13 April 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Can She Make It A Month? Edition

Have you checked out the menu list at Org. Junkie yet? You should. It rocks!

As promised, I'm back with the menu. I was stuck in "Em Finally Does Her Self-Employment Taxes" world most of the afternoon, and I'm riding the elated high of not owing my first born (yet to be conceived first born, mind you) to the tax machine for the first time in years instead of going to bed like a sane person would. I'm even getting money back this year ... like more than $8 (a 2 year state refund favorite in my early college days). Hooray for extra cash and double hooray for finally getting "Menu Monday" posted before Tuesday!

Now, as my fellow couponer/stockpiler friends will attest, when you get things for free or nearly so on a regular basis, sometimes your pantry (and closets, and garage, and basement, and under your bed, and hidden in your kids' toy chest, and the crawl space, and on ...and on ...) starts to accumulate random stuff. It starts with that one freebie candy bar tucked into the back of a pantry shelf and before you know it you have a years' worth of grocery bits and pieces. This weekend I (finally) got irritated enough with the dismal arrangement that had befallen both the upper and lower pantries (yea ... we have two ... we eat a lot of free food here ...), and got to work putting them back in order. I love to score great deals. I also love the security that comes along with having a grocery stockpile. If we were absolutely destitute tomorrow, at least we'd be able to eat for awhile. Every now and then, though, I get this sticky inkling that we need to downsize a little and use up what we have (and of course make room for MORE great deals ... muahaha!).

I've been tossing around the idea of a month-long menu for awhile now, mostly inspired by the Happy Housewife's free form 30 Days of Meals. The scheduler in me wants to wait until the beginning of a month so everything fits in nice and proper. The perfectionist in me couldn't get in gear in time to re-organize the pantries for an April 1st launch. The impulsive me just wants to do. it. right. now. I just keep thinking ... it's almost spring time ... that's fresh produce season ... I will need so much more room for putting up veggies and fruit this year ... and then its butcher time in the fall ... and the freezer is almost full ... you can't put a whole pig and half a cow in a full freezer ... not without a mess. Yes, there really are that many elipses inside my head. And so, since I finally got the pantries closer to orderly, I'm caving on schedule perfection, indulging my frugal tree-hugging maniac ramblings and starting in nearly the middle of the month. Eh well, 30 days are 30 days, right? They don't have to all fit on one calendar.

So, without further ado, our 30 Days of Meals based on what we have on hand. I will still be shopping as the deals allow, and we'll need butter (um, now, actually), milk, eggs, and likely lettuce at some point. We're also out of bread, but I have myself convinced that not going to the grocery means I'll be motivated to make some. It might happen. Maybe.

Crockpot Pork Roast x2
Seared Beef Roast x2 (I just bought these last night ... they're $2/lb at Meijer this week ... go get some!)
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Spaghetti with Meatball Marinara
Corn Tacos x2
Em Hash (recipe ... er ... well, general concept forthcoming) x2
Homemade Pizza x2
Crockpot Whole Garlic Chicken
Chicken Pot Pie Casserole with Biscuits (from leftover whole chicken)
Ham and Potato Casserole
Grilled and Glazed Ham Steaks x2
Venison Helper
Soup and Grilled Bacon & Cheese Sandwiches x2
Baked Pork Chops
Grilled Marinaded Pork Chops
Grilled Cod/Tilapia
Chicken Mongo (so much fun ... hopefully with pictures when we get to it)
Sausage and Spinach Lasagne
Sauce Your Own Meatballs and Potatoes (you pick: sweet & sour, bbq, swedish, marinara ... I keep the sauces frozen in bags and knock a chunk off to warm up based on what everyone wants)
Breakfast for Dinner: Pancakes, Eggs, Sausage
ItaliSoy Grilled Chicken Breasts (the easiest marinade in. the. world.)
Popcorn Chicken and Fries (from a recipe at the Heavenly Homemaker)
Fried Chicken Salads

Sides and accompianments may get a little wacky as I try to use up the pre-made boxed stuff we have accumulated. We aren't buying anymore once we get through what we have, but I refuse to let freebie food go to waste. Each meal also includes at least one cooked and one raw veggie, but we'll play that by ear week by week based on what's on sale, what everyone feels like, and what we have left in the freezer (ps, Green Giant Steamers are in the 10/10 11th free this week at Meijer ... nearly free if you have doubles and still cheap if you don't).

This week ...

M: Frozen pizza ... which is not on the list, so I guess that must mean the list starts tomorrow.
T: Seared Beef Roast, cubed potatoes, cooked carrots, green salads, biscuits
W: Grilled and Glazed Ham Steaks, boxed au gratins, frozen green veggie, raw carrots
R: Tacos (!!) and Spanish rice
F: Broccoli Cheese Soup with Grilled Bacon & Cheese Sandwiches (guess I'm going to need bread after all ...), salads
S: Homemade pizzas and dinner salads
U: Sausage and spinach lasagne, garlic breadsticks, salad

There you have it! I'm giving this Month of Meals thing a go, and hopefully by the middle of May we'll have freed up some wiggle room for the bounty of summer and early fall bacon. Who doesn't loooooove bacon?!

What are you eating this week?



No comments:

Post a Comment