Monday, July 12, 2010

Menu planning... Part 3

Master grocery & pantry lists:
After I made lists of meals, I went by the recipes for each and made up a grocery and pantry list.  I am hoping this will help me to streamline shopping and get most of it done in one big trip.  If not, at least I will have the list to go by to get the rest of the ingredients.

Grocery List

Whole chicken- 2
Chicken breast- bag                                                                Black beans
Ground turkey- 2 pkg. or 1 sausage                                        Navy beans
Ham- sliced 2 lb.
Fish                                                                                        Red beans
Pepperoni                                                                              Garbanzo beans
Hot dogs


Dairy:                                                                                       Carbs:
Milk- whole, skim, soy                                                             Rice
Eggs                                                                                          Quinoa
Cheese blocks- cheddar, mozzarella                                         Elbow pasta
Cottage cheese                                                                          Lasagna noodles
Cream cheese

Crushed tomatoes *- 26 oz. x 4
Miso                                                                                         picante sauce
Jello                                                                                         dark choc. chips
WW fig bars                                                                             raisins, craisins

Veggies/ fruit:
Spinach- 1lb. x 2                                                                      Bananas
Romaine lettuce                                                                       Apples
Celery                                                                                      Melon
Potatoes- sweet, white
Garlic                                                                                      Cucumbers
Onions                                                                                     Peas
Olives                                                                                      Green beans
Tomatoes                                                                                 Kale
Squash/Zucchini                                                                      Avocado
Check Seasonal                                                                       Broccoli 

Pantry Checklist

Bulk:                                                                   Spices:
WW bread flour                                                 Sea salt
WW pastry flour                                                 Pepper
Unbleached white flour                                      Garlic powder
Flax seeds                                                          Thyme
Flax seed meal                                                   Onion powder
Wheat germ                                                        Chili Pepper
Chia seeds                                                          Cumin
Sesame seeds                                                     Oregano
Pumpkin seeds                                                    Basil
Demarrara Sugar                                                Paprika
Whole oats                                                         Ginger
Black beans
Red beans
Navy beans
Garbanzo beans

Vinegar                                                            Mustard
Coconut oil                                                     Ketchup
EVOO                                                             Baking soda
Tahini*                                                           Baking powder
Apple sauce
Peanut Butter*
Maple syrup

Tea- rooibos

Cleaning:                                                      Hygiene:
Vinegar                                                         Shampoo/ Conditioner
Club Soda                                                     Toothpaste
Oxygen Bleach                                              Deodorant
Hydrogen Peroxide                                       Floss
Baking Powder                                             Diapers
*bought or home made

I print a copy of each of these lists each month, along with the meal list.  I can easily check my kitchen stock to see what I need.  I cross off items I do not need.  This is such a help in remembering everything!  This list changes just a little each time as I get the details figured out. 

Part 4 will be the Monthly Menu Plan notebook.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Menu Planning...Part 2

I said before that we have lunch as our big meal of the day.  My main planning rotates around those meals.  To fill in the others, I made a list of breakfast and light dinner ideas.

Breakfast Ideas:

Toast w/ topping
French toast
Green smoothie
Hot cereal

Light Dinner Ideas:

Chicken Pasta Salad
Egg Salad sandwiches
Grilled cheese
Chef Salad
Omelets, toast
Hummus, fresh vegi, pita chips
Hot dogs
HM Salsa, chips, fruit
Leftovers, of course!  With all this home cooking we usually can fill in several meals.

HM Crackers
HM Granola
HM Muffins
Fruit & cheese
HM Yogurt
Cottage Cheese & fruit

The ingredients for all of these also go on the grocery and pantry master lists.  I am still checking around and experimenting so I will add as I go.

The chocolate chip muffins, though... do not last nearly long enough!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Menu planning and lists... oh boy! Part 1

I like to be organized.  But liking it and living it all the time are two different things right now!  One area that I have just struggled with is menu planning and grocery budget.  I am also learning all kinds of new things about healthy eating.  And it's not always cheap.  So, struggle on struggle.  I am thinking that once a month shopping will be the best bet for budgeting.  A little of the budget will be set aside for weekly replinishment.  We eat lunch as our big  meal of the day.  I needed to have a main meal planned and then just fill in the gaps for each day.  This is what I did:
  • I made 5 weeks worth of daily main meals.
  • I made a list of dishes to eat for breakfast and light dinners.
  • I made a list of things to make on Bake Day (breads, snacks, etc.).
  • I compiled recipes for all of the above.
  • From these lists I made a master grocery and pantry list.
It was a labor of love, let me tell you.  But definitely satisfying work.

To make it easier some of the meals are repeated during the weeks and I tried to stick with little variety in the meats.  I do not have beef or pork in these meals.  The only frozen meat I got in bulk was chicken, ground turkey and fish.  "HM" stand for homemade in the list.

Monthly Meal Plan- Summer/Spring
Week 1
1. Crockpot chicken, vegi, bread
2. Chicken salad (made from leftover chicken), vegi,  HM bread
3. Taco salad
4. Quesadillas (HM tortillas), vegi, fruit
5. HM Pasta & meatballs, salad
6. Hot dogs, HM bread, roasted vegi
7. Leftover-palooza

Week 2
1. Ham, squash casserole, beans
2. Turkey burgers, HM bread, oven fries
3. Pepperoni roll, salad
4. Beans, rice, salad
5. Oven-fried chicken, quinoa, vegi
6. Fish, vegi, fruit, HM bread
7. Leftover-palooza

Week 3
1. Crockpot chicken
2. Chicken salad, vegi, bread
3. Quesadillas, vegi, fruit
4. Homemade pizza, salad
5. Pate McMuffin, fruit
6. Turkey meatloaf, baked potato wedges, vegi
7. Leftover-palooza

Week 4
1. Crockpot meal
2. HM Pita pizza, salad
3. Mac-n-cheese, w/ beans, vegi
4. Fajita salad
5. Loaded potatoes, salad
6. Quiche, fruit, jello
7. Leftover-palooza

Week 5
1. Chicken Squash Bake
2. Easy 3 cheese enchiladas
3. Turkey burgers, HM bread, oven fries
4. Homemade pizza, salad
5. Lasagna, peas/green beans, garlic bread
6. Fish, roasted vegi, sweet potatoes
7. Left-over palooza

Because I will have most of the ingredients for all of the meals, I can mix and match if I want.  That's the idea anyway. We used the bigger part of our budget at the first of this month, but we are still working that part out, too, so I will have another mini shopping trip after mid month payday.  I have a paper copy of the meal list from when I went shopping.  To keep track I just mark the date by the meal I made.  Since this will be a work in progess I'll tweak it each month depending on new ideas and recipes.

Next I will post the breakfast and light dinner ideas. 
Then the master shopping and pantry lists .
Then Bake day (if the goods last long enough for a picture!).
And finally the notebook that brings them all together.  I love noteooks almost as much as I love lists.