Posted by: spaghettipie | November 12, 2007

Menu Plan Monday (#8)

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Happy Monday! In an effort to ensure every post ties directly to stewardship, I thought I’d take a little time to explain why I participate in Menu Plan Monday each week. For me, planning my menu in advance helps me to save time later in the week. Half the battle of cooking healthy meals at home is deciding what to make. By planning my menu in advance, I already know what I’m going to cook and that I have all the ingredients. Certainly we are flexible with our meals, and sometimes we don’t follow the plan. In fact, I don’t think I made half of what I intended to make last week. But the stress of deciding can be eliminated (or at least relegated to one day.) Additionally, menu planning helps me focus my grocery shopping to only those things I need. I don’t buy extra food we don’t need, and a lot less food goes to waste because I didn’t get around to cooking it. Lastly, I try to ensure we have healthy, well-balanced meals. By planning in advance, I don’t resort to processed foods (without vegetables) nearly as much. I find it easier to be intentional about what we eat when I’m not deciding last minute.

That said, each week along with the menu, I plan to offer a menu planning tip that I have found useful. If I can, I’ll also try to explain my thought process in planning that week’s menu. That way, if you find menu planning difficult, then perhaps you can walk through doing one with me (in a virtual sort of way!)

Monday – Lunch: Out with friends, Dinner: Stir fry with rice noodles, flank steak and veggies
We didn’t actually eat the steak from last week, but I went ahead and cooked it so it wouldn’t go bad. I bought rice noodles the other day because we haven’t had them in a while. We just received a delivery from the co-op with lots of veg, so I’ll be a dicing queen tomorrow night. I might not make it to the grocery store tomorrow, so this will use up several items in my pantry and fridge. Plus, it’s quick to make, and I have an early meeting.

Tuesday – Lunch: Tuna salad, Dinner: Taco Tuesday
Going out to dinner is a treat, but “Taco Tuesday” at a local Mexican place makes it easy. Who can beat $3 per taco plate? Our whole family eats for less than $10.

Wednesday – Lunch: Pasta and salad, Dinner: Homemade hamburger pizza
I have a pizza crust already made and frozen, as well as ground beef from the butcher. I’ll add a few of those co-op veggies, and we’ll be set with an easy, tasty dinner.

Thursday – Lunch: Sandwich, Dinner: Salmon, potato wedges, fresh veggies
We haven’t had fish in a while, so this will be great to add back to our menu. I think this will be the first food I actually need to buy at the grocery store.

Friday – Lunch: Picnic at the zoo, Dinner: Steph’s Crockpot Stroganoff, pumpkin
I didn’t get to this one last week either. I’m anxious to try the stew meat we picked up at a local butcher, particularly as friends told us that it was excellent.

Saturday – Lunch: Leftovers, Dinner: Not sure
Not quite sure what our dinner plans will be for Saturday. I’ll just leave it open in case we decide to go out or need to eat some of the leftovers in the fridge.

Sunday – Lunch: Sandwiches or leftovers, Dinner: Chicken on the grill, grilled veg
I’ll be out with my writer’s group for dinner, so my daughter and husband will have to fend for themselves.

Menu Planning Tip: If scheduling out your menu plan per day stresses you out or feels a little too, well, planned, then try planning out your meals, but not assigning the day. That way you can pick and choose your meal each night, sort of like a restaurant. And you’ll still be sure to have the ingredients you need.

Thanks for stopping by this week. For more menu planning inspiration, check out Org Junkie.

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Responses

  1. the crockpot stroganoff sounds delicious!! What a great looking week ahead.

  2. Great menu and great advice about how to plan them! 🙂

  3. AMTG – Glad you stopped by. I keep meaning to make that stroganoff, and then put it off. Hopefully we’ll get to it this week!

    N – Thanks so much for dropping in.


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