Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Planning Ahead....

My friend Marybeth, Cheaper by the Half Dozen Marybeth, is a phenomenal mom, wife and writer...I could give you many examples to support that statement, trust me. But one of the top reasons, she is a good steward of her family's money. (She and her hubby Curt have a book that every married couple should read about finance and marriage..super great goal is to have our family on a simliar budget as theirs..and oh yeah - they have 6 kids. SIX. That is not a typo.)

One way Marybeth keeps control of the expenditures is by planning meals that the kids will enjoy, that are good for them, and keeping to the menu. (Although she admits to every once in a while skipping a nightly meal for a chic-fil-a kids eat free night.)

I did this once in the fall and I was so proud of myself. I felt like I had control of what was going on in my house during a crazy time (that was when I was pta president and I needed to stay in control of one more thing.)

So I am sort of over my pouting about school being in session and decided to take back control back and put my house in order. I started with the menu and planned out 8 nights of yummy dinners.

Let me give my disclaimer - all recipes but two i got from the RecipeZaar!!! Gotta love this website let me tell ya, it's the best!!! It is super user friendly and you can "filter" any option that you can possibly imagine!! Want recipes with under fifteen minutes. Done. 5 ingredients or less. Done. Main Meals. You bet cha.

So here's what's cooking here in the Dub Household ...

  • Monday night we had Ravioli in a Dish. I used frozen cheese ravioli this time. They also have meat ravioli and a portabella mushroom ravioli. I might try one or both next time. (Got the ravioli from Aldi) Very yummy and the whole family liked it!! There were only 4 ingredients and it took 10 minutes ish to prep and 25 minutes total cook time. I forgot to put the garlic bread in the oven, which was ok with the kids, so we had buttered white bread instead.
  • Tuesday we had Cheesy Chicken Casserole. Again, kids loved it. Lola took the leftovers for lunch today she enjoyed it so much. 5 ingredients. I served it with buttered noodles and green peas.
  • Tonight (Wednesday) we had one dinner that was not from the Recipe Zaar. It was a dinner that one of my friends from the PTA brought over during the whole NICU stay. It's called Chicken Sundae's and if you don't like it, it's your own fault. I think it is a fun "Bar" idea. I served it with pineapple a la Dub. (Baked pineapple with lots of brown sugar and pecans)
  • Thursday is Taco Bake night. This has a tad more ingredients but is still super simple and looks really good. 15 minutes prep time and then just bake easy is that. I"ll serve this with Mexican rice.....
  • Friday night we are having grilled pork tenderloin and tossed salad, again, not from Recipe Zaar. This is a family favorite.....of course they would like it even more if my cousin in law would drive down here from VA to cook it, he has a secret marinade that he uses on the pork tenderloin at the beach and it really is the BEST.
  • Saturday night is Baked Tortellini with Italian Sausage. 7 ingredients with 10 minute prep time...garlic bread and leftover salad.
  • Sunday is a Chicken Casserole with Chipped Beef. I personally love me some chipped beef (of course it's usually in gravy served over biscuits :D) I'll probably serve this with some yummy green beans and either rice or mashed potatoes.
  • Monday Italian Style Chicken and Rice. 4 ingredients....5 minutes prep time and 30 minutes cook time. Monday is typically my get straight around the house day so this will be something that I can do ahead and have ready for a nice dinner for the everyone on a Monday..who likes Mondays anyways?
  • And then to wrap it up on Tuesday night, soccer practice night, it's a classic Macaroni and Beef Casserole. This is another easy kid pleaser around here. This is go well with green beans and applesauce!!!

I'll probably do Baked Potato Bar on Wednesday night next week because I got some great baking potatoes at my favorite grocery store, Aldi. By the way. I got all the families grocery needs for these meals, plus lunch and breakfast stuff, at Aldi with the exception of 7 things, which I picked up at Bi-Lo. I spent less than $200.00 on all the groceries for three meals a day, including snacks for a family of 5 for 8 (or 9) nights. This is also not taking into account that I can shuffle a night if I need to because of left far, we have had minimal leftovers..which around here is a good sign.

So that's the plan. I'm going to stick to it. I should not have to do a big grocery store run again until next Friday :D I'll do a quick pick up of a fresh loaf of bread, milk and dishwasher detergent tomorrow...other than that, we are good to go and I feel so good and in control of what my family is eating. Trying to figure out what's for dinner at the spur of the moment and running into the HT throwing away $60 really gets old!!!

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