Friday, April 10, 2015

Meal Planning 4/11-4/17

Every week I sit down with a pad of paper and plan out our meals for the next week. I do this for a few reasons but the biggest being I don't like going to the grocery store mid week. I'm not sure why but after work, I want to go home. I don't want to make any stops. So for the most part, unless it's an emergency (like running out of coffee) I won't go to the store mid week and we'll just make due with what we have. This is why it's important to make a pretty detailed list before we go shopping. Sometimes I may stray a little if I see a good deal and want to stock up on something but for the most part I stick with my list.

The first thing I think of before we go shopping is what do I already have on hand. I don't like wasting food or accumulating too much in our cabinets. Our new house has a lot less storage than our Colorado house so space is at a premium. Also, Costco (where we buy most of our meat) is further away than we are used to so we won't be going there weekly but instead every 3 weeks or maybe monthly.

Yes, it's that empty by the end of the week
The second thing I think of is what do we have going on that week. Do either Brian or I have a work event? Are we going out to eat? Do we want to make anything extra for the freezer? Right now I am trying to bulk up our freezer with meals, sides, different breads and breakfast items to make my going back to work transition a little easier. Even though I have always worked since having Jacob, between changing jobs and moving I will have been home for almost 2 months when I start my new job. Plus my hours are different so I will be getting home later than we're used to. For the next few weeks I have a goal of making 5 extra freezer meals and some sides/bread each week.

The third thing I think of is the weather. Wait, what? How does the weather impact cooking? The big question here, can we grill? I love grilling so if the weather is going to be nice you bet our grill is going to be on. Pittsburgh weather has a lot of afternoon/evening showers right now so grilling is a little iffy.

Trying to think of what to eat week after week can get a little daunting. Sometimes I get in a rut and we seem to eat the same things week after week. I like to have some favorites in the rotation but I also like to try a few new things ever week too. When I make my list I look at my stash of Cooking Light magazines and the Foodgawker app.

So, what are we eating this week?

Saturday: Slow cooker Tuscan white bean soup (Cooking Light, March 2015)

Sunday: Grilled whole chicken, potatoes and a vegetable

Monday: Chili Mac (Cooking Light, March 2014) I plan on doubling this recipe to have a few freezer meals

Tuesday: Beef tacos, slaw and a vegetable (Cooking Light, March 2015)

Wednesday: Roast pork tenderloin, thyme biscuits and a vegetable (Cooking Light, April 2015)

Thursday: Mini Greek style meatloaves, quinoa and a vegetable (Cooking Light, May 2013)

Friday: Out to eat

Freezer Extras:
Light Wheat Tortillas x 3
English Muffins
Crockpot Lime Pork
Tuscan Bean Soup

Grocery List:
2lb wheat pasta                  2lb mushrooms                 4 bell peppers                 freezer pans
veg x 4                               tomato sauce                     wheat flour                     cabbage
cilantro                              carrots                                baby spinach                  oranges
2lb sausage                        pork tenderloin                  bread flour                      mint
yogurt                                feta                                     lemons                            fruit
milk                                   2.5lb pork butt x 2             4 limes                            honey

Did you ever think blueberry pancakes could be so messy?

Do you meal plan?

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