Friday, February 25, 2011

Menu-by-the-Month



I started out in my 20's cooking
once a week and freezing my meals.
I didn't really care for cooking, and
was working full-time, sometimes two jobs,
so this fit the bill.

I continued to do once-a-week cooking 
after I got married and started a family. 
I would spend most of a Saturday 
working in the kitchen preparing meals
to be eaten later in the week.
It became such a grind.


Somewhere along the way, it just
didn't feel right anymore. 
Now, I'm not knocking it for those with big families,
or those who work a lot of hours
outside the home, but for me, in the
lifestyle I have created for myself,
I needed to be connected to my food.

I also found that, being a planner, 
 trying to figure out what to make at the last minute,
or what to buy in the grocery store each week
really threw me. 

So, I developed a system (what else is new?) that takes the guesswork out and adds hours to my week for other things because I already have my meals planned.
Not only does this save time when it comes to the preparation, but it helps in trips to the grocery store and knowing that I have what I need to make any basic recipe.



The bonus is that I am preparing fresh food for my family (almost) every day and really being present in this endeavor.
Intention is a powerful thing.

I took 30 or so of my family's favorite meals,
and divided them up by the four weeks in the month.
I add to them occasionally, but we mostly eat
the same things due to dietary restrictions
and personal preference.
Each week when I'm making out my grocery list,
I refer to my MBTM plan and write down those items
that I need to purchase to make those meals.


I also look through the online sale flyer
for our grocery store and pick up whatever
is on sale that we use regularly.  In this
way, we get those things we need to keep
our pantry filled at a discounted price,
even if they're not needed on the present week's menu.
I always look for coupons online too,
especially for the sales items. 
Our grocery store offers lots of "buy one, get one free" items,
so we hardly ever pay full price for anything.





This system has been in place for many years,
and I can't tell you how much easier it is
preparing meals this way.  For folks like us
who don't eat out much, enjoy "clean eating",
 and like home-cooked meals,
it works like a charm.
It warms my heart knowing that every bite my family eats
is filled with healthy ingredients, and lots of love.
Hope you'll give it a go!


Menu-by-the-Month

   

   Week One:                                                   Week Two:
Roasted chicken                                      Turkey w/stuffing
    Chili                                                                 Sloppy Joes
 Baked Ziti                                              Spaghetti & meatballs
  Bean burgers                                               Chicken nuggets
    Breakfast                                                     Soup & sammies
Turkey meatloaf                                                 Pizza



Week Three:                                                      Week Four:
  Shrimp & rice                                                Baked spaghetti
   Turkey burgers                                                 Fish cakes
 Tuna/chicken casserole                              Rice & Beans
Guido’s pasta                                       Penne w/white bean sauce
     Tacos                                                                Enchilada Pie
  Mac-n-cheese                                                  BBQ chicken

Extras:

Catfish            Turkeyroni          Tostadas