Meal Plan 1/14-1/20

Friday – Stir Fry

Saturday – B is out of town, so G and I are going to have Pancakes and Sausage links and Chicken Pot Pie from Pillsbury

Sunday – Meatballs w/ Peppers & Pineapples from The Pioneer Woman and Steak or Porkchops

Monday – Tacos

Tuesday – Beef & Noodles (Crock Pot) Pita Pizzas

Wednesday – Pita Pizzas Eat out, as B decided to go to OKC at the last minute.

Thursday – BBQ Meatballs (Crock Pot)

For my Breakfast: Ham, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Burritos Cold cereal. I failed to make these last weekend.

For my Lunch: Leftover Chicken Pot Pie

(Anything that isn’t currently linked to a recipe will be linked up the day after we have it.)

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Exciting Change (yes, already)

I work just a few miles from two different Aldi’s stores. So why haven’t I been shopping there? Because I always shop on Saturday, and I’m not at work on Saturday, and I don’t feel like going to the Big City to shop. I like going to the Big Town, because our bank is there (it’s one of those one-branch, one-location, one-size-(doesn’t always)-fits all bank…) and I have to deposit my check every week. (On a different note, I’m thinking about switching to one of the national chain banks that are all over in the Big City… we’ll see. Must ask B.)

Our shopping bill for me, B, and almost-two-year-old G /tears up a bit/ is usually close to $100 a week. That. Is. Ridiculous. (This is groceries, as well as household essentials, dog food, cat food, cat litter, etc., plus everything we need for all the other parts of  our lives.) I’ve read several articles about “How to Reduce Your Grocery Budget in 10 Easy Steps.” But you know what!? I’m already doing those things! So something’s gotta give. My family has shopped at Aldi’s for years. So I’m going to give it a try for a few months.

I stumbled upon a couple of different reasons why I am going to give Aldi’s a shot. First, I was listening to the Dave Ramsey show yesterday afternoon and I kept hearing these ads for “E-Mealz“. Pay $5 a month and they provide you with 5-7 (depends on the plan you pick) dinner meals, complete with shopping list, to a store of your choice (THEY MATCH THE SALES UP WITH THEIR MENU!). Plus, they claim that they very rarely repeat menus, though they will go back to certain extras. I’m HIGHLY considering signing up for the 5-meal plan for a family of two (it says it can feed 2-3 people) to Aldi’s. You pay for three months at a time, so I could try it out for three months and go back to what I’m doing if I don’t like it. The 5 meals means that I can still add in some of our favorites, plus I’m still in charge of lunches and such. It’s definitely worth checking out if you are even slightly interested.

Also, while I was trying to decide if I wanted to go the E-Mealz route, I went snooping around on Aldi’s website. Wowzor. I’m in love. You wanna know what I found?! AN ALDI MEAL PLANNER!!! Sorry for the bold and caps, but I’m psyched about this. I haven’t checked it out in detail yet (just signed up and haven’t received the confirmation email), but I can tell you if the store has meals based on its own products, that’s super awesome! That COULD help with the extra couple days of planning I would need to do with E-Mealz, or it could be so easy that I wouldn’t even need E-Mealz. We’ll see.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I think a drastic change is coming to our menu!

November Meal Plan

The weather is finally starting to act like fall! Which means I can pull out more stews, soups, casseroles, and things that make my heart (and belly!) warm. As always, this is Saturday-Friday dinners. Lunches and breakfasts are added on the weekly plan.

Oct 30 – Meatloaf
Oct 31 – Steaks
Nov 1 – Tacos
2 – Stir Fry
3 – B out of town
4 – Chili (in the slow cooker)
5 – Hamburger Helper

6 – Breakfast for dinner (Quiche or French Toast?)
7 – Steaks
8 – Spaghetti
9 – Chicken, Rice & Broccoli Casserole
10 – Curry
11 – Roast
12 – Hamburger Helper

13 – G’s 2nd Bday Party today. Lunch party, dinner with in-laws (most likely).
14 – Steaks
15 – Tacos
16 – Sloppy Joes
17 – B out of town
18 – Stir Fry
19 – Hamburger Helper

20 – Steaks
21 – Pantry challenge
22 – Spaghetti
23 – Breakfast (no leftovers that way)
24 – Most likely out-of-town
25 – Thanksgiving
26 – With in-laws

27 – With in-laws
28 – Something simple
29 – Tacos
30 – Chili
Dec 1 – B out of town
Dec 2 – Steaks
Dec 3 – Hamburger Helper

My method

I’m in a rut! But sometimes, ruts are a good thing! We have a fairly regular schedule for our meal plan.

Saturday and Sunday are when I try new things, or when I make things that are either too busy for a weeknight or cook in the slow cooker for a short time (less than 8 hours is short to me!).

Monday we have either Tacos or Spaghetti.
Tuesday we have something in the crock pot.
Wednesdays we have a chicken dish.
Thursdays we have either Curry or Stir Fry.
Fridays we have Hamburger Helper or Leftovers.

No, it’s not very exciting. And maybe at some point it changes. But what we have works for now. When B and I were in college, as newlyweds, we had an even more simple plan. It was the same. Every week. We always had Spaghetti, Frozen Pizzas,  Hamburger Helper, etc. It made shopping super easy. But it was BORING!

Now that I try new things on the weekend, I can add them to the rotation if we like them. And every now and then we get tired of having something. Like Thursdays – stir fry and curry are very similar. Some weeks I just don’t feel like making it. So I’ll throw in a monkey wrench and do something totally different.

Which is why it’s so nice to have a monthly plan, but then a weekly plan, too. I might think I can make it all month having stir fry/curry. But then, by week 3, I’m beat and decide I want, oh, beef pot pies instead…

So when I’m making my weekly meal plan, I’ll deviate from the monthly plan. This is also a great way to do mini-pantry challenges. If I notice I’ve had a box of potatoes in my pantry for a few weeks, I can think of a meal to incorporate them in to. My meal plan isn’t set in stone, it’s just a structured guide that can be twisted, manipulated, and bent to my will. But it prevents me from having to panic when I get home from work to try to figure out what to make.