November 8, 2010

Meal Plan Monday | November Menu Plan

I plan my family's dinners in five week blocks to maximize my savings at the grocery store and minimize my stress at dinner time. You can read more about my strategy here in my Q&A post here.

I also answered several more questions about how I plan my big ol' menus and how I stockpile shop the weekly sales with coupons; my goal is to get the best deals on items for my monthly menu plan for the lowest cost.  For more Q&A (because you're just dying to know, right?), click here.


Last week, I shared my MELLY list with you (Meals Everyone Likes List {for} Your {family}).  You can read that post right here; for a printer friendly list of the recipes (with links to the online recipes) on my MELLY, click here.

If you're new to menu planning, I encourage you to start creating a master list of dinner recipes that fit your family's budget, palate, and your time available for food prep.  It makes meal planning soooo much easier week in and week out if you've got some tried and true recipes to use.  Making a master dinner recipe list may even be the first step toward menu planning for longer periods - maybe two weeks instead of just one.  Who knows - maybe you'll even feel bold enough to try menu planning for a month at a time.  ;-)

Making a master list of dinner recipes for your family (and whether or not you call it a MELLY is up to you!) will also allow you to see what ingredients/items you use consistently week in and week out. Maybe it's ground beef or chicken breasts.  Maybe you kids love rice or are noodle fiends (like mine - they eat cold noodles for a snack - a much sought-after, argued-over snack!). 

Whatever those commonly used recipe ingredients may be for your family, jot them down on a separate list under the heading STOCKPILE ITEMS. see where I'm headed with this, do ya?  ;-)

If you have ten or twelve items on that STOCKPILE list that you use consistently in recipes on your master list of dinners that your family eats, you can start watching the sales and the coupons.   When those hot items on your personal STOCKPILE list go on sale and have available coupons to bring the price down by 75% or more, then it's time to clip, shop, save, and stock that pantry & freezer!

I'll be talking more about my shopping/planning/stockpiling strategies in coming posts.  And please know that I developed this process in my own life over time;  I didn't wake up one morning and start doing this in my own life like it was no big deal.  I worked through it, testing and trying, and learned by trial and error.  Becoming a stockpiling, menu-planning, couponista is most definitely a step-by-step process with a learning curve.  Give yourself the time, the space, and (most importantly) the permission to make mistakes; I know I've made more than my share. 

Ok, now that I've wondered off-track (all the leftover Halloween candy I'm munching on with my afternoon tea must be making me uber-chatty...mmmm...Kit Kat!), here's what you came to see! 

TNFM November Menu Plan

Nov 1-7
Monday: Chicken & Dumplings
Tuesday: Taco Night
Wednesday: Fried Corn w/Smoked Sausage over Rice (thumbs UP!)
Thursday: Mini Cheeseburgers, Veggie Sticks
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Free night (surprise party)
Sunday: Free night (out to Frisch's w/my Halloween coupons w/extended family)

Nov 8-14
Monday: Awesome Pot Roast over buttered Noodles, Steamed Veggies
Tuesday: Taco Night
Wednesday: Spaghetti & Meatballs, salad, rolls
Thursday: Italian Beef Sandwiches, Grinny Beans
Friday: Free night
Saturday: Free night (Scout event)
Sunday: Homemade chicken nuggets, oven fries, veggie sticks

Nov 15-21
Monday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies
Tuesday: Taco Night
Wednesday: Chicken Stir Fry over Rice (using steamed veggies/sauce from freezer)
Thursday: Breakfast for dinner (waffles, eggs, fruit, bacon)
Friday: Chicken Enchiladas with quesadillas & salad
Saturday: Smoked Sausage Corn Bisque (I STILL haven't made this recipe but it looks good!)
Sunday: Free night

Nov 22-28
Monday: Grilled Chicken over Salad with Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Tuesday: Taco Night
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese & Soup (I'll be busy prepping for Thursday)
Thursday: Thanksgiving Feast at mi casa!
Friday: Leftovers (mmmm!)
Saturday: Free night
Sunday: Turkey Soup (might try a new recipe...)

For links to the recipes above, click here (my MELLY).

Looking for more menu planning inspiration?  Be sure to hop through the Menu Plan Monday links over at OrgJunkie.

1 comment:

  1. Smoked Sausage Corn Bisque sounds amazing!! My mouth is watering just thinking about those flavors! LOl Good for you planning so many weeks. I got lucky this week my husband made our plan and is making all of the meals. Yippee!


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