my menu is my lifeline

29 Aug

My menu is my lifeline. Even when I did not post a menu, know that there was a menu. With my tripod at home all summer (we are all here all the time but the kid and I both have off for the summer so that changes things up) and fresh produce at the farm stands, I have been planning only a few days at a time.

Planning has been the budget-life saver of the summer.

As part of my money-stretching strategy, I have been spending extra time in the kitchen preparing foods for the freezer. I have been using local produce (some even out of my own garden) and local produce = cheap! Prior to my last paycheck in July, we went to a local butcher shop where they have great deals on great quality meat. We stocked up the freezer and pantry (followed sales for dry good and canned goods). I have enough pasta and rice to alternate with potatoes for side dishes and meat to make any-type of meal and already-made-by-me meals that I only need to go to the stores for fresh produce.

I must plan carefully to use what I have and not let anything go to waste. I must plan so that what we have stretches to the next paycheck. This summer was financially rough but we made it WITHOUT using credit cards. I owe a lot of that to planning meals.

This week I go back to school. Wednesday is my first official day, my students come back on Thursday and my daughter starts next Tuesday.  I am actually going to school tomorrow to get some work done before Wednesday.

Back to it!

This week the menu will be super helpful in keeping me sane. I have to actually go to work this week. Plus there are still 3 nights of karate for the kid and a puppy and a big man and and and…ya’ll know the list never ends!

On the Menu:

Sunday: Chorizo/Beef Burgers topped with avocado. Tuna mac and corn on the cob will complete the meal.

Monday: Pork, Potatoes & Cabbage all in one pot

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner. A family favorite. I will use the remaining chorizo (I won’t use the whole link of chorizo for the burgers) to make a hash with potatoes and crack a couple eggs right on top.

Wednesday: Barley Stew (a freezer meal).

Thursday: Shrimp & Broccoli over Linguini

Friday: Steak Night with potatoes, green veg and side salad.

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4 Responses to “my menu is my lifeline”

  1. Nadine August 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    It is so much easier to have it all planned out isn’t it? I went to the farm stand today and basically wandered around, because I didn’t have my menus done. I am eating out of the pantry and the freezer this week, so I just got some ‘staples’ to get us through the week — I try to avoid frozen or canned veggies if I can. I’m also getting reallllllly bored of the same ole starches!! This week, I’m focusing on more lean proteins and less carbs, trying to kick some fat loss into gear.

    As for the headaches — hormonal? seasonal? usual?

    • jeninRL August 29, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

      Sometimes I wander around the produce stand and pick up what looks good. We
      have a new produce store that keeps veggies/fruit extremely low price (I
      really hope it stays the same quality and price level all winter) and
      something “off-list” jumps out at me and says “buy me” and I go home and
      find a way to make said item. I have started making soups (broccoli,
      cauliflower, etc) and now have a nice stock in the freezer of single
      portions of soup for my school lunches. I really don’t like canned or frozen
      veggies so I really hope this new store sticks around!
      Good luck with the carbs. I have noticed an increase of carbs in my menu but
      pasta, potatoes & rice are extremely inexpensive (hello, I just bought 5
      pounds of yukon gold potatoes for $1) so they must stay. They help stretch
      the budget and I keep searching for new ways to use and serve them.

      Headaches – hmmm…I have no idea! Just another way to drive me crazy! =)

      • KLI September 7, 2010 at 1:54 am #

        The new store does keep the same all year! There was one in PA by my old office. Best store ever

  2. Karena @ Traveling Well August 30, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    I’m glad you posted this, Jen. I’ve fallen into a REALLY bad habit lately with meal planning. We’ve been having way, way too many nights of veggie burgers and the like because it doesn’t require me to think/plan ahead. I think I’ll jump on the Mindful Menus bandwagon too!

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