Menu planning is something that helps us control our grocery budget. If you search the internet, you will find many different ways that people “menu plan”. The way that we have found works best for our family is to plan by the month. I evaluate what groceries we have and then make a menu based on that. At the end of each month I do an inventory of our pantry and freezers, pull out my cookbooks and recipe cards, and print a blank monthly calendar from Microsoft Outlook. I simply write the meals planned with the corresponding recipe book and page number on each day. Also, I use my crockpot A LOT so this enables us to have a healthy dinner even though I am not in the kitchen to cook it! We do not plan breakfasts or lunches for a couple of reasons. We have found the easiest thing for us to do for breakfast is to have pretty much the same thing everyday (cereal, oatmeal, or egg whites and cheese on whole wheat english muffin during the week and on weekends we have whole wheat pancakes). For lunch we either have salads, leftovers, or sandwiches.
Of course we do not have everything “in stock” that is needed for the whole month so we do make small trips to the stores to get fresh veggies, fruits, and milk. Our aim is to make these trips once a week and sometimes we are able to stretch it to once every 2 weeks. That is a rariety though since we eat lots of fresh fruits. We focus on sales at the grocery stores and we also make a monthly trip to Sam’s Club to buy bulk items that are at lower prices.
On a side note, you will notice that most of my recipes are either chicken, turkey, or pork due the fact that I do not eat red meat. Also, I try to add recipes to this page often, but always check the side bar of the blog under “Recipes” and you will find even more listed there!
*1 teaspoon of pepper (original also called for salt, I don’t use salt in anything)
1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders (tenders will cook faster)
1/4 lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 can of Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can of Healthy Request Cream of Celery Soup
1/3 cup red or white wine (doesn’t really matter)
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (whisk works best with the thick soups)
2. Dip each piece of chicken in mixture and place in crockpot.
3. Pour remaining mixutre over all pieces of chicken once they’re in the pot.
4. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Delicious served over whole grain brown rice!
1 package of chicken breasts
2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1 small jar of salsa
1. Lay chicken breasts in crockpot.
2. Combine all other ingredients and pour over chicken.
3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 4 hours.
Pork Chops and Rice (crockpot)
4 boneless pork chops
2 cans low sodium chicken and rice soup
1. Lay pork chops in bottom of crockpot.
2. Pour both cans of soup over chops.
3. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4 hours.
4 thin chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
Olive oil (enough to cover bottom of pan)
1 teaspoon capers (optional)
1/2 cup white wine
1 small tomato (diced)
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup flour
1. Heat oil over medium heat.
2. Mix flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture and add to the heated oil. Brown each side (uncovered).
3. Add garlic to pan. Cook until tender.
4. Add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer until it thickens.
5. Garnish with tomatoes.
Serve with pasta or mashed potatoes.
1 package of chicken breast
1 can of low sodium corn, drained
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large jar of salsa
Mix 1/2 of the jar of salsa with the beans and corn. Put mix on bottom of crockpot. Add chicken on top. Pour remaining salsa on top of chicken. Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve over rice or in heated tortillas. Yummy!!!
Fruity Cheeseball (appetizer)
4 lean pork chops
1 1/2 cups of ketchup
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons of vinegar
1 tablespoon of worchestershire sauce
3 teaspoons of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2. Combine all ingredients(I like to use a whisk) and pour them over pork chops.
3. Cover and cook on high 5-6 hours or low 8 hours.