16 January 2010

Menu Plan & Shopping Update

First the plan itself:

Sunday: roast beef, potatoes, carrots, swede, onions
Monday: baked potatoes with the works
Tuesday: stew w/bread (made from Sunday's leftovers)
Wednesday: French onion soup
Thursday: beef pitas (made from the rest of Sunday's roast beef, along with bell peppers, onions, & mushrooms (all purchased on sale) and spiced according to the Greek lists in Culinary Artistry)
Friday: chowder & clamcakes
Saturday: lasagne w/veggie & baguettes

As Judith and I sat down to try to get all this (plus breakfasts, snacks, and lunches) figured out, we were a bit stumped. I've gotten out of the habit of looking at the sale papers and I was finding it difficult to get back into the groove. My other kids were waiting to start a movie until Judith and I were done, so we were both feeling some pressure. Then I had a brilliant idea - at least, I think it was brilliant!. I pulled the other kids in and handed them each a sale paper from a different store. Then, when I needed to check the price on something, they each looked to see if it was on their particular ad. It became a bit of a contest among the boys to see who could find the best price. Once the other kids started working with us, it went much, much faster. Judith entered items into the price book and I ran the calculator and organized our shopping list. I think we'll have all the kids help in the future.

Then, today, Judith and I spent the day shopping - mostly loss-leaders at five grocery stores. It was tiring, but, by the end of the day, we still had over $100 dollars of the budget left to get us through the next couple of weeks (milk and produce and anything we may have forgotten). That should be a pretty easy couple of weeks. Last time we went shopping, at this point, we had only $35 left (and we made it with $2 to spare).

Today, I began to explain to Judith how they lay out grocery stores, with an odd number of aisles and the main things (produce, meats, dairy, bakery) around the outside perimeter to encourage as much impulse buying as possible. Next time we go, I'll start to show her how the shelves are arranged, with the higher-priced goods at eye level. (We did a lot of bending, today.)

What sorts of things are you teaching your children about marketing to help them when they grow up?


09 January 2010

New Meal Plan

Sunday: maple-glazed pork roast, potatoes au gratin, salad

Monday: chicken noodle soup (made with chicken wings), homemade bread

Tuesday: no peek pork and rice, salad (made with leftover pork)

Wednesday: French onion soup w/slices of homemade baguette with cheese melted on them, carrot sticks, broccoli & dip

Thursday: hotdogs & beans (hotdogs were on special for half price)

Friday: beef stew & homemade bread (made with meat that's already in the freezer and leftover veggies)

Saturday: baked potatoes with lots of different toppings


07 January 2010

Decluttering Help

My friend, Renée, is posting one decluttering tip per day. I'm not sure how long she's planning on doing this, but I've been finding her tips quite helpful! Check out her blog: Add More Chocolate!


05 January 2010


My 17 yodd is apprenticing with me in meal planning and grocery shopping this year. Because of some health issues, for the past year or so, I haven't been putting in the time and thought that I should be.

Our first step was a 2-week menu plan. I recreated a spreadsheet that I've used before. One column for the day of the week, another for the date (set up so that I only have to change the first date and all the rest re-set by themselves), another for our plans that day, and one each for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner.

In our efforts to save money and submit ourselves to the discipline of the church calendar (including efforts to make Sunday a bit more special than the rest of the week), we've eliminated sweet snacks Monday through Saturday (fruit is as sweet as we'll get during the week). Sunday dinner will be the nicest meal of the week (including a nice dessert), with leftovers used throughout the week. This week's dinner plan looks like this:

Sunday: maple-baked ham; spaghetti squash; cranberry, almond, feta salad; cannolis

Monday: Tuscany peasant soup (beef and tomato base with sweet Italian sausage, onions, tomatoes, summer squash, and zucchini - leftovers for lunch Tuesday with grilled cheese)

Tuesday: three quiches - one with leftover ham, asparagus, and cheese; one with leftover Italian sausage and veggies from the soup; one with breakfast sausage (leftover from biscuits and gravy in honor of our son who is heading back to college next week) and fresh tomatoes from the basket of produce we bought through Bountiful Baskets. We're also planning a King Cake in honor of Epiphany, which we'll eat while we watch Twelfth Night (and thus ends our holiday season).

Wednesday: turkey sauce (pronounced the French way: soce), which is simply leftover turkey in a blond roux served over potatoes, and a veggie

Thursday: ham and cabbage soup (leftover ham, half a head of cabbage), with homemade bread

Friday: noodle bowls with leftover ham and the other half of the head of cabbage

Saturday: spaghetti and meat sauce with veggie and homemade bread

If there's any ham left after all that, I'll make ham salad for lunches next week.