Monday, August 6, 2012

My First Menu Plan Monday Link-Up!

Today, I am linking up to Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie for the first time!  I'm really excited to do this.  This will be my first link up and I must have read the instructions about a million times to make sure I get it right!  But, I'm going to brave it and give it a try.

Menu planning has been a part of my routine for several years now.  I absolutely hate going to the grocery store, so it helps cut down on extra trips.  It also saves me from trying to come up with an idea for dinner at the last minute, only to not have everything I need on hand.  I've learned that lesson the hard way!

But, my system wasn't as good as it could be.  One big red flag was how much we spend on groceries every month.  This is the part of our budget that I have the hardest time with.  I often find myself either going over-budget or with nothing left to eat at the end of the month.  Enter Kate Megill from Teaching What is Good and her new e-book, Cut it Out!  How I Feed my Family of 10 for $500 a Month Without Coupons. 

Wow!  I read the book in about 45 minutes last week and I learned so much!  I'm working on putting it all into practice over the next month or so.  I'll be writing more about that in the weeks to come, I'm sure!  Since I only have 4 people in my family, this makes me really see that we pay way too much for groceries!

I was able to take the first few steps this week and have a fresh menu plan for the next two weeks and a shopping list.  Tomorrow I am headed to the grocery store to work on my price list.  Since the kids are still on vacations, it is the perfect time for an extra long shopping trip. 

Here's this week's menu:

Monday - Crockpot chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls
Tuesday - Tacos, refried beans
Wednesday - Chicken casserole (made with leftover chicken from Monday), bread
Thursday - Smoked sausage, shells & cheese, mashed potatoes, bread
Friday - Spaghetti & meatballs, salad, garlic bread
Saturday - Chicken noodle soup (Made with the last of the chicken from Monday, plus an extra chicken breast, and broth made from the carcass of Monday's bird), bread
Sunday - Breakfast: Sausage links, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, toast

I am working on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday this week (yuck!) and I have church on Wednesday night.  So, I need to have meals that will be easy and quick for my hubby to make when he gets home from work.  Some of the menu items can be made ahead of time to make it as easy as possible.  Some of the things on my menu I could make from scratch.  But, since I am working I also need to be careful of my time. 

Because of this, I'm not cutting out all my convenience food right away.  I'm going to slowly build up to it and do more freezer cooking on the weekends.  For example, I might use a few extra chicken breast and make two chicken casseroles this week.  One to eat and one to freeze.  Until I get to the point where I have plenty of pre-made home-cooked food, I'm not going to feel guilty about not making as much from scratch.  I have to work toward balance between money and time.


  1. Looks like a great menu. Found you via Org Junkie.

  2. Looks good! Starting slow on cutting out processed stuff is an excellent idea and great advice.