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March 2012 Meal Planning - cooking for leprechauns!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ok- Same deal as last month.  You can post, lurk, whatever works for YOU.  This is to keep folks on track with meal planning, budgeting, dealing with food issues, whatever you need.


My goal is to obviously keep eating out to a minimum, keep grocery spending in check, and cook healthy meals at home.  We do eat dinner out every Saturday night and I try to pick places we have coupons/discounts/gift cards to.  Both myself and our friends have local Entertainment books which help greatly in all areas of spending but especially Saturday Nights.


Hoping for no 'dinner failures' this month.  Hoping to continue to pack snacks for swim team, outings and such.  Hoping to keep drive thru time at a minimum as well.  Hoping to track eating out spending.


My DS is calling March - cooking for leprechauns month around here!

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

3/1-TH Meatloaf, veggies, potato, salad (I will not eat meatloaf)

3/2-FR $10.12 for 'dinner failure'

3/3- Saturday 

3/4-SU Hamburger Helper, Salad, Yogurt

3/5-MO Eggs, Bacon, pancakes make bacon for DS for sandwiches)

3/6-TU Lasagna, Garlic bread, salad

3/7-W (food stamps 'pay') Pork chops, 

3/8-TH Corn Dogs, tater tots, cheese sticks

3/9-FR dinner failure  Taco Bell  $12.00

3/10- Saturday  Planned Dinner Out

3/11-SU Pork Chops, potato, peas

3/12-MO  Dinner in a bag, garlic bread

3/13-TU Taquitos, rice

3/14-W Lasagna mix, broccoli, salad, mandarin oranges

3/15-TH Left overs (pork chops, potato, carrots, mandarin oranges, veggie plate etc)


3/17- Saturday 

3/18-SU Salad, Hamburger Helper, peas, soda bread

3/19-MO Meatloaf, mashed taters, left over broccoli, (ds ate, I dont like meatloaf)




3/23-FR  ,

3/24- Saturday 

3/25 -SU

3/26-MO leftovers (egg rolls) / breakfast

3/27-TU stovetop chicken, potato flakes, veggies, salad

3/28-W Tuna??  This with the chicken would provide leftovers for the week- potentially



3/31- Saturday Dinner out!

Edited by zebra15 - 3/26/12 at 10:44pm
post #3 of 17

Ok, I plan for the week. I need to resist eating out. It has been hard lately because I'm tired and pregnant and feeling lazy. I usually plan meals and snacks in detail every morning ( I babysit other children so I find writing out the details of the day really helps!), it's hard to plan more then dinner ahead of time for me! We have a beautiful ripe pineapple that we can enjoy for a snack tomorrow:) yum! So here's the basic plan-


3/1  Potato Soup

3/2  Wheat pasta, tofu & broccoli  

3/3  homemade pizza & salad, homemade cake (it's my DH b-day)

3/4  brown rice, beans, sauteed veggies & avocado

3/5  veggie burgers, brown rice, salad

3/6  crock pot veggie chili & homemade cornbread


For breakfast we usually have hot cereal, fruit, and/ or eggs, 1x a week pancakes

Lunch is leftovers, wraps, sandwiches, or eggs

snacks are veggies with yogurt dip, smoothies, nuts, fruit, toast or rice cake with pb


post #4 of 17

I haven't done this before so I am going to try. I don't want to eat out at all this month since I really need to cut that down.So, plan to cook all 31 days. I haven't bought grocery yet so don't plan out my meals ahead yet.Will just update daily.


3/1-Chicken and broccoli stir fry with brown rice and a side veggie.

post #5 of 17

I am in!  We have been gone so much this week that sadly it ended in 4 trips though drive throughs.... so not proud of that.  My goal is to keep us from going out for supper.  DH and I are notorious for inventing reasons to go to town- which even more than the cost of food is the cost of gas since we live so stinking far from town!  We are OK with going if it is a paid trip for parts though:)  


F3/2- steaks on the grill and oven fries for DH and I- kids are going to their aunts house for the night :)

Sa3/3- Roast chicken

Su3/4 bday party at my Moms- I am bringing a cake and sweet corn from my freezer.

