Meal Plans (and then something even better)

10 more days of meal plans:

10/1 - Breakfast for dinner: pancakes, bacon, hash browns, scrambled eggs
10/2 - crock-pot chili (not completely decided on the recipe yet, but probably one similar to this) with grilled cheese sandwiches
10/3 - tortellini pasta with spinach, chicken, and alfredo sauce
10/4 - leftovers
10/5 - pepperoni pizza or calzone with french fries and lettuce salad
10/6 - kebabs on the grill
10/7 - snacks (this is the night we get together with folks from church)
10/8 - crock-pot pork roast with oven-roasted vegetables and lettuce salad
10/9 - Mexican enchiladas (tweaking this recipe)
10/10 - sausage and wild rice casserole

One tiny thing I've added in is a "leftovers" night.  If I'm making casseroles and soups that serve 6-8, there's always plenty for at least an extra dinner.

Since a lot of my recipes tend to have the same kind of ingredients in them, I try to save myself some time by prepping large quantities at once so I can pull them out of the fridge later.  For example, this week I will cook up a pound of dry beans to use in chili and then in the enchiladas (also, the kiddo loves beans for snacks).  I'll make a couple loaves of bread (in the bread machine, of course) for grilled cheese and breakfast toast, and when I chop up veggies for kebabs I'll chop a little extra to roast a couple of days later.

Both the chili (on 10/2) and the casserole (on 10/10) have sausage, so I may try to prepare the casserole a few days early and stick it in the freezer.

And now, for something even better than a ten-day meal plan: this sweet girl!  She's 21 months old today, and is into hairbows (she calls them "he-bows"), books ("Mommy read" and "Daddy read" rarely gets a "no" around here), and playing games involving giggles.  She's practicing the stink-eye when she doesn't get her way (which makes standing firm on discipline rather difficult) and loves giving the dog his treat after a walk.  What a fun kid!

We can't get enough of this face.


  1. I love all your ideas. I have been having a really hard time coming up with dinner ideas, so thanks for sharing.
    I thought I would share what I have been doing/planning, too. Since the move I started buying gift cards. One to the produce store I love and one to the main grocery store. I decide my food budget for the month and then on the first put the money on the cards. That way I cannot go over. I made a rule...no using my debit card to buy groceries! This is the 3rd month and it has worked really well. I have such a hard time staying on target with my budgets.

    Here is my list of meals, inspired by you, that actually might last most the month except for buying the staples and veggies we need weekly.

    Chicken Florentine Pasta (Pioneer Woman)
    Meaty Spinach Manicotti (Taste of Home)
    Autumn Chowder (Taste of Home) & drop biscuits
    Quiche (I need a recipe!)
    Crock Pot Sesame Chicken (Pinterest)
    Tortilla Soup
    Chicken and Salad
    Spaghetti with Meatballs
    Italian Chicken Soup (PW)
    Taco Salad
    Salmon Pockets
    Sushi & eggrolls

    I had a few things in the freezer (the meatballs, salmon, and the sushi and eggrolls from the event that didn't happen) So that helps. If I pull it off, it will the smallest grocery budget yet! Fingers crossed.

  2. P.S. I also have a bunch of leftover and breakfast for dinner nights in there. Plus one night of the week we have a pizza at the church.

    Sorry its such a long comment.

  3. So awesome, Katherine. Thank you for inspiring me! I have long been on a "$X per week" budget for food, but used our card (to get airline miles) and mostly stayed within budget, but never knew for certain. Your plan came right after I'd officially switched to cash for groceries (though, Katie, your gift card idea is GREAT too!) and was feeling a little overwhelmed. Not sure WHY I'd never thought to carry a calculator - now I do it every week! I did it in Once Upon a Child yesterday! :) Thanks for giving me a boost, and thanks to you AND Katie for these great lists to help with ideas (which is the hardest part for me). I should blog about it too so we can all get ideas from each other!