Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meal Planning

I am trying to make a better attempt at updating my blog but when you have two kids and very little (aka NO) free time, it's a little challenging.

Every two weeks I do a big grocery shop.  This trip usually averages $100 (if I have recently made a Costco run) to $150 (if I have not made a Costco run).  This will include all of our ingredients for all meals as well as breakfast foods, snacks, and luxury items like bottled sparkling water for Jason and hair products for me. 

Before I go shopping, I brainstorm and come up with a list of dinners that I would like to make over the two week period.  I have an ongoing list of inexpensive and quick meals that I keep on the fridge.  This helps me decide if I want to make any of those meals or I want to mix it up.  I tend to like making new recipes so I always have one or two new recipes as well as a family favorite (American Chop Suey or Macaroni and cheese are two big faves) and some easy standbys.

Here is my list of inexpensive and quick meals (I have posted this before):

* Beef Enchiladas
* Meatloaf
* Spaghetti with meat sauce/meatballs/sausage
* Soup and sandwiches
* Chili
* Taco soup and cheese quesadillas
* Anything in the crockpot
* Baked chicken with sides
* Pork chops with sides
* Macaroni and cheese
* Red beans and rice
* Chicken pot pie
* Casseroles (tuna, chicken and rice bake, breakfast casserole)
* Breakfast for dinner
* American Chop Suey
* Crescent roll ups (with a variety of fillings)
* Baked chicken nuggets or strips
* Roasted chicken and veggies

Of course, there are tons more quick and inexpensive meals so I am always adding to my list

On this grocery shopping trip, I picked up the ingredients to make the following meals (with links if I have them):

* Pizza Pasta
* Angel chicken
* Roasted chicken with potatoes, carrots and onions
* Gnocchi with vodka sauce and chicken sausage (no recipe - made with store bought ingredients)
* Hashbrown casserole
* Spicy honey brushed chicken thighs with sides
* Shrimp Pad Thai
* Pork chops with sides
* Chicken and rice bake
* Meatloaf and mashed potatoes

You will notice that the list doesn't have 14 dinners on it.  That is because every Friday we eat dinner over at my in-laws and also because I have at least one leftover night during the week as to not waste any food. 

Of course, I don't have a plan for which night has which meal.  It's usually whatever I feel like making or what I am in the mood to eat.

Now, if I could get Jack to eat all the above foods.  He doesn't like meat so this is challenging.  Jason and I are currently arguing over whether I should continue to make him a separate meal or if he should just eat what we are having.  I could write a whole separate post about this subject.

That's it for my meal planning post.  I really would like to start food blogging again but alas, I just don't have the time.  And secretly, it's because I always forget to take pictures of my food before I start eating!

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