Over the past month or so I have been debating on how to move forward with meal plan sharing here on the blog. I know that in the past I have tried really hard to share monthly menu plans. At one time I included shopping lists, while other times I only included a monthly printable. Well this year I am wanting to simplifying the process. I want to be able to share what we are eating and how we are saving and stretching our food budget, but I want to do it in a way that is easier for me to keep up with. I have decided to start a new blog series, titled Family Meals on a Budget. As I prepare and serve meals for that family of mine throughout the week, I will snap pictures and journal a bit. I then will share them in a blog post. I love seeing what others are doing for dinner. I always get so many great ideas! I hope I can do the same for you:)
As I write up my meal plans, I hope I will share with you how we stretch our small food budget. Money is tight. Our belts are on that last loop and we need to save money wherever we can. My goal this year is to learn new skills in the kitchen, try a HUGE amount of recipes out on that family of mine, and save a bunch as we do it!
So without further ado, here is what we ate over the past two weeks (I'm playing catchup with the meal plans).
- Weeks 1 and 2 Menu Plan -
Thursday 1/1/15- leftovers
Friday 1/2/15- pizza night
Saturday 1/3/15- leftovers
Sunday 1/4/15- leftovers
Monday 1/5/14- Baked Asparagus and Pasta with Homemade Sauce
I received the pasta roller attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer as an early Christmas gift in November. Since then I have been loving making homemade pasta. I am still getting the hang of it, so I will not share a recipe yet. I have been using the egg pasta recipe that came with the attachment. It is quite yummy! Just like bread, once you go homemade, it is hard to go back to the store bought stuff.
I snagged some asparagus when I did my grocery shopping last week. I bought one bunch for $3.99. It was definitely a splurge veggie for me this month, but oh so worth it! I absolutely love baked asparagus. Here is the recipe I used.
Tuesday 1/6/15- Greek Eggplant Bake
On Tuesday I made Greek Eggplant Bake. For Christmas my Mom gave me a Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook. It has been so fun to try out some of the recipes. This was one recipe Hubby was very hesitant to try, but ended up really liking. He couldn't even tell it was a meatless dish. I say that is a big success!
Wednesday 1/7/15- Lentil Rice Salad Bowl
This was another recipe we tried from the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook. We had this one after church on Sunday. It was easy to throw into the crock-pot and share together when we got home. This cookbook has a quick and easy section. I think my Mom knew I need quick and easy right now in my life. It is the best!
Thursday 1/8/15- Sugar honey baked ham with sweet potatoes and veggies
Back in December, Hubby had one grocery request....he wanted me to purchase a ham. He had been craving honey baked ham with the little cloves in it. I bought all the ingredients with the plans to make it on New Year's Eve. Well we ended up going to my parents for dinner that night, so the ham was kept in the freezer. On Thursday I decided it was time to cook that bad boy. It was my first time cooking a big ham, but I think it turned out pretty well. I forgot to take a picture of it, but it was delish! I will definitely make it again!
We saved all the meat we could get off the bone (thank you Hubby for doing that task. He's the best!). We bagged it and put it in the freezer for later use. We also saved the bone to use in a recipe later in the week.
Friday 1/9/15- Chili and Fried Dough
On Friday, I needed to throw something quick together. I had lost track of time (story of my life) and needed to feed my family ASAP. I decided on chili and fried dough. Have you ever had this before? It is delish! You fry the dough in oil and then serve with toppings. We like to do chili, shredded lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. It is a family favorite! I try to keep about four cans of chili in my pantry for when dinner plans go awry. Having this as a back up keeps us out of the $5 pizza line:)
Saturday 1/10/15- Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry with carrots
I like to buy a pack of tofu from Costco each month. Tofu is easy to replace meat in many of your favorite dishes. We especially like it in stir fry. For this simple dinner, I used 2 bags of stir fry veggies (frozen), 1 cube of firm tofu, and sweet and sour sauce. Three ingredients and you are good to go! We like to serve our stir fry over rice. Very filling!
If you are ever tight on money, serving your family a pantry staple like rice will keep tummies full and costs down. We buy our rice from Costco. We love their brown rice!
Sunday 1/11/15- Slow Cooker Ranch Style Beans and Rice
This recipe was one that Hubby requested. He found the recipe online and then emailed it to me. That was his subtle way of saying "Hey Babe! I'd love this for dinner". I think it is adorable when he does this, especially when he chooses recipes where all the ingredients are in my pantry :)
Overall I felt like this was a great round up of meals I served my family. It doesn't always happen that everyone likes everything, but the past two weeks have been pretty dang good. Hopefully that means many more weeks of meals without stink faces (aren't they the best....I say sarcastically).
You can find all the recipes I mentioned above in this printable version HERE.
What did you guys have on the menu plan this past week?