Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guest Post - Why I Meal Plan Monthly...

Good Morning, Friends of Daily Essentials and Deals! I am
excited to be able to share with you today. My name is Hope. I
blog at hopefilledhome.blogspot.com I am married to Mark (for
10 years), Mama to Grant and Reagan Grace, and a Christ
Follower. I love the saving money, helping our family reach
goals, and PAY DOWN DEBT! Following is my post on monthly meal

Why I Meal Plan Monthly

I get a lot of grief about my meal planning habits. First, it is
hanging right on my freezer door for the whole world to see with
big black sharpie cross-outs and arrows. Second, I am not a
weekly planner (most are)...I am an overacheiver, you see...I am
a MONTHLY planner. Third, we have an incredible stockpile of
food and I like it that way!

You see, I was raised by a single mother (my father dies when I
was three) and my grandmother. We had nothing, people. We stood
in lines at a church to get government peanut butter and cheese
(it tastes like Velveeta by the way.) I remember my grandma
taking me along so we could get extra cereal... There were many
nights when stewed tomatoes and bread were our dinner.

Now, mind you, we also had feasts! Thanksgiving and Easter were
always HUGE! My grandma could make a mean pot of spaghetti and
meatballs to feed all of us cousins (she put bread balls in the
middle to stretch the meat and "make it moist.") She was known
in the family for her cole slaw recipe. We liked to eat and I
still do!

I kind of have the "Scarlett O'Hara" complex. You know, "As God
as my witness, I'll never go hungry again" kind of thing... So,
as an adult, I am a planner. A slightly obsessive organizer. A
daily checkbook updater. A "honey, let's talk about our budget"
kind of girl. I simply can not do one week of meal planning.
What if the car breaks down and all out food money goes to
repairs?!?!? I need a plan, people!

Thus, the monthly meal plan was born. I choose to plan 20-22
meals per month that can be served for dinner. When I make my
plan, I have all of my meats and boxed foods on hand that I list
(see my stockpile pictures to follow). I usually have to
purchase fresh produce and dairy only. I like it this way - I
feel prepared - I feel wise - I feel safe.

So, if there is ever a major storm in Central Ohio, I could feed
you all for at least 2 weeks! :)

I choose to not plan an entire 30 days. This gives our family
flexibility to have dinner with friends, family, order a pizza,
attend a church function or simply throw something together on a
whim. 20 days has proven over time to be nore than enough for
our family.

I also only plan dinners. We eat simple breakfasts, lunches are
sandwiches, mac and cheese, or leftovers. Dinner is the only
thing I focus on because for me, it is the hardest.

I like having a list on the fridge. In the morning (or the night
before) I can look at the list and decide what sounds good.
Then, I don't have a lot of excuses. I know what to make. I have
the ingredients. I have the side dishes. I just have to make it
and serve it with love :)

Here is our actual October Meal Plan. I love that fall is here!
It's going to be a good month of eating here at the Labutis

October's Meal Plan

1. Amish Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, Corn
2. Italian Chicken Breasts, Cheddar/Broccoli Rice, Frozen
Vegetable Medley
3. Cresent Roll Hot Dogs, Tator Tots, Dirt Pudding
4. Black Beans and Rice, Chips and Queso Dip
5. Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad
6. Ham and Macaroni Casserole, Peas, Applesauce
7. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
8. Swiss Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
9. Chicken/Broccoli Packets, Mac and Cheese, Green Beans
10. Chili and Cornbread Cake
11. Seasoned Pork Roast, Potatoes, Carrots
12. Baked Ziti, Breadsticks, Salad
13. Steaks on the Grill, Twice Baked Potatoes, Green Beans,
Apple Crisp
14. Shepherd's Pie, Applesauce, Rolls
15. Egg Casserole with Sausage, Toast, Apples/Grapes
16. Pepperoni Pizza Bake, Brownies
17. Hamburger Gravy over Mashed Potatoes, Corn
18. Homestyle Bake, Fruit Cocktail
19. Stuffed Shells, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad
20. Shredded Chicken Sandwiches, Chips, Jello Salad, Baked Beans
Thanks so much for guest posting Hope!
It looks like a
truly delicious list of meals!

Also check out her post here on creative uses for household items.
I especially like the peanut butter and lemonade mix!!!

1 comment:

karenmed409 said...

wowzer, I can't even get myself to plan a weekly menu! This is super that you can do this.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin