Thursday, April 26, 2012

Meal Planning May

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, one way I am preparing myself for the return to work is by meal-planning. It seriously saves you so much time and money. I absolutely hate that feeling when you get home from work, you're starving, the kids are starving, and you are going from the pantry to the fridge and then back to the pantry, scratching your head and wondering what on Earth you are going to serve for dinner! Without meal-planning, I also run the risk of going to the grocery store every day. For some reason, when I go there, I'm just so concerned with getting in and out, I don't think past the moment and I never get more than I need for the dinner I will be preparing that evening. BUT...with my trusty list of preplanned meals, I can cut down on constantly going to the store and, if I'm being honest, the last minute pizza ordering that also often occurs when I'm not prepared! I thought I would share with you my meal plan for the month of May. I planned for 5 new meals per week with 2 days a week for left-overs. In reality, 5 meals for my family makes a lot of left-overs but I plan on packaging most of those into individual servings and freezing them. That way when I have to make my lunch the next day, I can just grab a pre-portioned meal and go!
I will also provide you with your weekly grocery list, but, please keep in mind that on the grocery list I am not including the staples that I'm thinking you would generally have in your home already (sugar, oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, spices, butter, etc.); please review the recipes before you go to the store so that you do not miss anything!
Here are the month's meals.  I have provided links to the recipes for each meal.  When there is no link (you will there's not suppose to be a link because the meal is not underlined in those cases), I am assuming that this is a general, everyone knows how to make it type meal.
The meal idea I am giving is for, in the most part, the main part of the meal, feel free to add your favorite side dishes.  When I include items like "garden salad" do what works best for you (add a bag of salad to your grocery list, make a salad from scratch, or replace it with your favorite rice, veggie, etc.).  Also note that some meals require some preparation the day before you plan on making it (for example, slow cooker recipes or marinating).

Week One Meals:
1. Meat loaf with garden salad
2.Garlic Parmesan Pork chops with noodles
4.Crockpot Chicken tacos (**slow cooker recipe - requires morning time prep!)
5.Make your own Pizzas (this is basically using all your left over veggies and cheese from the above recipes and making a pizza out of them!)
Week Two Meals:
1.Chicken roll-ups with steamed veggies
2.Crock pot stew (**slow cooker recipe - requires morning time prep!)
3.Beef Burritos
5. Spinach, grilled chicken, feta, and craisin salad (just toss these items together and finish off with some raspberry vinegrette!)
Week Three Meals:
1.Slow cooker ribs with wild rice and steamed veggies(**slow cooker recipe - requires morning time prep!)
The link provided for the ribs is only for the sauce used in this recipe, so use this sauce recipe on your ribs and put into slow cooker on low for 8 hours)
2.Roasted sausage, potatoes and peppers
4.Grilled chicken burgers and fries
5.Grilled chicken greek salad with couscous (I will blog the recipe for this in the coming days and refresh this post with the link to the recipe!)

Week Four Meals:
2.Pork kabobs with BBQ grilled veggies (low fat!(**requires morning time prep for marinating!)
3.Slow cooker jambalaya (**slow cooker recipe - requires morning time prep!)
4.Subs with raw veggies and dip
5.Potroast with garden salad and buns
Here are the grocery lists.  I suggest copying and pasting them into a word document as required!

Week One:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 4 pork chops
- 8 chicken breasts
- 2 avocados
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1 white onion
- 1 lemon
- 2 garlic bulb
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 lemon
- salad
- 3 egg
- sour cream
- 1 - 8 oz pkg of cream cheese (**optional to add to the crock pot chicken tacos!)
- 1 - 8 oz can of diced tomatoes
- red wine vinegar
- agave syrup
- 1 pkg. taco seasoning
- 1 jar of your favorite salsa
- Tortilla chips
- 3/4 cup of (shredded) Parmesan cheese - next week required a 1/4 cup of Parmesan as well so you could buy it now and store until then!
- large pkg. of favorite cheese (cheddar, jack, mozza, etc.) - this should be enough cheese for the chicken tacos, cobb salad, and the make your own pizza
- 1 cup of bread crumbs
- pizza dough (prepare or pre-made dough)
- soft or hard taco shells or tortillas
- package of noodles

Week Two:

- 1 - 8 oz pkg of cream cheese
- 3 cups of cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1 medium pkg. of mozza cheese
- 1 small container of feta cheese
- 1/4 cup of (shredded) Parmesan (if not bought in the previous week)
- 2 pkgs of refrigerated crescent roll dough
- 1 frozen bread dough
- broccoli florets
- 1 green bell pepper
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce (you may have some left from last week)
- 1 med. white onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 garlic bulb (you may have some left from last week)
- 1 pkg of craisins
- bag of baby spinach leaves
- salad
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 can of spaghetti sauce
- 1 pkg of taco seasoning
- 1 pkg of spaghetti noodles
- 1 bottle of raspberry vinegrette
- 4 chicken breasts
- 3 pounds of beef stew meat
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 pkg of Italian sausage (optional for the spaghetti bread)

Week Three:
- 1 pkg of pork ribs
- 1 pkg of Italian sausage
- 8 chicken breasts (depending on how many grilled chicken burgers you need! Remember you need chicken for the soup, greek salad, and the chicken burgers!)
- 2 garlic bulb
- 3 bell peppers
- 1 cucumber
- 2-3 tomatoes
- 2 large white onion
- 2 red onion (for grilled chicken burgers and the greek salad)
- 3 celery stalks
- 2 carrots
- 1 lemon
- fresh rosemary
- 2 Tbsp of (shredded) Parmesan
- 1 large container of feta cheese
- 1 medium pkg of Monterrey jack cheese (for grilled chicken burgers)
- dijon mustard
- cornstarch
- wild rice
- frozen or fresh veggies for steaming
- chicken stock (homemade or bought)
- 1 pkg of egg noodles
- 1 box of couscous
- 1 pkg of burger buns (for the grilled chicken burgers)
- Fries (homemade or premade)

Week Four:
- 1 romaine lettuce
- 6 celery stalks
- 3 tomatoes (for the buffalo chicken salad and the subs)
- 1 yellow and green zucchini
- mushrooms
- 3 bell peppers
- 1 red onion
- potatoes
- carrots
- 2 white onions
- raw veggies of your choice (to dip!)
- salad
- 1/2 cup of blue cheese
- 4 slices of bacon
- 4 chicken breasts (for the jambalaya and the buffalo chicken salad)
- 2 1/2 pounds of pork meat
- 1 pound of sausage
- 1 pound of shrimp
- 1 beef roast (your choice of size)
- fresh deli meats
- 1 jar of your favorite hot sauce
- 1 jar of veggie dip
- 1 - 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 pkg of long grained rice
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- Cajun spice mix
- sub buns
- dinner rolls (to go with pot roast)

So there you go!  Meals planned for the entire month, complete with weekly grocery lists to make all of the meals!  Easy peasy! 
Again, I would really suggest to you to review the recipes before going shopping to make sure that I have not missed anything you may not have in your home.  I know everyone has different staples so, please double check.  Also, some items you may be able to buy in the earlier weeks if it means buying in bulk and  saving some money!
I seriously hope that this helps you out as much as it does me!  If you plan on using this meal plan, please let me know how it went!!
Happy eating! :)

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