M3/5 pork stew (I will be spending my day canning pork- so I will just pop a stew in the oven...)

T3/6 meatloaf

W3/7 canned pork and noodles (assuming some of my jars don't can- we will need to get that ate up)





Oh- other random thought- I did find some DH approved protein powder that is almost half the cost of what he was taking and is much more delish:)  I also splurged on a miracle whisk at a farm show yesterday- and it is amazing for blending that stuff up!  I swear I am not a sucker for a gimmick- but that thing is awesome!  Perfectly blended protein shake in about 15 seconds:)

post #6 of 17

I haven't done this before so I am going to try. I don't want to eat out at all this month since I really need to cut that down.So, plan to cook all 31 days. I haven't bought grocery yet so don't plan out my meals ahead yet.Will just update daily.


3/1-Chicken and broccoli stir fry with brown rice and a side veggie.

3/2-pinto beans,cabbage,cornbread.


post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Suffering from massive dinner failure today.  Sorry...

post #8 of 17

We are low on everything and I really need to do a Costco run, but can't for at least another week. Just did another TJ's trip to get what we need for the week.


Breakfast: early AM cheerios and banana, mid AM eggs, fruit and toast with cream cheese/muffin/waffle

Lunch: dh and I eat leftovers, if there's not enough I have a lettuce wrap with chicken or egg salad. Kids have pb&j/turkey&cheese/grilled cheese sandwiches or crackers, cheese and turkey, fruit, yogurt

Afternoon snack: popcorn, wheat pretzels, string cheese, homemade cookies or muffins


I use a lot of the same ingredients in different ways to keep costs down and make sure I don't waste food. The kids always have fruit with dinner and if they aren't fond of the vegetable have broccoli or carrots and celery, too. I am not eating gluten right now but dh and the kids are, so I try to balance my meals for all of us. I use the Crock Pot as much as I can so I start dinner earlier in the day before I get tired and change my mind. Between chicken stock, black beans and dinner, I feel like my CP is always in use.


Dinner 3/4-3/9, not in order:

CP italian meatloaf, mashed potatoes, asparagus

CP chicken cacciatore, high fiber spaghetti, polenta and sauteed spinach

CP chicken stroganoff, egg noodles, wild rice, cauliflower

Ground beef and black bean tacos, corn tortillas, salad toppings

Pork chops, wild rice, asparagus

English muffin pizzas and carrots/celery for kids, ham and pineapple pizza and salad for adults 

Waffles, chicken breakfast sausages, eggs, strawberries



post #9 of 17

1.) Copycat Panara Cheddar Broccoli soup, bread & salad

2.) Left overs

3.) Left overs

4.) Venison, mashed potatoes, salad

5.) Beef Veg, Stir Fry over brown rice

6.) Cheesy-chili mac

7.) Buffalo Chicken Salad

8.) Broccoli Rabbe, sausage, whole wheat pasta, salad

9.) Pork Chops, salad, potato

10.) leftovers



post #10 of 17

11.)  Turkey, mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, broccoli salad

12.)  Cobb salad with left over turkey

13.)  "Pulled" BBQ turkey on wheat rolls, salad

14.)   Linguine Turkey Bolognese, salad

15.)   Venison steak, smashed red potatoes, broccoli rabbe

16.)  Ruben sandwiches

17.)  going to a friends for dinner

18.)  Homemade Grilled Pizza, salad

19.) Salmon burgers, coleslaw, sweet potatoes fries

20.)  French Lentils with swiss chard, tomatoes, lemon & feta

21.)  Breakfast for dinner


Edited by CookiePie - 3/25/12 at 1:54pm
post #11 of 17

14) shepherd's pie

15) crockpot ginger orange chicken, rice, broc, spinach salad with apples and pears

16) homemade veggie pizza (it's our Friday tradition)

17) pasta with tomato sauce (we are out all day) and salad

18) something in the crock pot - will depend whats on sale this weekend

19) soup, salad and bread

20) BBQ burgers, veggie tray, sweet potato fries ((depends on weather - may swap with Wed)

