Monthly Menus

So I promised this a few weeks ago, but I got sidetracked by, well, life.

 

I have three children under the age of 6. ‘Nuff said.

 

A little bit of background on these menus. Rewind to when #1 was born.

I had pretty bad postpartum depression that I didn’t want to admit to having. One of the things that really bothered me was that I had no idea what I was doing for dinner. It was a valid concern. We didn’t have money to eat out a ton and Hubby is NOT a cook. And I was STARVING with all that breastfeeding.

Since then I have fiddled with various ways to plan menus, but this is what I like best for now. I’ve been doing this for over a year, and it works!

Monthly menus.

Hubby gets paid every two weeks, so our budget is on a 4 week interval. Because we live 45 minutes from the nearest Costco (HUZZAH MAGIC POWERS) I only go once every 4 weeks or so.

To be clear, I don’t plan a meal for every night of the week. I do about 5 meals a week, at least one of which is made up of stuff I always have on hand (grilled cheese and tomato soup, black bean soup, tacos, etc…) That way if we decided to go out one night or we have a ton of leftovers we have a night to eat those.

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Here is my weekly menu board

The weekends are for leftovers (again) or going out to eat for date night and frozen crockpot meals or pancakes or waffles or something simple.  I just don’t have time to cook on the weekends, usually because we are trying to do a project on our house or shop for a new appliance or whatever. Sunday we have church and that just wears me out. I love it, but I always come home exhausted and hungry and totally not in the mood to cook.

I have 5 lists for the month. Yes 5.

1st: Costco (HUZZAH MAGIC POWERS) list. As I compile my menus, I keep a running list for Costco for anything I want in bulk.

The other four lists are weekly lists for stuff I don’t want to buy in bulk like various fruit or veggies that will go bad if I buy them at Costco. Or stuff like Pesto. I don’t need a giant thing of pesto for one meal. If I was having 4 or 5 meals with Pesto, then it would be worth it to buy the Costco one. Got it? Okay.

 

Here is an example menu for a week:

Rockfish Tacos

Meatball Subs

Vegetarian Mulligatawny

Sweet Potato Nachos

BBQ Beef

Just by looking at this list, I know I’m going to need:

Costco:

Fish (we get it and freeze it)

Frozen Meatballs

Sweet Potatoes

BBQ Sauce (I like Sweet Baby Rays)

Mozzarella Cheese (did you know you can shred and freeze mozzarella cheese?)

Shredded Cheese (Yes I buy shredded cheese. I am going to chef hell.)

Carrots (I get that big bag of baby carrots, then use it for everything all month)

Chicken Broth (I make my own, which is insanely easy, but if you don’t, the best deal is at Costco)

Grocery Store:

Cilantro

Buns

Apple

Corn tortillas

White Beans (Canned)

Red Pepper

Cabbage

Celery

Spaghetti Sauce (if I don’t have any frozen. Usually I make my own)

Various Spices if mine need a refill (a local grocery store sells bulk spices, so I usually stock up there)

Any other ingredients you might not have on hand.

 

I usually have any meat on hand, as we buy ours in bulk from the butcher or I shop the sales at the local store, so you might need to add that if you don’t already have it.

Also, did you know you can buy an entire pork loin from Costco for about 1.99$ a pound? Then I cut it into chops or roasts depending on what we want. It is a killer deal.

Here is a document of the shopping list that you can download for FREE:

 

Monthly Shopping List

 

It includes a list for Costco and a list for every week. I included an optional 5th week in case you go by the calendar month instead of every four weeks like we do.

 

This just takes out the stress of daily dinner planning for me. I only have to sit down and work it out once a month. I also spend a few minutes before I go to the grocery store every week reviewing the menu for that week and checking to see if I need to add or remove things from my shopping list. Then I know I will have all of the ingredients I will need for whatever meal we have that night. Then I just have to get off my butt and make it rather than worry about it all day. It is SUCH a relief.

One nice thing about this list is it is completely adaptable. If you go to Costco every week or even less, you can adjust as necessary. Just print off an extra sheet of the Costco shopping list and adapt.

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Let me know what you think!

Em

 

Baby Weight – Part 4

Here is my latest before and after pics:

Before:

Before Pic

And currently:

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I am getting there!

Although the holidays tried to kill my active lifestyle dead. So now I am back to Food Journaling. Which I hate.

YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE! POTTY TRAINING REQUIRES CHOCOLATE!!!!!

Last week I went on a 6 1/2 mile run. My average was 14min miles. Because I picked the ICIEST day of the month to go running outdoors.

I was thinking, Hey it has been warm lately, so the snow has melted a bit so the side walks and bike trails should be clear. WRONG.

Two words: BLACK ICE.

I couldn’t go fast at all for fear of slipping and falling on my head. Also, the bike trail WASN’T cleared, so I ended up going through half a foot of snow with ice crusted on the top and scraped up my leg.

Also, PUDDLES. Icy cold PUDDLES.

My feet were soaked by the time I got home and I was FREEZING.

And my headphones ran out of power in the first mile

It was glorious.

Check out the pic I snapped on my run:

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I love seeing all this glorious snow. I hate driving in it, but I love to see it. It sure makes the mountains pretty.

Maybe a half marathon is in my future. I love these long runs. What is your favorite way to workout?

Sidenote: I used to hate running. Loathed it. Why did they make us run in P.E.?? After #1 was born I was looking for something to help keep me in shape and I started to train for a half marathon. I was hooked. I love it. It makes me feel like I am on top of the world. Ahhh……

 

Sweet Potato Nachos

We are getting our trees cut down. The one in the front was extremely huge and we discovered some cracks in the trunk right along the forks in the branches. The guy who is taking it down told me he was surprised that the tree hadn’t fallen on our house yet.

Me too.

The one in the back actually DID fall on our powerline last Thanksgiving so it was time.

Only it is very, very expensive to get enormous trees cut down and we had other expenses. *cough*childbirth*cough*c-section*cough*

Tree

Check it out. That tree is HUGE.

I will miss the shade in the summer though, our lawn is going to suffer far more from my inadequacies regarding watering.

Next week I hope to have my monthly menu stuff available, but for this week we are going to discuss Sweet Potatoes.

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I love sweet potatoes. I used to only eat them in Sweet Potato casserole at Thanksgiving, but ever since the whole “Low-carb” trend came back (which I hate) there have been a ton of really awesome sweet potato recipes.

Fries are my favorite. Especially after I discovered a seasoning for my fries that make them AWESOME.

Sweet Potato Nachos

I came up with a recipe for Sweet Potato Nachos that are a staple in our house. Everyone likes them.

Instead of using tortilla chips for all those yummy toppings, you use sweet potato fries. Yum.

Sweet Potato Nachos

adapted from http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/10/sweet-potato-irish-nachos.html#more

For the Sweet Potatoes:

2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut in to fries

2 Tbs Olive oil

1 Tbs chili powder

2 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Gallon-sized zip top bag

Toppings

1 can black beans

Diced Tomatoes

Green Pepper

Cilantro

Shredded Purple Cabbage

diced Avocado

2-3 cups of Shredded cheese (we like Cheddar but Pepper jack can bring the spicy)

Hot sauce for serving

Method

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with oil.

Put the Sweet Potatoes in the plastic bag and coat with Oil and Spices. Spread in a single layer on the pan.

Bake for 25 minutes, stirring half way through. Make sure the potatoes are cooked through.

Sprinkle the toppings on the sweet potatoes, making sure the cheese is last as to glue everything together.

Bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Serve with hot sauce!

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