Around this time my life pace picked up dramatically with my two young boys in different schools at opposite sides of the valley and both with mandatory volunteer time. This cut in to my bon bons and soaps time dramatically, HA! Actually it cut into my meal prep time pretty dramatically. I floundered for two weeks before realizing I needed what my friend was asking for, recipes, plans and a good swift kick.
I set about making the all important meal plan. You have to have a plan, to know what to do next and keep you moving in the right direction. So I asked myself what can I plan on that everybody will eat? What can I throw in that they might object to but will still eat. What will I have time for? What do I feel like making? I also asked my kids what they wanted, one said red beans and rice, one said crock pot lasagna, whew, those are easy enough. I ticked off a few other recipes and double checked my pantry against the plan and added any needed ingredients to the Costco list. I buy most of my groceries in bulk from Azure Standard and Costco. I get Azure once a month and Costco once a month and occasionally I hit the local store for small amounts of things I need maybe twice a month. Everything we need I try to keep in stock here.
My meal plan looks like this:
- red beans and rice-leftover ham from freezer, rice from freezer, beans cooked in the crock pot
- crock pot mexican lasagna-vegetarian
- potato dal-vegetarian
- home made chicken strips and tater tots(tot recipe is unknown!)
- taco salad-vegetarian
- leftover buffet
- all dinners will have fresh salad, garden carrots or peas and or fresh fruit
- ham sandwiches, fruit, garden veggies and a cookie-for school children
- people who are home at lunch will get leftovers reworked or pb&j
- pancakes-made ahead on the weekend and frozen flat on a cookie sheet for quick re-heating in a skillet
- oatmeal-also made ahead and kept in the fridge
- fresh fruit
- fresh apple sauce
- last of the garden peas
- 4 loaves of fresh bread
- 1 batch cookies-oatmeal or ? 1/2 the batch to be frozen and pulled in to rotation later in the month-variety is the spice of lunch!
I'm sure you all saw the beans in several areas of my my meal plan, yes? OK taco salad and mexican lasagna use pinto beans which I soak overnight and cook slowly while I'm home in the evening. I make them together and store them separately in the fridge until I'm ready to use them. It makes perfect sense, dried beans are cheap and good for you. Canned beans are OK, but salty and they don't really absorb flavors easily. For the red beans and rice in the crock pot I'm going to soak them over night and cook them on low all day, adding spices and ham when I get home after school. If I get inspired I'll soak them with some whey, we'll see.
I'm putting in links to the things I have here on my blog so if you want to try a few trifecta recipes (good, healthy, cheap) you can easily locate them. The tater tots are a new thing for me so we'll ALL see how they turn out and I can add the baked chicken strips too.
There you have it my plan to save:
- my sanity by having meals planned
- money by having food in the house to make meals from
- time, things are planned how can I NOT save time? (why do I tempt fate, WHY?)
In other unrelated news, our washer is broken and I have been hand washing clothes for a few weeks to see how easy I had it. Yeah I'm DONE with this experiment, I need a new washer STAT! Suggestions?
Peace and Love-