21) veggie stirfry

22) crockpot meatballs (will either put on buns or pasta) green salad

23) homemade pizza (it's our Friday tradition)

24) chicken piccatta, sauted mixed veggies, rice

25) don't know yet - we usually do a large meal on Sundays (roast, large pasta dish etc)

26) usually do soup Monday's but if it's warm we will have apple sausage salad instead

27) fish, rice, veggies,

28) mexican tortillia pie, salad

29) crockpot chicken of some sort

30) pizza

31) no idea



post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

There is about an 80% chance we are moving by 4/30 so I am challenging my pantry as well.  No eating out (except on Saturday) and minimal grocery shopping.

I finally got in the baking mode and got some chocolate chip cookies made earlier this week.  Banana bread is scheduled for tonight!

I will need to purchase flour and eggs this week but thats ok because oatmeal cookies are on the schedule for next week.


We have LOTS of rice and LOTS of soup, so much cereal too.  


I can do this!

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

My menu is being shuffled around but we are using up inventory.  I have to be out by 5/1/12 so I am only buying needed item to complete meals are use up what we have.

Last night I made my very first loaf of 'Irish Soda Bread'  OMG I am in heaven...


Tonight I made the last box of 'Hamburger Helper'.  Now I need to work on the Rice A Roni and Mac N Cheese.  I do have a plan...  My freezer is coming along nicely, almost empty.


I am going to be sad... I am moving across the country, I will have to learn how to grocery shop in a whole new environment, new sales, new coupon policies.  UGH.. and in 'weather'....

post #14 of 17

After being sick for a week, then playing catch up last week, I'm finally feeling back on track. I only need to go to the market for laundry detergent, fruit, peppers, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, milk, butter, diced tomatoes with chilis and maybe bacon. I'm making a whole chicken tonight, so a number of meals are using up leftover chicken.


Week of March 18-23, no particular order:

last night: layered dip with refried beans, sour cream, fresh salsa, avocado, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato and olives with tortilla chips

tonight: whole roasted chicken with cornbread stuffing, smashed red potatoes, gravy, brussels sprouts and broccoli

Chicken melt sandwiches (chicken, bacon, cheese, tomato, avocado on sourdough), sweet potato fries, salad

Chicken posole soup (will make stock in the CP with leftover carcass)

Pork chops, rice pilaf, asparagus and broccoli

CP chicken cacciatore, baked polenta, sauteed spinach, wheat pasta

Ground beef tacos, black beans, corn tortillas, salad toppings

Ham and pineapple pizza, salad

CP beef stroganoff, egg noodles, cauliflower



post #15 of 17

Last night: chicken posole soup, kids had grilled cheese, pears, carrots and celery

Tonight: ham and pineapple pizza, salad, pears, carrots and celery


CP beef stroganoff, egg noodles, cauliflower

Chicken BLT sandwiches, sweet potato fries, salad

Pork chops, wild rice, asparagus

Spanish rice with ground beef, black beans, broccoli

Ground beef tacos, corn tortillas, black beans, salad



post #16 of 17

Ok, I really need to cook more at home! We have been eating out WAY to much. This week:


Every meal comes with 1-2 veggies depending on my mood.

3/26- had shepards pie, huge hit! Everyone had seconds joy.gif My oldest asked if she could have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

3/27- Taco casserole.

3/28- Spaghetti

3/29- BBQ Chicken and Hash brown casserole

3/30- preplanned night out, I have a meeting I wasn't able to get out of greensad.gif Yes, Im pouting winky.gif

3/31- Lemon herbed chicken and rice



post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ok its official, we are moving no later than 4/28.  I can not go to the grocery store except for minimal produce and one pizza that I promised DS.  I have a very VERY well stocked pantry that I can not move.  These next 3-4 weeks I need to meal plan very carefully.  I need to make wise choices from the pantry and cook enough for dinner so DS has something for lunch as well.  Convenience foods are going to be gone soon and while this is challenging its ok.


I lost track of what we ate last week..


3/26 was left overs for kiddo and I had breakfast

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