and at the same time, cook off the rest for the skillet pot pie.  In addition, I’ll set at least ½ cup of chicken aside to make chicken-salad for one of Mom’s lunches during the week.

¥  Peas and corn as side dishes and also used in the  Skillet Chicken Pot Pie.  This is also a good time to look in the freezer for other veggies that are approaching expiration and toss them into the pie as well!

ó  Ham steak is used to flavor Scalloped Pork Chops, Potato Soup and to make Ham Biscuits – there is a lot of meat in one ham steak.  I like to trim it up and brown off all of the trim until crispy and use it to flavor other meals, such as the potato soup.  Angle cut enough slices to make your ham biscuits and store safely in the refrigerator for Saturday.  Dice the rest and use ½ in your scalloped potatoes and ½ in your potato soup.

Potatoes are used in Scalloped Pork Chop, Skillet Pot Pie and to make homemade potato chips. Remember, left over scalloped potatoes can also be incorporated into your potato soup!

In these lean times over the past few months, my pantry has become depleted, so I’m adopting the restock plus one shopping plan.  It’s simple plan that allows you to gradually stock your pantry to the point that you could rely on your pantry stock to feed your family for up to a month or more! ….if need be. 

Additionally, this plan keeps you from running out of staples – I hate when I decide to create a dish, and go to the pantry for an ingredient and I’m out!

This is how it works.  You’ll see on the menu for this week is Pasta with Vegetable Sauce.  I’ll purchase the pasta for the dish, one can of tomato sauce, one can of fire roasted tomatoes and one can of tomato paste.  Even if I have these things already in my pantry.  When I get home from the store, I’ll put the purchases away in the pantry, rotating the cans to use the oldest first.  You put your new purchase behind the like item already on the shelf.

Now the plus one…next week when I shop, I will have my list for the menu AND the list of items used from the pantry.  I used one box of pasta so I will replace that box and purchase another.  Restock plus one.  Now you don’t do this with frozen, fresh or refrigerated items, only with your pantry stock.

So let’s review.  You pull a can of tuna (or foil pouch) from the pantry to make tuna salad sandwiches for lunch.  So you add tuna to your restock list and replace the can used, and purchase your plus one to add to the stock!

Same thing goes for condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, salad dressings.  If you pull a bottle of ketchup from the pantry to use, you will need to replace it, and purchase your plus one.  That way, the next time the ketchup bottle is empty; there are no worries when you go to the pantry to pull one for use!

We’ll talk more about pantry storage in an upcoming blog!

Here’s the shopping list for this week’s menu:

ð       Bacon
ð       Chicken whole cut
ð       Pork chops
ð       Ham steak
ð       Hot dogs
ð       Small whole turkey breast

ð       Bisquick
ð       Corn flakes
ð       Cream of chicken soup
ð       Hot dog chili
ð       Mushroom soup
ð       Pasta
ð       Tomato Sauce
ð       Fire roasted diced tomatoes
ð       Mayo
ð       Ketchup
ð       Cole Slaw Dressing
ð       Caesar Dressing

ð       Frozen baby peas
ð       Frozen sweet corn
ð       Steak fries

ð       Potatoes
ð       3 whole sweet potatoes
ð       Romaine Lettuce
ð       Tomatoes
ð       Cabbage Shred
ð       Apples

ð       Hot dog buns
ð       Sour dough bread

ð       Milk
ð       Pint of cream
ð       Eggs
ð       Colby Jack Cheese
ð       Shred Parmesan

Now this shopping list coordinates to the menu.  I may have a few of these items in my pantry, but since my goal is to restock my pantry, I’ll be purchasing everything on the list so that it will become new stock.

I like to plan a menu that uses leftovers creatively, as my Farmgirl Mister is not crazy about just warming up leftovers for another meal.  If I hide them in an all new dish, well let’s say, what he doesn’t know, he eats! HA!

I do admit, I do buy a portion of prepared items, however right now working full time and other demands on my time, it just proves a bit easier.  As I get my pantry stocked, and refine my weekly menus, you will see less and less prepackaged items and more prepared from scratch alternatives!

So here’s my menu and my shopping list, off to the store I go.  When I get back, I’ll let you know how I did on bulk purchases and sale items – and then post two new recipes for items on this week’s menu!

‘til we chat again,