On the Menu

I’m doing my best to meal plan/prep and eat out a lot less.  It’s much easier now that I’m not working than when I held a full time job.  I enjoy cooking and baking, and having the time to do so is nice.  While I enjoy cooking, I dread meal planning, because I have a hard time figuring out a menu for the family.  Example of some meals we’ve had recently:

  • Kielbasa, Rosemary Potatoes & Brussel Sprouts (last night)
  • Cajun Chicken Alfredo
  • Sweet Meatballs, Stuffing, Corn (or Broccoli)
  • Pasta Night (ziti, spaghetti, whatever…)
  • Crockpot Veggie Lo Mein
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Crockpot BBQ Pork Sliders
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • Meatloaf + Veggies
  • Crockpot Fajitas
  • Tacos + Cheese Dip
  • Breakfast for Dinner: Pancakes, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs or Omelets

I have a kid home with the flu.  Times like this it pays off to plan ahead and have a fully stocked kitchen. I have enough here now to make it through next week.  Plenty of food to survive until the kid goes back to school.

The problem we run into is repetitiveness.  The same meals over and over again.  While we love these meals, they can grow old after awhile.  Ideally I’d like 30+ meals to plan ahead, with few repeats.  Right now I’ve averaging 12 days with no repeats.

Usually I’ll browse the web (pinterest) and find some new recipes to try.  Then I’ll make my shopping list, check Ibotta, and coupons.com for printable coupons.  Trying to save on groceries is a job in itself.  I don’t often have the patience for it, honestly.  We shop at Wal-Mart 90% of the time and use their Savings Catcher app to save money.  WM is hit or miss for produce, and I often pick all that up at another local grocery store.

I’m not a big meat eater, but I struggle with finding meatless meals.  I know for most families, kids are the picky eaters.  Unfortunately in my family, that picky eater is me!  My kids and DH will eat, and try, almost every thing.  While I’m not big on meat, I’m also selective on the vegetables I’ll eat.  I cannot stomach peas, carrots, or any type of squash!  When you look for veggie meal ideas, almost every thing involves squash.  Blech!

Sick kids throws off the schedule entirely, so I’m not going to attack this goal quite yet.  In March I hope to do a 30 day meal plan menu.  This gives me plenty of time to plan ahead, find recipes, and prepare.  Anyone else struggle with meal planning?  Or eating out?


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