Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meal Planning

Is it just me, or is everyone learning how to meal plan? I mean, it's a great idea. Saves time and money at the grocery; it brings a bit of peace, or at least ease, to that witching hour in the evening when everyone's hungry and cranky. I got pretty good at meal planning in the first year or two of our marriage, but then lil Abe came along, and it all went to pot. So now I have to re-learn that habit. I'm also pretty bad at planning complete meals, especially in regards to having veggies on the side and all that. So, I want to use this space to hold myself accountable. :) I'm going to try to post my weekly menu on Tuesdays, because I usually go grocery shopping on Wednesdays. And I'll also try to review the recipes from the last week, and note any changes I made or will make the next time.

Here's how I do it: I only plan three to four meals for each week. We usually have dinner at church on Wednesdays, and we usually eat out or have pizza about once a week. Sometimes we order pizza from somewhere, but I almost always have dough in the freezer and some sort of fixings lying around. And though leftovers are generally lunch food, we have at least one night of leftovers for dinner. I have recently discovered how cheap, easy, and yummy a pork tenderloin can be, so I think I'm going to keep one of those in the freezer for those nights where I just don't want whatever is on the menu.

So, that said, here's what I'm planning for this week for this week:

 Slow-cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu **NEW** with steamed green beans.

Slow-cooker Sausages with Sauerkraut and Potatoes **NEW**
Some of the reviews recommend adding a beer since the sauerkraut is drained, and that sounds like a good plan to me.

Cranberry Bean Pasta Fagioli — I've made this before and substituted a pound of sweet Italian sausage for the beans, and it was delicious. Might try it with both sausage and beans this week. And a salad on the side.

I also have ingredients on-hand to make my mom's spaghetti and meatballs. Maybe I'll make those tomorrow... Or maybe we'll have left over slow-cooker lasagna.

Lots of slow-cooker meals. My crock pot is a life saver with an infant in the house. I have the most energy and determination in the morning, and he takes the best naps in the morning, so while he's sleeping, I can get dinner started. Then when 5 o'clock rolls around, I don't have to think about dinner at all.

Any dinner suggestions for us? Or hints for meal planning and grocery shopping?


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