Sunday, May 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I know it's only Sunday, but I'm ahead of the game. What can I say?

Monday: Tacos

Tuesday: Hamburgers

Wednesday: Broccoli and cheese calzones (I'm modifying them a bit, though!)

Thursday: Hamburger casserole

Friday: Leftovers.

Now, I know Thursday is supposed to be leftovers night, but my desire to use up a bunch of stuff before it goes bad has pushed it off to Friday. I'm sure we'll survive, LOL!!!

Head on over to for more great menus from other bloggers!

Budgeting, meat, and a (sort of) pantry challenge

Tomorrow is June. A new month, another chance for me to get serious about sticking to our budget and tracking our expenses. It needs to be done. Hubby has a layoff on the horizon - we don't know when, but sometime in the next year, year and a half. Which means we need to sock away as much as we can, while we still can. Mainly, this means that I need to quit buying so darn many groceries, because we do pretty well in all the other areas!

I used to track our budget from my first paycheck of the month, rather than the first day of the month. Now that my paychecks don't matter so much, I'm going to go by the calendar. It's all put together and ready to go, I just have to do it.

Like I said, grocery shopping is my biggest weakness. I can easily plunk down $150 a week for groceries, and that's basically for the two of us. Needless to say, we have a very well stocked kitchen, but we also waste a lot of food because I lose stuff and don't remember that it's there. Well, that has to change. I need to keep better track. Thursday I'm cleaning out the freezer, and all the old meat that was never repackaged (I should *always* repackage my meat!) is going in the garbage (Friday is garbage day). And then, we start over.

But first, a pantry challenge of sorts. Today while I was grocery shopping, I found a bunch of clearance meats, with a sell-by date of tomorrow. I didn't go completely crazy, though I wanted to! I did, however, get six meals worth of ground beef, three meals worth of pork chops, and a very nice looking round steak. This, of course, represents even more meals, when you consider leftovers.

So, for the month of June, we're living on this, plus another bag of chicken tenderloins (we eat a lot of chicken tenderloins because they cook so fast), plus whatever else is in the freezer. My challenge will be to combine these with things that we have in the pantry (and there's a lot to work with there!). So, I'll just be making meals with what we have on hand.

This means that my grocery budget for the month will be spent on perishables - dairy products, fresh produce, and bread, mainly. The rest of the budget I can use for sale and coupon items. Hopefully this will help with the rotation - getting rid of some older food while making room for some more inexpensive purchases. We'll see how it goes!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I'm sitting here with a kitchen full of food and no inspiration about what to make with it! Grr... We've reached that juncture in the weather where it's too hot for a lot of the make-ahead things we're used to (stews and casseroles and such), and yet there's no time to cook in the evenings, so what do we eat???

At any rate, here's the plan for this week, I think!

Monday: Chicken fajitas
Tuesday: dinner out - we have to be across town at rush hour to sign our wills, no way we'll make it home for dinner!
Wednesday: shredded pork sandwiches
Thursday: chicken sausage casserole
Friday: grilled chicken and potatoes (I have the day off - four day weekend - woo hoo!).

Visit for a ton of great menu ideas!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This week's menu

Not bad, figuring out my menu when the week's half over!

Let's see...

Monday: we had an Italian chicken concoction (chicken, diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, Italian seasoning, and Italian cheese blend) that I threw together in the crock pot, with baked potatoes and steamed cauliflower.

Tuesday: Potstickers and green beans

Today: honey mustard pork tenderloin, rice, some kind of veggie

Thursday: leftovers smorgasboard

Friday: shepherd's pie (made with leftover roast beef)

Oh, and I don't plan weekend menus because I never know what they will bring!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Lunch tote giveaway

Erin over at $5 dinners is giving away a designer lunch tote from Spring Los Angeles! I have one - these things are so cute and so well insulated!

Go here - to enter...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

This week's menu

Well, well, well. I think it's high time I got back to blogging again! Things have been, well, a little hectic lately, and all my blogging time has been spent on Caitlyn's blog, instead of mine. After all, I did cease to exist on December 9, and someone named "Caitlyn's Mommy" took my place in the world, LOL!

I've been back at work two months now. Hubby works from 5:00 to 1:30, and I work 2:00 to 6:00, which means that I'm making dinner about 10:00 every morning so we can eat it about 7:00 every night. The good news is that we're far too frazzled to eat out, so we're saving a ton on food! Now, if I can just curb my compulsive grocery shopping habit...

Anyway, each week I make up a weeknight dinner menu. Sometimes I stick to the days, sometimes things get rearranged a bit but most weeks, we stick to it. Here's this week's:

Monday: Leftover pizza (we had Papa Murphy's tonight)
Tuesday: Tacos (happy Cinco de Mayo!)
Wednesday: Shepherd's Pie (utilizing the leftover roast beef from last week)
Thursday: Chicken Ziti
Friday: Pizza-stuffed meatloaf

Hubby's not going to be very happy - I'm trying out two new recipes this week - the chicken ziti and the meatloaf. He's a little gunshy about new recipes ever since the creamed salmon fiasco of 2002, which I will never live down...