So I officially took last week off from the challenge and didn’t have any specific meals lined up. If you’re new to the challenge, there are three parts to it: cooking what’s on your meal plan, staying within your budget and making just one grocery trip for the week. After meal planning for over 5 weeks, I almost didn’t know what to do with myself! I still managed to feed my always hungry family and am ready to get back in the swing of things. Though I didn’t plan meals, I still kept track of two of the challenges…staying on budget and making just one trip to the grocery store for the entire week. I am happy to say that I was successful on both counts!!!
Though I stayed on budget, I have to admit the reason why…I upped my budget! Since I had never really paid attention to how much I was spending at the grocery store (I know…crazy, right?) I thought I’d start at $100 and see how it went. Well, it went! It went over every week…sometimes WAAYY over! I am learning what I spend too much on and am getting better but have decided that $125 is a reasonable number to work with. Imagine how excited I was when my total came to $124 and change…my first week ever UNDER budget. Cha-ching! While I didn’t exactly save enough for a pair of fancy new shoes, I’m still pretty happy about it!
I’ve also decided to make another change to Meal Plan Monday. We don’t eat family dinners every night due to my husband’s work schedule (sometimes we only eat together twice a week) but I know that many families are able to eat together nightly. I’m going to start sharing seven recipes each week and then I’ll just pick out my favorites for our own family time. It wouldn’t be much of a weekly meal plan with just two recipes!
One more update: You may have read about my disastrous fail with the Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin in Meal Plan Monday Challenge #6. I made it again this week, did everything the way I was supposed to, and this time it turned out delicious! Nobody had to lie and tell me that it was good…it actually was! Maybe I’ve finally got this crock pot thing figured out…
Here’s what I’ve cooked up this week (sorry, couldn’t resist)…
A couple of these recipes require a slow cooker so I thought I’d share the one that I recently bought. I checked out a lot of different shapes and sizes and thought this one looked the best (it also had some of the best reviews). I also liked that it has a special setting that lets you cook with a meat probe. You just insert the probe when you begin and set the temperature that you’d like for your food to be cooked. Once the food reaches that temperature, the cooker automatically turns off. This is an especially good feature to use for those meats that you prefer more on the rare side.
If you try any of these recipes, I’d love to know how they turned out!
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