Monthly Meal Plan | Jan.9-29

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This month my menu planning is only for three weeks because my family is trying something new with menu planning and grocery shopping.

Of course for me, these are date specific, but you can apply this meal plan to any month or week you want!

I have linked any that I have recipes for online so you can find them too! If it is a recipe I have made before and we love in our family, then it will be marked with (T&T) for Tried and True. It is’s new that we’re trying out, it will be marked with (New).

Click on the links below to view past Monthly Meal Plans

Happy Meal Planning!

Monday 1/9 – Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Bowls (T&T)

Tuesday 1/10 – Cheeseburger Wraps (T&T)

Wednesday 1/11 – Chicken Salads

Thursday 1/12 – Leftovers

Friday 1/13 – Crockpot Luau Ham (New)

Saturday 1/14 – Game Night at Sister’s House – she cooks!

Sunday 1/15– Toasted Ham and Cheese Sandwiches (Using Leftover Luau Ham)

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Monday 1/16 – Catalina Chicken (T&T)

Tuesday 1/17 – Sausage & Tortellini Soup (T&T)

Wednesday 1/18 – Chicken Enchiladas (New)

Thursday 1/19 – Leftovers

Friday 1/20 – Frozen Pizza

Saturday 1/21 – Wild Rice Chicken Soup (T&T)

Sunday 1/22 – Lasagna (T&T)

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Monday 1/23 – Chicken and Dressing (T&T)

Tuesday 1/24 –  Poor Man’s Soup (New)

Wednesday 1/25- Orange Chicken (New)

Thursday 1/26 – Leftovers

Friday 1/27 – Noodles and Ham (T&T)

Saturday 1/28 – Game Night Here! – Simple Chicken Parmesan

Sunday 1/29 – Leftovers

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Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies

I love to cook, I began learning in high school and it has always been something I enjoy doing. When I began cooking I would follow a recipe exactly, measuring precisely the whole way through. Then, as I had made more and more dishes I learned to eyeball and to even make up some of my own masterpieces!

I’ve had some total flops in my experimenting and I have had some real winners. Recently I concocted a real winner and I wanted to document it and share it with all of you!

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| What You Need |

1 pound chicken breast – seasoned, grilled and cubed (salt and pepper is fine, or any other seasoning you like)

1 large sweet potato cubed

1 head of broccoli chopped

Honey Garlic Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn starch

 

| What You Do |

Steam broccoli and sweet potatoes until tender – set aside | To steam, I place veggies in a microwave safe dish, add 1/4 cup water, cover with saran wrap and microwave for 3.5 minutes. 

To make the honey garlic sauce | 

In a medium sauce pan combine all of the ingredients except the hot water and corn starch and bring to a gentle boil.

Reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking to the pot.

After 5 minutes, in a separate bowl, combine the hot water and corn starch to make a slurry (learned that word from Pioneer Woman!). Once well combined, add to the other ingredients. Stir well.

Give it a couple minutes to thicken. Repeat if it’s still not thick enough for you.

 

Now, add the chicken to the veggies and pour the sauce over the mixture. I do not like things drenched in sauce so I spooned a small amount over the chicken and veggies and refrigerated the rest.

This recipe made enough for 4 big servings.

Enjoy!

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Menu Planning Update

So I have been menu planning for two weeks now and am happy to say that it is going great and saving tons of money already!

I plan the menu for two weeks and do one shopping trip to get everything needed for those two weeks.

Here is the first week’s menu. Leftovers nights are strategically worked into the plan!

Week One Menu
Monday >> Left-Overs
Tuesday >> Cajun Chicken Pasta
Wednesday >> Left-Overs
Thursday >> Lasagna
Friday >> Chicken Taco Rice
Saturday >> Frozen Pizza
Sunday >> Hamburgers

Week Two Menu
Monday >> Left-Overs
Tuesday >> Chicken & Dressing
Wednesday >> Left-Overs
Thursday >> Stromboli
Friday >> Hot Dogs
Saturday >> Shrimp Tacos
Sunday >> Chicken Pot Pie

Went shopping the week before the menu started and got all the things I needed (and didn’t already have) to make these meals. We needed a few other things like snacks, paper towels, face wash and other odds and ends. But for the food, we couldn’t believe how little there was in our cart! I didn’t use any coupons this time, but I plan on starting to use them from now on. *I am an amateur coupon user!

After totaling up all the food needed for the meals (including a bag of tortilla chips, wheat thins and sandwich meat for lunches and snacks) the total cost of the food for two weeks was $47.42! Of course some of the ingredients we already had at home, but this was a huge improvement for us. In the past we would spend about $100 on each shopping trip and would go about twice a month. So, BIG improvement. I was able to make each meal with everything we bought and we had plenty of leftovers for lunches and leftover nights!
I think I will like this whole menu planning thing! Especially if it means more money in the bank!

Menu Planning

In a little over a month I will begin my student teaching, that will last for bout 4.5 months. During that time I will not be working (well at least not work that pays) so The Hubs and I are looking at ways to cut back, be more frugal and save money. One of the many ways we will be doing this is for me to start menu planning.

I have heard of many people who do this and have wanted to start, but never really had the push I needed. Well, only have one source of income for a few months is a great motivation! I decided to start in this last month so that by the time the school year rolls around I will be used to it and can work out any glitches. 
Basically the gist of menu planning is to decide exactly what meals you will make for a set time period and then shop for what you need for those meals. When going over our expenses The hubs and I found that one of the areas a lot of our money goes too is groceries. The real problem isn’t our big trips to the store but when I would decide to make something and have to run to the store for 2 or 3 things. Of course the 2 or 3 things would turn into 4 or 5 and the little trips to the store happened multiple times a week. By shopping only for the meals I will be making, it will cut back on those little trips and impulse buys. 
Lots of people do their planning and shopping weekly, but with my busy schedule I really don’t think that will work for me. I am going to do my menus two weeks at a time and my process will look something like this. 
I first decide what I will make for the two weeks and as I decide, I write down what items I will need to buy. I found this itemized list online to get more organized. 
Next I write out the meals on this DIY menu board I made using a frame and piece of fabric. This is a cute way to display the menu and cuts back on The Hubs asking “So what are we having for dinner?”

Then I made a dry-erase sheet for the second week, which will be switched out when week one is over. 
One of the things I read about menu panning is that it is important to work left-over nights into the schedule. This helps to cut back on shopping and for our family it works great because there are always lots of them with just the two of us! 
I am excited to start this process, work out the kinks and make it work for our little family! I will let you know how it goes!