Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Menu Planning Tips

 Please don't forget to leave a comment on the Lilla Rose Flexi-clip giveaway post here!  Deadline is Wednesday at midnight!

I have had a few questions and comments recently about planning a weekly menu and thought I would take a moment to answer them.

1.  What do you do for snacks?  What are those?  No, really, I don't plan much for the snack area.  We generally have homemade bread or muffins on the counter and fruit in the refrigerator.  I make about 2 gallons of granola every few weeks and all of these are free for the snacking.  My wheat-free toddler gets gluten-free pretzels and rice cakes as well.  Raisins, sunflower seeds, sliced cheddar,  peanut or sunflower butters and sometimes popcorn round the selections out.   Every few weeks or so one of the girls will make a batch of cookies.

2.  Lunches are so hard to plan.  That's what leftovers are for!!  If we don't have leftovers--and I do try to cook enough to have SOME leftovers--we will have bean or beef tostados, some type of sandwich, homemade soups, hummus and veggies, popcorn, and fruit.

3.  When I make extra food at one meal in order to put extra in the freezer, the family eats it all.  Hide it!!    Don't put it on the table.  Put it in the freezer before mealtime.  Threaten!!

4.  What is the average cost of a meal at your house.  As frugal as I try to be, I really have no idea!!  We have been eating more bean based- meals recently and spread the meat thin.  Meat tends to be the big expense.  Devin recently made a chicken dinner for us using a pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts that I bought at a great price.  There were three chicken breasts and there are eight of us at home.  She cut each piece into three pieces, so that there were nine pieces.  And can you believe there was a piece leftover!!!  My secret to eating less meat is to eat heartier side dishes and they don't miss the meat!  Or use the meat in pasta or rice dishes.  With our food allergies, we tend to not eat many casseroles  unless we want to cook two meals, but sometimes that is what we do.   And with my boys, having freshly baked bread on the table always brings smiles.

For some other frugal menu planning tips check out these past posts.

Giving a shout-out to Kysha!!  Hope this helps!!  Bless you as you strive to do it ALL to the glory of God!

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Kelly said...

Thank you so much for your post! Very helpful!

Paula @ Beauty Through Imperfection said...

thank you so much for this post!

I am just starting to get into menu/meal planning and it is helping our budget out a LOT so far! Love your easy to use advice here!!!

Cinnamon said...

I love hearing what other large families do for snacks and lunches. Those seems to be my hard areas. But guess what? We do just about the same things :-)

I'd love your GF pretzel recipe.

Thanks for sharing~ Cinnamon

Anita said...

Cinnamon, I don't have a recipe for the pretzels.. I buy them from Kroger. ; )

MissMOE said...

Great post. Your family eats similar to ours. I have forgotten about popcorn lately. I'll have to get the popper out again. Popcorn is so healthy and fills up the bellies for just a few cents.

Mama Duck said...

hello! Firsttime visitor here and loving it! Great post. Always looking for healthy snack and meal ideas... love learning off the experts with lots of kiddies :) We hope to have a large family one day too, carrying baby #2 at the moment :)
Lovely to visit!

Erika Shupe said...

Oh - love this. =) Good ideas. Thanks! Love your humor, too. LOL ("threaten!") ;)

Far Above Rubies said...

Some good tips. Thank you.

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