Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meal Plans

I used to cook out of the pantry. With fewer people I can't keep well-stocked the perishable parts of my pantry (particularly the produce). With a part-time job, I can't start cooking a real-food supper at 6:30 in the evening. Partly due to my own failures and partly due to inspiration from Erin, the last few weeks I've been trying to refine the meal plans so that I can make sure to buy the necessary ingredients and to prepare in advance for days when I'm not around to cook. This is what we've got for the upcoming days:

1. Lasagna, lettuce salad, pumpkin muffins.
2. Ham & beans, cornbread, fruit salad.
3. Split pea soup, bread, fruit salad.
4. Pizza, broccoli salad.
5. Gumbo, rice, pumpkin pie.
6. Fish tacos, cole slaw.
7. Baked beans, steamed carrots.
8. Barbecued pulled-beef sandwiches, green bean casserole.
9. Quiche, pineapple.
10. Enchilada soup, tapioca pudding.
11. Crab and California-blend veggies with rotini.
12. Shepherd's pie and a yet-to-be-determined side dish.
13. Salmon and other stuff.
14. Pork & veggie stir fry.

Lunches are
African peanut soup,
tuna salad,
lettuce salads,
baked potatoes,
deli meat sandwiches,
grilled cheese,
but mostly leftovers.

I like the feel of having this planned out. The question is, "Will I plan again in two weeks?"


  1. The good news is that you only have to go through one more two week planning session. Re-run this one in a month! You can sub in and out seasonal favorites, but you can use this two week plan and the next one over and over as your master meal plans.

    And now I am going to borrow some of your meal ideas for my plan next week. Thanks!

  2. I can't do that, Pam. I would like to try, but so much of my planning is based on what I can find available at a good price. I have found that I can make some meal plans before going to the store. This has become more important because of having fewer people and having less time to cook. But I still jot down ideas as I'm walking through the store. "Hey, look, this lettuce is on sale; we're going to have taco salad pretty soon" or "There are pork tenderloins for $4? Seriously? I'm nabbing one of those." It also depends on things like whether we'd use the whole ham for Sunday dinner (with company) or if much of the ham will be going into soups or red beans or something else. There's also the necessity to use up the meat in the freezer before getting another side of beef; it may be all burgers and steaks in summer, and roasts and soup bones in winter.

    Gary keeps telling me to come up with a weekly [repeating] menu plan. And here I am, freaking out over lack of variety if I tethered myself to a monthly meal plan!

  3. Susan, my plans are usually based on what I know Aldi usually has and then supplemented with stuff from Woodman's. Most of the time I go with a well thought list, but once in a while I live dangerously and plan as I go through the store and buy based on what I can find at a great price. Maybe I would save money if I lived dangerously more often!

    Don't think of it as tethering yourself to a plan. Think of it as an outline you can move things around on and fill in as you need to.

  4. Pam! Oh Pam, I was thinking I was talking to a Pam in North Dakota, not you Pam. Not that it changes what I said, but it confused the heck out of me when I thought DakotaPam was saying she shopped at Woodman's. Okay, now I'm caught up on your identity. :-)

    And you're right, I probably should at least try to use this plan as a general scheme. But there are so many meals that aren't on this list that I think I'd need a 6- or 8-week rotation instead of a monthly plan. And now I'm scheduled to work an extra day next week, and that's going to take reworking the meal plan. Oh well...

  5. Hahaha! I am the Stealth Pam who reads your blog! LOL

    North Dakota needs a Woodman's anyway.