Monday, January 3, 2011

Time For a Resolution!

Over the holidays, I found that our parties, treats, and whimsical eating style just wasn't working well when it came to helping me keep to our goals.  One of those goals is lowering the grocery budget so that we can pay down student debt faster.  Another is eating more healthful foods.  We're lucky in that we have a great system going here where we pay $15 every other week for a large basketful of food from the farmer's market.  Our last haul included  fresh ginger and a bag of limes, which allowed us to make some wonderful, homemade ginger-ale!  However, two tomatoes went bad, as well as a whole pound of chicken.  I felt horrible, like I was throwing money in the trash can.  I was!!

So, here's our first-ever written out menu plan (I used to plan in my head, but head is getting used on many other things now that we are fully homeschooling the 2 older ones, and doing preschool things with the youngest).

Also, it's Tidy Up the Pantry month over at $5 Dinners (have I mentioned yet that I was one of her new cookbook winners?!?!?), and I know that if I am to actually use what is in my pantry, I have to plan ahead.  Why?  Because I stock things that require actual preparation such as wheat berries (must be soaked, or ground, or both before using in a recipe), beans, lentils, pasta, yogurt starter, quinoa, millet, dates, raisins, frozen vegetables, and frozen meats.  Needless to say, I'd better have a plan, or there won't be much cleaning going on at all.   So, here we go!  My first online meal plan (ahead of time).  If you followed us over at Regression, you know that I've posted meals after I've made them, but I'm trying to turn a new leaf.

We're going to use up the rye bread 1st.  We'll make an onion & cheese pudding/strata for lunch. I'm making this one from Cooking Light, but using spinach instead of chard, leaving out the tofu, rye instead of french bread and using real eggs...oh, and cheddar instead of fontina.  Basically, I'm changing the whole recipe. We'll eat that mid-day, and then have dinner later that night of steaks (bought with the $3 Off meat coupons from Target) & a bunch of steamed vegetables.

Tuesday:  Curried lentils and potatoes.  With spinach & rice.

Wednesday: Carrot/sweet potato soup with apples (dried from the pantry, chopped & reconstituted) and fennel seed.

Thursday: Quinoa & black beans

Friday:  Left Overs; buffet style.

Saturday:  Roast a turkey & make a holiday-style dinner (we didn't for Christmas, we were having too much fun playing board games and so made some quick bean tacos).

Sunday:  Depends on what is leftover from Saturday.  We plan on freezing a lot of the leftover turkey, but also plan on sharing some with friends, because eating with friends is better than eating alone.  :) We will also be making homemade stock, so I might make soup...who knows!