...i cooked for a day and we ate for a month. (and now for some reason that chinese proverb about teaching a man to fish is coming to mind.) you'll need to click to see any detail on that pic, by the way. anyway, i used everything from last month except for 1 bag of spaghetti sauce mix, 1 bag of sloppy joe mix and a few of the tacos. several of you have asked how it went, so i thought i'd post my menu calendar for you. (yes, i know it's much more entertaining than telling you about ally claire having cut her own hair--you saw those facebook pics, right? and i still haven't posted pics from going to the circus, but maybe i'll do that when i give you the movie review at the end of the month when i go see my boyfriend in Water for Elephants--which is an awesome book, btw. read it!)
i had to plan around 6 baseball practices a week, and both of them practicing on friday nights, meaning that there were several times that we ate in shifts, and every friday night was pizza night...so just keep that in mind. also, my kids are picky eaters, but they did awesome this month and i'm very proud of them. i'm hoping with the summer coming that we can incorporate more variety to the veggie situation. i didn't always list the sides in the menu you see, either, but you get the gist of it.
a few things i learned...
1.) if you are going to have anything saucy...DOUBLE BAG! it prevents spills and also when you thaw it in your fridge...the whole thing doesn't smell like sloppy joes or mexican chicken.
2.) write that menu out in pencil. some nights you are just not feelin' what you planned. but since you have tons to choose from, just go right ahead and pull a switcheroo. no one will know
except for your kids who can read and are on TOP of what's on the menu. for instance, you see on the 29th when it said we had turkey burgers? we didn't. i just forgot to change that. that was a practice night, as well as my birthday, so i called an audible and we ate chinese. it was in the budget and besides, who wants to wash dishes on their *coughthirtythirdcough* birthday?
3.) keep a running inventory list. a must when weekly menu planning. i only make my menu a week at a time. i'm sure it may seem odd to you to make my weekly menu after i've cooked a month's worth...meaning i should make out the menu and then cook accordingly. but for me, it works to have the basics done so that i can mix and match and rearrange as we go. i mean, who knew that luke loved BBQ chicken?
4.) keep easy things around so that you don't automatically run out for something else. not every single meal has to be homemade. i mean, doesn't your hubs or your kids usually wind up ordering chicken fingers when going out to eat? haven't you snuck (is that a word?) back to the deli at Walmart and doled out that cup of popcorn chicken so that you could shop in peace? (sorry...we like chicken.) buy a bag for quickness. you know that even if you don't want to take the time to grill your own chicken breasts or hamburger patties that they sell bags already done up for you? just microwave to your little hearts content and jazz it up a little. those little bags of Idahoan mashed potatoes that come in five hundred flavors...best thing/time saver EVAH! don't even get me started on those steamfresh veggies.
5.) give it a try. you never know unless you try. i'm not sure that we saved any grocery money this month, but we did awesome on the out to eat budget fo sho! this month i will concentrate on the grocery budget to see how i'm doing. i'm visual and i like to see a list in one place. my goal is to save, of course, but at least not to go over. at the moment, i don't have time to run all over creation to every sale, or the storage room to take advantage of much stocking up, so i have to concentrate on what we need at the moment and finding the best deal i can within 2 stores (caue gas is SKY high and it better be a good sale for me to drive 20 miles one way to the Kroger. I'm just sayin'. oh, and did y'all hear that you can't stack coupons there anymore?)
anyway...that's it for now. today was supposed to be cooking day again, but school just released early, meaning there is a tornado warning or something like that, so i have an extra kid today...and the power may go out. at least i have something already planned for supper tonight!