Monday, October 29, 2012

Menu Planning

Hi, my name is Liz and I have a problem...I can't menu plan at all and I seem to go to the grocery store, Wal-Mart, Target or Costco multiple times a week.  Which equals a budget out of whack and us going way over budget and a lot of eating out!  How easy is it to just throw in the towel and order a pizza?  Not anymore!  Our family is getting back on the budget and I've got to get me more organized with our menu planning!  No more trips to multiple stores several times a week!  And stick to the menu and list! 

Side note:  Went to the grocery store on Friday, Saturday morning, Eric's asked when I'm going to the grocery store next, for real?!  What did he need?  "We're running low on bbq sauce and salsa."  Does that ever happen to you?  I was just there!  Or, get home a realize you're 100% out of shampoo?  So annoying!

So, to keep our family on track with the budget and menu, I'm going to blog every Monday (fingers crossed, this is a huge commitment for me to promise to blog on this particular day) our menu for the week!  I can do this!  I will try, again, fingers crossed, to include the recipes and resource where I found the recipe.  To be quite honest, 99.8% are from Pinterest!  Lord help me if Pinterest ever goes away!  

Usually by the weekend, I'm done!  I need a break from all the cooking but realistically, that can't happen!  Our family has three growing, active children who can eat like grown adults, when they want!   Plus, on the weekends, I have to make lunch for everyone!  During the week, Jack takes his lunch to school and Eric will take leftovers or go out, so I really don't have to worry about them.  Molly and Will like cheese and crackers, hot dogs, easy, quick meals. And I like lighter meals for lunch, usually soup or salad or eggs.  That doesn't fly for my whole crew by the time Saturday rolls around!   But weekends come around and everyone wants a meal and I'm waving the flag, not quite sure what to make for everyone but don't want to go out but I really do!  

I like budget-friendly, healthy and needs to be good to at least 3 of us...we're all picky in our weird ways, so 3 of us usually have to eat and like it for me to make the recipe again.  Seems easy enough, right?

So, here is our menu for the week!  Let me know your thoughts or any recipes your family loves!  

Monday, October 29th:  
English Muffin Pizza's 
Pretty easy, and we have a busy night tonight, so easy is good on these busy nights!  

1 package of English Muffins
1 jar of pizza sauce (I buy whatever is on sale)
1 package of mozzarella cheese
1 package of pepperoni (I used turkey pepperoni)

Assemble and bake at 350 until cheese is melted!

I'll also have strawberries with the pizzas!

Tuesday, October 30th:
Another busy night!  Trunk or Treat and I have Pilate's (rough life, I know!)
Snacks!  One of our family favorites!
Cheese, crackers, lunch meat, cut up and assembled on a plate (I used a variety)
Little smokies heated up in bbq sauce (maybe that's why we needed more?)
Carrots and Ranch
Hummus and Cucumbers

Wednesday, October 31st:  
Happy Halloween!  Making these cuties I found on Pinterest!

1 package of hot dogs
1 package of crescent rolls, Pillsbury are the best!  Do not go generic!
Wrap rolls around dogs and bake according to package directions
Ketchup and Mustard!  
Grapes on the side!  Yum!  

Thursday, November 1st:
Leftovers!  I'm not going to include the recipes from these because they are made in our house very frequently!
Chicken Gyros
Philly Cheese Steaks 
Mummy Dogs (I can almost guarantee that there will be leftovers...I have 3 excited little children who are so excited to Trick or Treat!)

Friday, November 2nd:
Panera Mac and Cheese!
Yummy and so good!  Not the healthiest recipe, but we're going to have broccoli with it, so it's all good!
1 (16-ounce) package of rigati pasta (or other small pasta shells) 
¼ cup butter 
½ cup all-purpose flour 
2½ cups 2% reduced fat milk (or cream) 
6 slices white American cheese, chopped 
1 cup (8 ounces) shredded extra-sharp white Vermont cheddar 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
¼ teaspoon hot sauce 

I usually eliminate the hot sauce and if I can't find the Vermont cheddar, I substitute with a different cheese, usually just extra sharp!  

Cook noodles as directed on the package
Melt butter in a Dutch oven, whisk in flour and milk over low heat, when blended remove from heat.
Stir in rest of ingredients, delicious! 

Saturday, November 3rd:
Deep we go!

Lunch:  Chicken Nuggets, chips and grapes
I know, not the healthiest but it is a crowd pleaser!  And they are pretty healthy, compared to McDonald's!
Eric and I will might make a sandwich, or he'll heat up burgers leftover from the summer that are still in our freezer!

Dinner:  Chicken Soup with Lentils
I might put in noodles for the kids, but I just love chicken soup and it's made in the crock pot, my favorite!  Yum!  And we will have a weeks worth of leftovers for my lunch!  Awesome!
Found the recipe on Pinterest!

5 cups of chicken broth (boxed or can is fine, I sometimes make my own, not this time!)
One 10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup onions, chopped fine
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
1/2 cup carrots, chopped fine
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
One 15 oz can of whole kernel corn, drained
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup Egg noodles
2 cups chicken chopped 

Add everything but the noodles and cooked chicken to the crock pot on Low for 5-6 hours, the last hour turn on High, and add noodles and chicken.

Like I said, I might not add the noodles but am going to throw in lentils!  We have rolls in our freezer, so I'll warm those up and I'm sure we'll have some fruit with the meal too!

Sunday, November 4th
Lunch:  Chili!  Yum!

1 lb ground meat 
1 1/2 C each kidney and pinto beans
2 4 oz cans of tomato sauce
1/2 onion cut up in small pieces
Chili seasoning

Ground up meat, add onions and when everything is cooked, add the rest, turn to low, and simmer!  I don't add tomatoes to my chili because someone doesn't like tomatoes, and it's not me!

Top with cheese, green onions, chili cheese Frito's (I have a small crush on these), saltines, whatever you like!

Dinner:  Italian Chicken, I think this is the first meal I ever learned to  make!  
Take a bottle of Italian dressing, dump it in a Ziploc baggies with chicken, marinate for however long, I try for at least a day!

Bake 350 degrees for about 40ish minutes
Serving with rice and green beans

Here's hoping I can stick to the menu and get better prepared for the weeks ahead!
Would love to hear your favorite recipes!


  1. How can you be running low on BBQ sauce? I thought Eric got a lifetime supply of it last Christmas.

    1. We had to give most of it away when we moved since it was all frozen, this was painful but we couldn't take all of it with us in our car. Most people thought the Jack Stack BBQ was my homemade recipe.


Thanks for visiting our blog! We love your comments!