Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year! It's been a busy few days - we had a big family gathering here on New Year's Day and then yesterday was my MIL's birthday and a visit with Shane's side of the family. The kids are out of their routine, tired & cranky - so it's no wonder they have been demanding extra TLC! But Sam is down for a long winter's nap and Grayson is having a little quiet time and watching "UP" which he got for Christmas (thanks Auntie Maja!) So I finally have a few minutes to write down some things I want to take care of this year and organize myself for this month. Yup...I am planning meals for the whole month!

As I wrote the other day - Crystal and Jessica are hosting an Eat from the Pantry Challenge that I will be joining in on. I took an inventory of all the food I had in the freezer, pantry and fridge and planned 20 meals using those items. Each week I can choose 5 (a variety of chicken, pork, beef or meatless) and then figure on leftovers, our regular Friday night pizza or eating out for the other 2 meals. I'm realistic enough to say that I am sure there will be a few changes along the way - especially when it comes to leftovers and opportunitites to eat out!

Here are the 20 meals I could make with what's in the house right now (although I may have to buy fresh ingredients like sour cream and vegetables to the shopping list depending on the week I plan to make each recipe). Note: Each time I add a meal to one of my menu plans in the next four weeks I will cross it off here. Just my way of staying organized!

  1. Chicken and Stuffing Bake
  2. Chicken Broccoli Divan
  3. Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta with Veggies and Dip
  4. Cheese Strata with Veggies and Dip (meatless)
  5. Meatballs & Rice with Mixed Veggies
  6. Shake & Bake Chicken, Mushroom Rice and Broccoli
  7. Hamburger Soup, Buns and Salad
  8. Hamburger Soup, Buns and Salad (I have 2 batches of soup in freezer)
  9. Ham, Scalloped Potatoes and Mixed Veggies
  10. Loaded Baked Potato Chowder with Salad (meatless if no bacon added)
  11. Pot Roast
  12. Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Veggies and Dip (meatless)
  13. Sweet and Tangy Chicken with Rice and Broccoli
  14. Lasagna with Salad and Garlic Bread
  15. Grilled Steaks (hot dogs for the boys), Baked Potatoes and Corn
  16. Shepherds Pie (Brown 1 pound ground beef with some chopped onions. Add leftover or frozen peas and carrots, beef stock, leftover gravy or a boulion cube and water. Cook about 10 minutes until meat is no longer pink. Spoon into casserole dish. Top with 1 can cream of mushroom soup then a layer of mashed potatoes (fresh or leftover). Bake in  350 degree oven 30 - 40 minutes until hot and bubbly. Adda little shredded cheddar cheese over top if desired - my kids like it this way) and Salad
  17. Salmon in Teriyaki Sauce, Rice and Mixed Veggies
  18. Chicken Nuggets, Fries, Veggies & Dip
  19. Meatloaf & Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Peas
  20. Spaghetti & Tomato Sauce, with Salad and Garlic Bread (meatless)
As for our other meals - breakfasts are usually waffles, cereal, oatmeal, toast with peanut butter or cheese, yogurt, fruit etc. Lunches are often sandwiches, leftovers, Alphagettis, Mac & Cheese, cheese & crackers, fruit etc. And since I received my new breadmaker for Christmas, I plan on making bread, pizza dough and baked goods with it.

It's crazy that I have this much food in the house. I hope this will cut the grocery bill, clean out the freezer and pantry and provide me a little lesson in getting and staying organized...who knows, monthly plans might be the way to go!

Watch for weekly menus based on these 20 dishes each Monday along with updates on how we're doing!

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2 comments

  1. I'm so impressed with your planning for the month. I am trying to use up what's in my pantry and freezer as well. I just wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy New Year and invite you to join me each week for Crock Pot Wednesday. I hope you can make it this week. Mister Linky will be up by Tuesday evening.

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  2. Noreen I am super impressed! I really need to get on top of my meal planning and cutting the grocery bill too. Can't wait to see how it unfolds!

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