A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to try meal planning. I have been reading a lot about it online and thought it might help me cut costs, and have leftovers to put in the freezer for after baby comes. I put it off for a few weeks, and then last week finally got around to giving it a 2 week trail. We are now halfway through week 2.
In order to get Mr Picky on board, I had to agree on a few things, one is not much pasta, he is not crazy about it. Another is I have to incorporate at least 1 boxed meal every once in awhile The man likes his KD and Hamburger Helper! Now, I am not doing all the compromising; He has to try at least one new recipe a week. He has a stock of cans that he can make if it turns out he does not like it or it is not enough, or if I am not home to cook.
I started with a simple spreadsheet, labelled with the week at the top and the days of the week down the side We get the flyers on Friday, so I decided this is the day I will plan for the next week. For now, I have my 'start day' as Monday, but I found to much overlap last week, so I might change that this week to Saturday.
Last week, I just simply filled in meals I knew I had stuff on hand for. Monday was my new recipe, I found one for hamburger steaks on Pintrest, also know around here as Salisbury steaks. Tuesday I made chicken pot pies, also something new for him. I made them last Christmas with turkey The only thing I changed was I used packaged gravy instead of homemade. I had a lot of leftover veggies, I over estimated the size of my pie pan, so the next day I made another for the freezer. Wednesday, I made another new-to him recipe. Last summer I made potato patties out of an Irish Pub cookbook I have. I enjoyed them, he did not, so he had a couple and then a can of soup that night. Thursday was 'can' day, aka, fend for yourself because I had a Doc's appointment before work and had no time to cook, I took the leftover potato patties. Friday was pizza. I was going to make homemade, but instead just used a deli one. Saturday we always go to his Mom's for burgers, but she was sick this past weekend so we went to East Side Mario's, we had not been there in a long time. Finally Sunday, I made one of his favourites, Goulash. Basically, it is hamburger and macaroni with a can of tomato soup thrown in. The only things I had to buy for this week was the pastry mixes, a gravy mix that I did not end up using (it is for next time) and a box of potatoes, I made them Monday because I did not feel like peeling potatoes that day and he likes them once in awhile. I'll eat them, but I am not crazy about them.
This week's flyers showed a few good sales, whole chickens, roast beef and pork chops all on sale! Friday, I bought one of each for the freezer, and Monday, I made pork chops and mashed potatoes. Monday morning, I went back to the store and got a nine dollar chicken, I threw him in the crock pot Monday before bed and had him cooked up by the time I woke up Tuesday. I made gravy and mashed potatoes with him. Today I am going to have a sandwich for lunch and then freeze the rest of the chicken and gravy, probably for another pot pie when I get more veggies. .
Tonight's dinner is going to be a beef stew, I didn't have to buy anything for it because I have plenty of left over veggies and a package of meat in the freezer from when I made one a few weeks ago. Tomorrow's dinner will be the same, no purchase necessary, as I am making one of my favourites: lasagna. I always have the ingredients on hand for that and half of it can go in the freezer. For Friday, I got a 5 dollar roast, he is in my crock-pot now because I did not want to freeze it and was afraid to leave it in the fridge any longer. I will most likely make gravy & mashed potatoes with that to. Saturday is our out night, and finally Sunday I have the promised hamburger helper.
So, in the middle of week 2 and it is going good. I have started a second page for meals that are a success, once I get about 20 or 30 I can start a rotation. And I have started a third page on my spreadsheet for a freezer inventory, so later I can just pick what I want off it and make sure I have it pulled for the meal.
Hopefully there are some good deals this week, usually about once a month my grocery store has a buy one get one sale, and it should be soon. My stores are getting low and with only 4 paychecks to go before maternity leave, I need to stock up; preferably cheaply because it is bill time to!
I will keep you updated on how the meal planning is going, and hopefully be able to share a few new recipes, to!
Have a good day, everyone!