Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cooking for the Month…

This month, I decided to try and have a better plan when it came to meal planning and grocery shopping.  I feel like every week I go to the grocery store and spend over $100 and by Thursday or Friday we are out of food…scrounging around all weekend looking for something to eat!  I hope I’m not the only that feels this way.  I mentioned on FB that I was doing this, and I had several people that wanted to know more about it, so I decided I would do a blog post about it…and you know I’ll “pin” it as well!

The most important thing, to me, is to make a meal plan at the beginning of the month.  While the girls napped on Monday, I spent two hours planning our meals for the month.  Actually sitting in front of a calendar, looking at the days I would need to cook and the days that we would not be home, etc.  I planned meals to cook on Friday that will last us through the weekend with leftovers.  After I did my meal plan, I made my grocery list.  I also looked at the calendar to see if there were days that the girls had to take snacks to MMO, and I went ahead and got things for that too to try and avoid “quick” last minute trips to the store that usually end up putting more in my basket than I need.  I also bought several frozen skillet meals (Voila) to have just in case.  I felt good going to the store with a plan although my list was REALLY long!  Another note…my mom came over after school to keep the girls so I could go to the store.  I find it extremely hard to take them with me when I need to buy this many things!


So, here’s the list!  Long, huh??  It was the first time I ever left Walmart with TWO baskets.  I was pushing one and pulling one.  I heard someone say as I walked by, “She must have a lot of kids!”  Ha!!  Many of the meals that I planned could be fixed ahead of time and frozen which will make life even easier!  Yesterday, I kept a friend of mine’s little girl which was great because the girls were entertained so I did a lot of the prep work for my meals!


I started out with all of my veggies.  I chopped them all up…which is my least favorite thing to do when it comes to meal preparation.  So, getting that done was GREAT!!


I made two recipes of “Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken” that I found on Pinterest.  Although it was two recipes, I think it will actually be four meals.  I went ahead and chopped everything up and put it all in a Ziploc bag.  On the day I cook it, I will dump it in the crockpot, add the liquid mixture and leave it alone.  How easy is that???  Recipe is linked at the bottom


While I was chopping veggies, I thawed my hamburger meat to make taco soup and chili.  I’m going to make those tomorrow and freeze them until needed.


Chopping veggies makes a mess, but at least it’s only one cleanup right??


Another recipe I made for the month is red beans and rice.  I actually ran out of bell peppers (I must have misjudged) so I will add those the day I cook it (in the crockpot…best invention ever).


Another recipe I made was chicken fajitas (also found on Pinterest).  I didn’t want to add all of the liquid ingredients so I just wrote the recipe on the Ziploc so I wouldn’t have to dig through the recipe box (or look on my computer). 

SO…Here is my menu for Feb…

Feb. 1 – Breakfast (pancakes out of box mix)

Feb. 2 – Chicken Fajitas

Feb. 3 & 4 – Won’t need to cook because we have plans

Feb. 6 – Chicken Jambalaya (Zatarran’s box mix) & edamame (LOVE steamable edamame)

Feb. 7 – Chicken Tacos & Taco Rice

Feb. 8 – Pork Tenderloin (Hormel…already seasoned), edamame and sweet potato chips (recipe on Pinterest)

Feb. 9 – Chicken Stir-Fry

Feb. 10  - Leftovers from Chicken Tacos

Feb. 11 – Pancakes

Feb. 13 – Chili & Tortilla Chips (love to make tortilla chips out of Ole tortillas at Kroger – on the Mexican food aisle)

Feb. 14 – Hopefully I’ll be out on a date!

Feb. 15 – Leftover chili

Feb. 16 – Chicken Enchiladas (Recipe is on the back of the Santa Fe Philadelphia Cooking Cream – YUMMY)

Feb. 17 – Red Beans & Rice

Feb. 18 – Leftovers

Feb. 20 – Taco Soup & Cheese Quesadillas

Feb. 21 – Leftover soup

Feb. 22 – Pancakes

Feb. 23 – Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken & Cauliflower poppers

Feb. 24 – Chicken Stir-Fry

Feb. 25 – Taco soup

Feb. 27 – Chili

Feb. 28 – Chili leftovers

Feb. 29 – Chicken Fajitas

I hope this helps someone!  If you have any recipes you would like to share, I’d love it!!!


The Vaughns said...

Thanks for sharing this and the links! Impressive organization! I hope Michael reads the blog so he'll know to make reservations for the 14th!

Susan and Ethan Peterson said...

why did you move again???

Leslie said...

I agree...that is pretty amazing!! I hope you do a post at the end of the month and let us know how it went! I'd be curious to know 1) how much money you spent for the month using this method vs before 2) if the effort was worth it 3) how easy it was to stick to the plan. Thanks for sharing!

The Hensons said...

i'm impressed!! i'll be interested to read in march if you thought the energy put forth was worth it and if you saved $! maybe i can get inspired to do the same! also...i'm cracking up at the amount of mexican inspired dishes on your menu! are we related??? :)

April Rocconi said...

Wow! thanks for sharing its always good to see someones ideas! Keep posting...would also like to know if you saved money and were able to stick to it as well as not wasting food!