Now that school is in full swing and my own fall schedule is kicking in this week, planning is pretty important for meals and my days. If my meals are planned and I have everything on hand, my potential for frantic is greatly reduced.
The refrigerator is almost empty, thank goodness. Why? Way too many leftovers! Time to make the grocery list and plan the menu. We are cutting back in as many ways as we can knowing there are changes ahead. The largest expense we have is food and other items for running our household like paper goods, toiletries and batteries. I usually have coupons for most of those items. I catch the specials for stocking up and for meat. It is rare for me to buy meat that is not on sale. Our Giant store card plus points for gas add up savings too.
Though I use coupons I do not buy to hoard or anything I know my family will not eat. Wasteful. My mom would always say she did not want her money sitting on the pantry shelf. Looking back, she was an amazing household manager like so many of her generation. Even more so these days, I practice those same principles.
Mom’s weekly menu was planned by the meat. As I recall, hamburger on Monday, pork Tuesday, church pot luck Wednesday. That was always homemade mac ‘n cheese and baked beans. You get the idea. Beef, pork, hamburger, chicken, the occasional seafood. Frozen chicken pies at a quarter with a baked potato, spaghetti with meat sauce every week. Tuesday was pie making day and Friday she made cake. Simple dishes. She was a good cook but efficient. Hearty, healthy and delicious.
Saturday was busy for me so before I headed out for a 8AM appointment, I tossed a pork shoulder in the crock pot. Yum. I tossed in some cut up unpeeled apples and a chucked up onion. Don’t you just love those tossed style meals? So easy and quick. That was it! So delicious. I enjoyed mine shredded wrapped up in a tortilla seasoned with BBQ sauce and a side of applesauce. The options were set out. The love gals had the leftover twice baked potatoes. Jim and I had the wraps. There was enough left for Sunday night dinner, which generally a very casual meal.
Our family sits together for our evening meals and Sunday lunch. Of course there are exceptions but not many. Since they are both in middle school now, some changes have been made. Sometimes we eat while watching a movie together. Gasp! Yes, we do. We spend lots of time, good times together. Our schedules occasionally pull us away but we always come back together and usually around a special meal.
My daughter and her gang come for a meal at least every 2 weeks; some times more. During the summer we had lots of lunches together. The Sweet Peas love their aunties. Last week, I invited them and started preparing 2 hours before dinner time. It wasn’t early enough it turned out. Several potty accidents, a failed attempt at plunging that resulting in a flooding, a stopped up toilet twice that was resolved after a trip to Home Depot and taking the toilet off to reach down to get the rag that was flushed down. Trying to get things cleaned up too fast or with too many helpers just doesn’t work sometimes. You know how life can be with 3 toddlers around! Whew! But my bathroom floor is really, really clean, Nancy took care of that while I finished up dinner. We finally sat down later than expected. We took a post dinner rest while the little ones were put down for bed and finally sat down for our Gang of Four card game! You just have to be more than flexible on nights like that. Laughing and shaking our heads at the silliness of it was all we could do.
Breakfast: Quesadillas, eggs, pancakes, bagels and English muffins with cheddar slices and pastrami, fruit, crepes. Always try to include some protein. This is especially important since the love gals have the late lunch slot and no snack time.
Lunch: salad, ham sandwiches, vegetable soup, baked potato soup, and yes, leftovers. Most days the love gals pack for lunch. My husband works from home 2 days a week so they get eaten if I have planned well.
Snack: almonds, baked items such as cookies, cupcakes, muffins, fruit, raw veggies, cheese crackers, Simple trail mix. Middle schoolers can eat their weight in snacks still have dinner and gain no weight if they are as active as mine are! Love Princess who is running cross-country eats from the time she get home through dinner!
Simple Trail Mix: 1 regular sized bag of small pretzels, 1 cup raisins, 1 sm can or cup favorite nut(s) we like mixed or cashews, 1 12.6 oz M&M’s Great to add to packed lunches too!
Monday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans and tomato slices from the garden, muffins
Tuesday: Pork, hope there is a good sale on some chops, wild rice, asparagus, mixed salad
Wednesday: Church Wed Nite’rs start this week
Thursday: Beef, baked sweet potatoes or rice, brocoli, mixed salad
Friday: Roasted chicken, sautéed spinach, cheesy grits, French bread
Saturday: Grill (Checking out the specials)
Sunday: Crock Pot roast with vegetables, rolls
Try to remember when your week gets hectic that the Lord tells us
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:10-12
trying to keep the joy going!
take a look and it would be so nice if you followed me!
I am sharing at
http://www.stonegableblog.com, On the Menu Monday
http://www.iheartnaptime.net, Weekly Menu