We are two, count em', two days into the school year; it feels like two months. Every school year our family starts strong- pencils sharpened, bags ready to go, shoes in the shoe box, clothes clean, dinner hot and ready on the table, you get the picture. Slowly after a few months we start the crazy cycle- socks are dirty, no one can find their shoes, everyone left the freezer packs, for lunch, at school, dinner is, well, not up to par.
The thing is, we run well on structure, but it is so much stinking work to keep the engine running smooth. Secondly, my hubby's love tank is filled by a home cooked meal. This year I decided to create monthly meal plans; that way I only have to plan one day a month and then I can brainlessly follow the plan the rest of the month. I like a titch of brainlessness here and there. I decided if I shared our meal planning online, it could help you, and I can pull it up again next September- win win.
To start the monthly meal plan I set some guidelines: two standard easy meals a week, one meal that is soup or stew based, a pasta night, a chicken night, & two beef or pork nights.
1. Taco bar
2. Homemade Chili, Rhodes dinner rolls & salad (Betty Crocker)
3. Lasagna & salad (make two, freeze one)
4. Honey Plum Chicken, salad & rice (Pioneer Woman)
5. Steakhouse pizza (PW)
6. Pasta with pesto cream sauce & chicken (PW)
7. Spicy pulled pork sandwiches (PW)
1. Taco bar & Spanish rice
2. Baked potato & bacon soup
3. Rigatoni & Meatballs (PW)
4. Chicken Enchiladas & salad
5. Homemade Pizza (Betty Crocker- so easy & quick)
6. BBQ Chicken & Pineapple quesadillas (PW)
7. Shrimp Summer Stir Fry (PW)
1. Taco Bar
2. Beef Stew, homemade bread & salad (double your batch of beef stew, freeze half and use next week in Shepherds Pie)
3. Fancy Mac & Cheese (PW)
5. Quesadillas de Carmone (PW)
6. Tri-tip, 2x's baked potato, roasted green beans (Morton's preseasoned tri-tip at Costco)
7. Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes & peas (buy hot & ready from Costco)
1. Taco Bar
2. Homemade Chili, rolls & salad
3. Pull your extra lasagna out of the freezer
4. Chicken enchiladas, Spanish rice (PW), salad
6. Shepherds Pie with the frozen beef stew
7. Mongolian Roast Beef (Betty Crocker)
Not the most gourmet of menus, but family friendly, with the added bonus on not having to figure out what's for dinner every night. Most of my meals come from an old Betty Crocker cookbook or the new Pioneer Woman cookbook. My littlest, Gracie, and I are cooking our way through the "Pioneer Woman Cookbook". For "Pioneer Woman" recipes go to, www.thepioneerwoman.com. If you would like a grocery list, let me know.