Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weekly Menu Planning

It's that time again, I love it and I hate it. I love planning my menu because it not only saves me time, it saves me money. The more often you end up in the grocery store, the more money you're going to spend, it's inevitable, but you can fight back! Although it doesn't always happen, I attempt to make one major grocery run, then have the hubby stop by periodically for fresh fruit, milk, and any other odds and ends we run out of. We've all done it right? The plan is to stop off quickly at the store, maybe grab some milk and bread, chicken for dinner, that strange ingredient you forget to pick up and WHAM, somehow your bill is $75! Do not, I repeat, do not make this mistake. Make one big grocery run and then stay out of the store at all costs.

Another reason to plan your menu is a no brainer, you are so much less likely to eat out. If you've planned your meals and bought your ingredients, 95% of the time you'll...gasp...actually cook them!

With all these great reasons to plan ahead, why oh why do I sometimes hate it so much? Well, first off, I hate to feel boxed in. Once I've planned to eat it, amazingly I know longer want to eat it. This is a personal hang up of mine, one you hopefully won't have to deal with. Second reason, you have to plan, which takes time and who the heck wants to do that! But, want to or not, it's the day for it, so it
must be done.

1. Chicken Parmesan
2. Chicken & Cashew Lettuce Wrap
3. Slow Cooker BBQ Baby Back Ribs & Baked Beans
4. North Carolina Pulled Pork & Baked Beans
5. Balsamic Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions & Golden Raisins
6. Pot Roast with Garlic Mashed Potatoes
7. Steak & Pork Tenderloin on the Grill with Pineapple Casserole

Links to all these wonderful recipes to come!

Some other money saving tips from my weekly menu:
1. Chicken is on the menu twice, so I can buy in bulk
2. Both the Pork Tenderloin and the baked beans call for Golden Raisins, so I won't waste any
3. Two Pork Tenderloins so I can buy the 2 pack from Costco
4. The baked beans are on the menu twice, so I won't throw out unused leftovers
5. Some of the tomatoes for the Chicken Parmesan will come from my backyard
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