Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More planning--let's talk meals!

It's that time of month where I have to sit down with my calendar and plan our meals.  Since my hubby gets paid once a month, we get a majority of our shopping done at once.  We then fill in throughout the weeks as needed. 

This is our calendar.

I think I've had this same calendar for the last 4 or 5 years.  It is quite large.  I am able to get appointments on there along with our dinners, activities, etc.  This is one thing that I ask for at Christmas every year.

I have not completely filled in all of our meals for January, but it will be done before shopping this week.  We have a few staples that we just stick to on a regular basis.  One because they're easy.  Two because the girls love them.  Three they're not too bad in regards to eating healthy *it may not seem that way to you, but again...plan, plan, plan.*  The staples are:  Hebrew National hot dogs *the all beef ones*, boneless skinless chicken breasts, homemade waffles or pancakes, and this month we're getting back into making our own pizzas again.  We will also be using ground turkey in something (chili, meatloaf, burgers).  I think we will also be doing pasta of some sort this month too.

On the nights that we have pancakes/waffles, I often will make a veggie scramble for myself to go with them or opt out of the pancakes all together.  If I opt out of the pancakes, then I'll have some other form of carbohydrate.

Those are our dinners.  For breakfast, I generally eat a veggie scramble, along with one of a couple of items.  My carb choices for breakfast are:  Nature's Path SmartBran (measured using my scale-30g), 1 homemade Spiced Oat muffin, or 1 cup of cooked oatmeal (w/ a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, 2 tbsp pumpkin, and 1tsp Splenda brown sugar blend).  If I'm having cereal, I use the Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Breeze.  I also have coffee with either sugar free or fat free creamer in it.  My lunch usually consists of a salad (2c lettuce), some type of meat on it, 2 tbsp of light cheese, and some homemade light ranch.  I will often throw 9g of chopped unsalted almonds on top.  I also vary my dressing, but right now the ranch tastes good.  I also enjoy peanut butter, so I will have 2 slices of homemade low carb bread and some peanut butter on it.  Snacks depend on my mood, but can include:  an apple, a string cheese, some almonds, turkey pepperoni, or Greek yogurt *the Brown Cow yogurt from Sam's Club is AWESOME!!*

I guess that about covers it.  Again, I plan, plan, plan.  I make our bread *except for the 9 grain organic bread that I picked up for my hubby with our Bountiful Basket...I'll get more into the basket in another post*.  I've also been making my bread to help save money.  I have also ordered my first 4 pack of Kamut flour to use in place of whole wheat flour.  I am anxious to try it out.

Maybe you're thinking, "I often don't feel like what I have planned for that night.  What do I do?"  Sometimes I'll swap it for another night.  I don't usually put a specific chicken meal on the calendar, I just write 'chicken'.  That just means I can cook whatever I want that night as long as it includes chicken.  If I really don't feel like what's on the menu, I will serve the girls sandwiches and I'll make myself another salad.  Play with your meals.  Nothing ever needs to be set in stone.  You could also make a list of meals that you have the ingredients for and then pick one for each day as you get to it.

Why plan your meals?  1) It saves you money.  2) When you have a busy schedule, knowing what will be put on the table that night is a huge plus.  This also applies to if you're making a crockpot meal.  Throw it in first thing in the morning and have something yummy waiting for you when you get home.  3)  It saves you time.  If you have your meals planned even for the week, it'll keep you from guessing every day what you'll have for dinner.  4)  It allows your older children to know what's for dinner, since it's on the calendar.  The big girls often ask me what I'm making for dinner and it's nice to be able to say, "What's on the calendar?" 

What are you making for dinner tonight?  I made mini turkey meatloaves last week in a double batch.  I've pulled the other half out of the freezer for our dinner tonight.  We will be having mixed vegetables with them.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.  I am happy to answer them to the best of my ability.  Now go!  And plan some more!


  1. I'd love to know your homemade ranch recipe.

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  3. http://selfreliancebyjamie.blogspot.com/2011/08/tis-seasonings.html

    I use light mayo and fat free buttermilk (1tbsp vinegar and fill to 1c line with skim milk) instead of the full fat stuff. It is YUMMY!