Last week’s meal plan was followed fairly closely, more closely than I expected with first getting back to it.
For this week’s meal plan, I had our 14-year-old daughter help me and showed her in more detail how I plan out the food.
First we checked the refrigerator to see what fresh stuff needs used up and what needs used up immediately and what can wait a few more days. The carrots, cauliflower, and cabbage will be used later in the week, and we’ll use up the perishing soon items the first couple of days of the week.
Then we checked the freezer to see what meat, vegetables and fruits we have on hand, noting anything we’re low on and also what we can use this week.
The last step is going through the pantry to note any items that are included in the menu we’re planning to ensure we have what’s needed. This includes things like pasta, canned tomatoes, baking items, etc.
And then we have a list of meals that we turn into a grocery list. I’m a bit of an organizing freak, plus I don’t really love grocery shopping especially not right now in these strange times, so I put the grocery list in order of the store. This week we’ll be hitting up the Walmart Supercenter and only need a small amount of items, food and nonfood, to round out what we have on hand.
Here’s what we’re planning to eat for meals this week:
This is a combination of items we made last week and froze and stuff we’re planning to make and have on hand, mostly in the freezer. (Our new toaster oven we ordered should be here this week, and this is one of the reasons we got it – reheating breakfast items from the freezer!)
- Orange Cranberry Muffins
- Sausage Egg Muffins – My daughter will finish these off, but it wasn’t as good as the recipe I used to use so I’ll try to find that one.
- Raspberry Almond Scones
My daughter always has whatever smoothie I make as well. My vitamin C and vitamin D supplements finally arrived so I have to make it a strict habit to have a smoothie each morning so I can put the vitamin liquid in it and get it all down at once.
For lunches we always have sandwich stuff on hand because that’s what my husband usually takes to the job site each day. Sometimes my daughter will have a sandwich but often she will make a cheese quesadilla with whatever raw vegetables we have on hand.
I will have leftovers or salad this week for lunches.
Our grocery shopping day this week is Friday so that’s when I started my meal plan.
Friday: Crock-Pot Pulled Pork with Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Baked Beans & Homemade Buns
I like to have an easy meal at least for the main dish on grocery shopping days. We live 40 minutes from shopping and run multiple errands for our family and my mom so it’s a couple to few hours adventure.
The sides for this meal will also be for tomorrow’s meal so a fairly easy two meals.
Saturday: Bratwursts with Leftover Sides & Buns
We’ll make the homemade buns on Friday and shape part into hamburger style buns and part into hot dog style buns.
Sunday: Spaghetti with Salad & Homemade French Bread
My daughter asked for spaghetti so we shall have it as we haven’t in quite a while. I make the sauce homemade with lots of vegetables (garlic, onions, carrots, bell peppers) and big cans of pureed tomatoes which I get at either ALDI or Walmart. This is a delicious sauce and I make an entire stock pot of it to have on hand for another meal or two. It freezes beautifully.
I’ll have some sort of gluten-free pasta if I can find one at the store. Otherwise I’ll have a zucchini or another vegetable as my “pasta” and the others will have the traditional spaghetti noodles.
We’ll make the French bread using the recipe out of our classic Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. We made it for the first time a couple of weeks ago with the high-gluten flour we received and the dough and bread was beautiful. We’ll make garlic bread out of it for them. I’ll do my best to resist it!
Monday: Chicken Stir Fry with Rice
We’ll be using up a variety of vegetables in the fridge including broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and yellow squash, adding in some onions and garlic for flavor. Rice is in the pantry in a good supply so I’ll make some of it. Any sides leftover from the weekend can be added to boost the quantity of food if needed.
Tuesday: Swiss Steak with Leftover Sides
This is a yummy and super simple dish I make in my Dutch oven pot on the stove. It would work in the slow cooker, too.
It uses basic vegetables that we usually have on hand: onions, carrots, celery and canned tomatoes. It’s pretty much a meal in one with the meat and a variety of vegetables, but my husband’s job is very physical so he needs way more calories than I do! We’ll have whatever sides are leftover such as salad or bread to give him a bit more.
Wednesday: Oven Baked Chicken Strips with Onion Rings & Thyme Roasted Potatoes
This is a complete meal I found in a gluten-free cookbook that sounded yummy. We may try out the onion rings in the toaster oven if it’s here on schedule. It has an air fryer function which I would like to try with the onion rings at least.
If I’m brave enough, I may pull out a bag of frozen riced cauliflower to make a version of “mashed potatoes” that sounds good. We’ll see… I’m also hopeful there is some salad left for this night.
Thursday: Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes & Leftover Sides
I’ll be trying meatloaf with oats for gluten-free. I’ve always made it with cracker crumbs, bread crumbs or stuffing so I hope we like it.
The mashed cauliflower side may wait until this night 🙂 I can make traditional potatoes for the others but still have something for me. If all of the leftover sides are gone at this point, I’ll pull out a bag of mixed vegetables from the freezer and saute them in seasonings to make them a bit more yummy.
I actually didn’t make one single food on my special list last week, which is surprising! I was so busy sticking to the main meals I guess 🙂 So I’m saving these for this week and we’ll see how it goes.
Homemade Mayonnaise: I’ve been wanting to try my hand at homemade mayo to see if we like it and can quit buying store bought mayo so we’ll see.
Balsamic Orange Vinaigrette: I usually make a ranch dressing out of a seasoning packet for the family as I have yet to find a homemade healthy ranch seasoning they like. For me, my favorite dressing is a simple balsamic vinaigrette so when I saw this recipe on The Prudent Homemaker blog, I knew I wanted to try it.
Popcorn: I’m kicking around the idea of making some seasoned popcorn to see if my husband will like it for something crunchy in lunches. I’d really like to cut back on buying chips for lunches.
Crackers: Melissa from Pioneering Today shared a video about making easy homemade crackers that sound like they could possibly take the place of chips. I also want to try this one with a gluten-free flour to see if I like it.
Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns: This is to use up some chopped pecans I’ve on on hand for a bit and that need using up. I’m hoping these will freeze nicely so I can wrap them up individually after baking and toss into my husband’s lunches.
And that is what we have planned for this week! Let me know in the comments if you’d like any of the recipes I didn’t have a link to, and I’ll get them posted 🙂