So I made it through week #2 of my Meal Plan Monday Challenge and I’m definitely learning a few things as I go! If you’re new to the challenge, basically I’m challenging myself (and anyone that wants to join me) to plan dinner for the week, make just ONE trip to the grocery store for that week (so hard for me), and stick to a budget (okay, that’s proving to be hard for me too!).
Want to see how I did?
Last week my hubby was home for dinner every night so I planned 7 meals.
Monday: Ginger & Cilantro Baked Tilapia
Tuesday: Beer Can Chicken
Wednesday: Healthy Beef and Cashew Stir Fry
Thursday: Leftover Stir Fry
Friday: Easy Chicken Fajitas
Saturday: Turkey Meatloaf
Sunday: Leftover Meatloaf
We spent Monday at the beach and ate a late lunch there. Because of that, we weren’t hungry for a big meal when we got home. I gave the girls some yogurt, cheese and fruit and Jon and I just snacked on what we found in the fridge.
We went to Disney World for the day on Tuesday and didn’t get home until late. The girls passed out in the car and we passed out as soon as we got home…no dinner that night. (However, our bellies were pretty full from all the snacking we did!)
Wednesday we had family in town and finally had dinner at our house. However, I wasn’t sure that these recipes would make enough food so I went to the store to buy ingredients for my Lemon Rosemary Chicken. I also bought brie and fancy crackers for everyone to snack on.
We had so much left over that we had Lemon Rosemary chicken for dinner on Thursday, too.
On Friday I FINALLY made a dinner that I had planned, the Healthy Beef and Cashew Stir Fry. I wanted to go ahead and get it knocked out since the veggies weren’t getting any younger sitting in the fridge. It was great recipe and definitely something that I’ll make again. My girls even ate most of their veggies!
Saturday- We had a lot of leftovers from the stir fry so we had them for dinner.
Sunday – I made the Ginger & Cilantro Baked Tilapia.
I’m chalking this up as a fail since we didn’t really stick to the plan AND I bought extra food midweek. I don’t feel too bad about it though because I can take the meals we missed and put them on the menu for next week!
The Grocery Store:
I almost succeeded because aside from the trip for Wednesday’s dinner, I didn’t make any other trips. I was also very proud of myself for quickly going in and ONLY getting what I needed for the meal that night! That is just not in my nature and it was very tempting to pick up a few extra things. Knowing that I’d have to report myself here kept me in line! However, I did make two trips for the week so I have to count it as a fail.
Two words…EPIC FAIL!!! My budget was $100 but I spent $166. Then I spent another $29 when I went back Wednesday, bringing my grand total to $195…just about double my budget! I definitely need to get better at this budgeting thing!!!
However, I know exactly where I went wrong and it’s an easy fix (or so I think)! I was so excited to be trying out new recipes that I didn’t even notice all the ingredients I’d need until it was time to go shopping. These dishes all had a lot of meat and they also all had a fairly large number of ingredients. These things add up fast (as I learned the hard way). I’m going to pay more attention next time and not make so many “fancy” dishes…maybe just one or two a week mixed in with more budget friendly choices.
This weeks menu is pretty much already done. Due to our schedule, we’ll only be having three family meals, though this week I’ll also be posting meals for the kids. When it’s just us girls, I’m happy with a bowl of soup or some tuna so I still won’t plan for myself…I’ll just grab whatever’s in the pantry.
Family Dinner #1: Easy Chicken Fajitas
I already have all the ingredients so these really will be “Easy” Chicken Fajitas!
Family Dinner #2 & #3: Turkey Meatloaf and leftovers
I’m also going to make these Baked Zucchini Fries because they sound so delicious and these Easy Lipton Onion Oven Roasted Potatoes. Again, I already have all the ingredients I need so these will be budget friendly.
Kids Dinner #1: Buitoni Chicken & Proscuitto Tortelloni
These were on sale last week BOGO so I picked up a couple packages. My kids love this and I’ll add whatever fruit they’re requesting that night plus some spinach salad.
Kids Dinner #2: Ultimate Chicken Fingers
We went to a birthday party awhile back and this is what they were serving. It’s a recipe right off the side of the Bisquick box and the kids LOVED them! This is so easy to make and my girls always clean their plate when I make them. I’ll also pair this with fruit and spinach salad because my kids are creatures of habit and would eat the same thing every day if I’d let them.
Kids Dinner #3: Spaghetti W/ Turkey Meatballs
I’ve never tried this meatball recipe but it looks good and has just a few ingredients. I love to make a big batch of meatballs and freeze them so that I have them ready to go for next time.
Kids Dinner #4: Chicken Drumsticks
Kids are easy and I barely have to do anything to these. I just throw on some Italian spices, salt & pepper and bake in the oven. Sides will most likely be the ever popular fruit and spinach salad.
Since every family has different schedules, you may need to plan a few more family meals than I did this week. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out the Dinner Recipes on my Pinterest Page for some yummy choices.
Don’t forget to check back next week to see how the challenge is going and find more great recipes. If you’re joining in, I’d love for you to post your own results in the comments.
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