Meal Planning

I’ve been slacking in my meal planning lately. When I do get around to planning meals, I generally plan about three weeks’ worth.

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know that right now, my job is in jeopardy and so we are cutting back BIG TIME in order to prepare for the worst. And cutting back means meal planning.

I love Crockpot meals. Unfortunately, I’m away from home about 10 ½ hours a day, so there are many Crockpot meals that I can’t make when I’m working. Even though my larger one switches to “warm” when it’s done, most of the recipes call for it being on low for six hours, or in some cases, eight. If it’s on low for another 2 ½ to 4 ½ hours, the meat is most likely going to dry out.

To combat this, I try to do Crockpot meals on weekends or do a Crockpot meal that takes a while (like stew) during the week. I also try to plan for days that Huzzy has duty and have a meal that will have lots of leftovers the day before since he has 24 hours of duty and must take at least three meals with him. Also, when I know a meal makes a lot of leftovers (like a turkey or a ham), I plan subsequent meals that will use the leftovers.

So here’s my meal plan for the next three weeks (including the last three nights):

Sunday 8th: Crockpot Pepper Steak
Monday 9th: Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs
Tuesday 10th: Steak Nachos
Wednesday 11th: Bacon Wrapped Steak with baked potatoes and veggies
Thursday 12th: Crockpot Beef Stew
Friday 13th: Chicken Patties/whatever
Saturday 14th: Crockpot Stuffed Bell Peppers
Sunday 15th: Crockpot Herbed Turkey and sides
Monday 16th: Turkey Tetrazinni
Tuesday 17th: Chicken and Rice Casserole
Wednesday 18th: Steak Kebabs
Thursday 19th: Chicken and Apple Brats and baked beans
Friday 20th: Sloppy Joes
Saturday 21st: Homemade Enchiladas
Sunday 22nd: Baked Lemon Pasta
Monday 23rd: Crockpot Ham & Pineapple with rice
Tuesday 24th: Chicken Patties/whatever
Christmas: Orange-glazed ham, baked stuffing, pistachio pudding salad, pumpkin cream cheese pie, veggies
Thursday 26th: Ham & Pasta Skillet
Friday 27th: Mac & Cheese with ham
Saturday 28th: Homemade ham and green pepper/ham and pineapple pizza

While I had a bunch of stuff in our cupboard (always look to see what you have first and try to make meals from that!), I did need to go shopping. I still need to get the Christmas ham and the steak kebabs, but I purchased all I needed for just $66 today. I expect the ham and steak kebabs to cost me another $35 (ham is EXPENSIVE!). So that’s just about $100 for two people to eat for three weeks. I could do better if I didn’t go to the expensive grocery store (they have better meat)–as I usually go to a cheaper one–and didn’t have to purchase the expensive ham (our splurge for Christmas dinner). I think without buying the ham but WITH buying stuff that I had in the cupboard, I could probably get away with $200 a month in groceries. Maybe having to stretch it to $250.

So what’s your meal plan?

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9 thoughts on “Meal Planning

  1. one of my secrets because I’m out of the house 12+ hours a day is to put things in the crock pot over night and then in the AM when I get up i put one portion in my lunch bag for work and the rest in the fridge for that night or the next day.

  2. One of my favorites for meal planning has been this book:

    I try to meal plan a month at a time (ambitious, I’ll admit!) and then do one massive commissary trip. This past trip, I spent about $170 between Sam’s and the commissary, and got all of my meals minus Christmas and New Year’s (going to get those closer to). Last Thursday we did a massive day of prepping, making chicken curry (3 bags, each two nights), beef stroganoff (3 bags, two nights), honey chicken (3 bags, two nights), chili (4 bags, two nights), apple pork (3 bags, two nights) and then another recipe from pinterest that was two bags and should last two nights. Tomorrow I’m making stuffed peppers and I’m going to make enough to freeze some back as well. So hopefully I have a bunch of meals to carry me into the spring. The downside was, since almost every recipe involved onions, my house smelled like onions for an entire day afterwards!

    I also lucked out the last time I was at the commissary. The family packs of ground beef were $2/lb and tbones were $3/lb. Needless to say I bought a bunch and froze it back in vacuum bags, because I’m always grabbing beef out of the freezer to make spaghetti!

  3. This is awesome. Do you ever just have leftover nights? Or does all that get devoured for lunches? I am super-impressed at your crockpot use even with the limitation!

  4. Cat: almost all leftovers are eaten for lunches. Saves on that money, too! For example, I made the beef stew for dinner tonight and even though it was HUGE, it will only be enough leftovers for one lunch for me and 2 meals Huzzy needs for his 24hr duty tomorrow through Saturday! He’ll still need to make a sandwich for the third meal.

  5. Damn you are good! I could or can never get it to $200 a month for hubby and myself. Keep posting your meal planning it is giving me great advice!

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