Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Meal Planning

To save on the overwhelming, negative feeling associated with the question, "What am I going to do about dinner?", I have been trying really hard to decide what we are going to have each night of the week for supper in advance.

It is such a sense of relief to either have dinner done, or at least planned before the kids go down for their naps. Then I can either: prepare the putsy parts of dinner while the kids are out of my hair, or do nothing at all because dinner will take care of itself. Like, a crock pot meal or something that can be easily put together over an episode of Caillou.

The boys and I headed to Aldi this morning to pick up all the food and drink we would need for the week. I shop for 85% of my groceries at Aldi, 5% at Cub, 5% at Target, and 5% at Bob's Produce.

I had a few recipes in mind before heading out the door which helps me keep my grocery shopping in our budget. I don't want to make all the same meals as last week, so let's go over what my little family ate. Last week's dinner menu's consisted of:

Monday: Turkey meatloaf with baby red mashed potatoes and lemon salad. Recipe here.
Tuesday: Pork tenderloin with garlic herb angel hair pasta.
Wednesday: Grilled turkey BLT sandwiches with pasta salad and BBQ kettle chips.
Thursday: Ground beef soft shell tacos with nacho cheese.
Friday: Frozen pizza (from the $3.33 Target deal) and pineapple.
Saturday: Ate at a going away party.
Sunday: Ate at a super bowl party.

Maybe it is the preggo brain of mine, but I really wanted to try to make Tator Tot Casserole this week:

Photo Credit // Simply Being Mommy
I think it is something the kids will love and it seems really easy to make. I can also make this meal  to feed the kids and I at 5:30, and Pete at 7.

I also love crock pot beef stroganoff lately and put this recipe on my menu this week. Plus, I saw in Aldi's Sunday add that Egg Noodles were on sale for $.99.

Photo Credit // The Crockstar
I found a recipe for BLT dip, which sounded so fantastic, I decided to make some sort of BLT dinner again this week.We don't ever go through the whole pound of bacon. As you read, we already did grilled sandwiches last week, so I might get creative with this one, somehow.

Photo Credit // Gooseberry Patch
In addition to these three recipes, I have chicken breasts and NY strip steaks in the freezer. This takes care of the Monday through Friday meals! Pete and I allow ourselves to take the kids out to eat one night a week, and order in one night a week, as well. We don't do this every week, but some weeks we go out to eat more than once. Budgeting for out to eat dining is one of our biggest issues. We hate the money we spend dining out, but we also really enjoy the experience of it.

So, here is what our menu looks like this week. I hope to save the crock pot meal for a night I might be out of the house with the kids visiting a friend or going over to my parents. I also want to make the BLT dinner Thursday, so I can take the BLT dip to share at my Grandma's house on Friday morning.

Monday: Tator Tot Casserole.
Ground beef = $3.99/lb
Tator tots = $1.49/bag
Cream of chicken soup = $.59
Cream of mushroom = $.59
Onion = already have.
Cheese = already have.
Romaine salad (1 stalk out of a bag of 3) = $.66
Total = $7.32

Tuesday: Chicken and rice bake (with biscuits), or chicken pot pie.
Chicken = from the freezer.
Rice = already have.
Onion = already have.
Celery = $.99
Cream of chicken soup = already have.
Baking mix (similar to Bisquick) = $1.99
Romaine salad (1 stalk out of a bag of 3) = $.66
Total = $3.64

Wednesday: Crock pot beef stroganoff.
Steak = $7.34/1.64 lbs.
Cream cheese = already had.
Golden mushroom soup = $1.27
Egg noodles = $.99
Total = $9.60

Thursday: BLT Sandwiches.
Bacon = $3.99/lb
Wheat bread = $.99
Romain Lettuce (1 stalk out of a bag of 3) = $.66
Mayo = already have.
Pasta salad = $.89/box
Total = $6.53

Friday: We have a hockey game, so maybe we will go out to eat this evening.
Saturday: NY Strip Steak from the freezer.
Sunday: Pizza night.

I don't think our menu looks too shabby this week! What are you cooking for dinner this week? Have any suggestions for my creative BLT night?


  1. Wow! You are, definitely, your Gramma Gleason's granddaughter! Your strog crock pot looks fab (and easy). Where was the steak from? Stop slipping turkey in all over the place though. BACON!

    1. Thanks, Kate! I really do try, you know.... Hopefully, I can bring some yummy bacon dip over for our Friday "dance par-ty!". Love you!

  2. Hey MB. I recently started meal planning and love it!!! I signed up for e meals. They send you weekly meal plans with all the ingredients. You pick the kind of food you want and the store you shop at. It tells you the exact price will will spend for the week. I can't express how much easier my life is!! Check it out. We should hang or again soon :) Hope the pregnancy is going well.

    1. Hey Callie!
      E meals through here? Where do you do the majority of your shopping at? Cub?

      Thanks for the well wishes! I am 16 weeks today and already feel about 30... It is hard to keep a calm face sometimes :)

      Yes, we should get together again, soon! Are there any play places in Blaine? Maybe at the community center?



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