So tonight I'm going to share with some not so secret things I do in my home that save me time, money and sanity ! I know lots of women have been doing this for ages but to me I only started menu planning a few months ago when baby number five was born. I never had to before because cooking comes fairly easy for me and it was hardly ever an issue to throw a meal together for my family or even if a group of people popped by unexpectedly. But once that last baby came my mind was just too cluttered and having a menu set out made one less thing to think about. So here's how I approach it.
I gather my flyers. I make my grocery list. We spend $140 a week for our family of seven. This includes diapers and any cleaning products, toiletries , laundry, pet food, etc. I mark down what I need and on my list I put in brackets which flyer contains the lowest price. On the left margin I write down a dollar figure rounded up. I total my expenses for the necessary items. With any money I have left I plan the extras based on the sales.
Then I continue with the other staples and end with sale items. When I shop I stick to the list, I buy seasonally , sale and bulk. We don't usually budget for snacks so if we want them I either bake them with on hand ingredients or I might use my spending money on that. This works well because I avoid impulsive eating a little ! When you get to the cash put the flyer sale items on the belt with the corresponding flyer - Walmart, Freshco and No Frills will price match.
When I make muffins, banana bread, cookies ,scones and such baking I measure twice and bag the dry ingredients. I label the bag with what wet ingredients need to be added and the oven temperature and baking time. How impressed are your unexpected guests when you whip up something special like that on the spot and all you did was beat an egg !
Recently I made an awesome breakfast casserole. I sprayed the baking dish with oil, layered leftover bread and whisked together eggs, leftover veggies, hashbrowns and poured it over top and baked it.
Your crockpot will make almost anything amazing with few ingredients and little time ! Chicken or pork chops with a can of mushroom soup, sliced mushrooms and onion flakes (of which I cannot say enough good things about). Chicken and/or ribs with a bottle of bbq sauce. Even simple meat sauce for pasta tastes so much better when it's been simmering all day !
Wraps, fajitas, whatever you want to call them. I put out a big pile of wraps (whole wheat and sometimes other flavours), put out all sorts of leftovers in little dishes with some shredded lettuce and grated cheese and usually sour cream and the kids eat it all up. They really love making their own food and it makes use of small amounts of leftovers instead of throwing them out.
Fruit that is passing it's time gets chopped up and thrown in a zip bag.Get ready for the GOLD NUGGET : chop up your bananas and dropped them in too. When the bag is full, pop it in the blender with some apple or orange juice and voila ! Smoothie !
Tomatoes get chopped and frozen to be added to pasta sauce... sometimes if I have the right stuff I make up a bag of stir fry type ingredients or pasta ingredients. Saves time and food does not go to waste. And as an added bonus the meal tastes much fresher than if you just use canned "stuff".
Here's a sample week;
Sunday - Breakfast : Banana bread, fruit, milk
Lunch : Chicken, roasted root vegetables, salad and cake
Dinner : Mac & Cheese
Monday -Breakfast : Cereal, fruit, milk
Lunch : Fajitas
Dinner : Pork chops, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and salad
Tuesday -Breakfast : Scrambled eggs and English muffins
Lunch : Sandwiches
Dinner : Pasta
Wednesday - Breakfast : Croissants, yogurt, milk
Lunch : Leftover pasta
Dinner : Tuna casserole with vegetables
Thursday-Breakfast : Cereal, fruit, milk
Lunch : left over casserole and salad
Dinner : Ham, mashed potatoes, salad
Friday - Breakfast : Eggs and toast, milk
Lunch : Leftovers
Dinner : Chicken, Rice and salad
Saturday- Breakfast : french toast, fruit, milk
Lunch : Sandwiches
Dinner : Shepherd's pie
If anyone is interested I can put up a whole month or give "recipes".
That's it for Food for Thought because I read that blogs are more appealing if they are kept short -oops.
Is there anything you want to know how I do ? I don't want to write braggy posts but I do want to make someone else's life easier if I can.
Daughter of The King
Wife to Richard
Mother to five beautiful boys
My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.