Monday, September 8, 2008


While I would love to be in Italy right now typing this post about food, I am not.

But I am still very excited about my new adventure!

Over the last two years, I have seen many fellow bloggers talk about the miracle of meal planning.

After our move, I knew I wanted to give a few new things a try.

Everyone has a system that works for them. Some do it weekly while others do it in groups of multiple weeks. Some just to dinner while others do every meal.

I have decided to start with dinners.

At first, I thought of the gobs of money it could save us. And it will in the long run, but after my first weekly shopping experience yesterday, I realized I am still spending money on other weekly basics that we will need for breakfasts, lunches, etc. So our totals will be the same for awhile.

Our habits will start to change in other areas that will save us money.

My husband will take his lunch every day based on left overs or sandwich stuff in the fridge. My kids have always taken their lunches and will continue to do so. It will keep us from those unplanned trips for fast food during the day.

And it will also mean that we will better plan for eating out as a family during the week.

When my husband was working out of town each week for those 7 months, running a disciplined meal schedule was a hard thing to accomplish. Many days, it was simply too easy to grab a bite for me and the kids several times a week. And when he was home on the weekends, eating out was like a special treat for the kids.

Unfortunately now, if we go more than a few days without eating outside the home, then my dtr laments how "we never get to eat out in forever!". Can't you just hear the agony?!!

Right now, I have 2 free days planned. One is for eating at church on Wednesdays. Our family of 4 can eat for $4. Our other free day is listed as Sunday, but we will be flexible. It could mean we eat on a Friday or Saturday, but just so we are having most of our meals at home. On the days I work, it will either be a crock pot meal or a very easy meal that I prepped the night before.

Before I share all this wonderful meal planning stuff, I must first give a big bloggy {{{{HUG}}}} to my sweet friend Lori!

She is truly the inspiration for my elaborate scheme!

She has graciously shared all her meal planning lists, shopping lists, and recipes with me! The work that girl has put into this for her own family is so amazing! She made my job a piece of cake (yum!) by sharing all her hard work.

Thank you friend!

What I am sharing with you today is my lists that I tweaked to fit our family, along with all the recipes I am going to be using for now.

Where it is appropriate, I have credited the person responsible for a recipe I am sharing. If you see something I missed, please let me know! I want to give everyone their due credit!

These last few weeks, I have been using up what we had to make meals. I had a chance to try a few meals from the plan and can say there are some darn good recipes in this batch!

Pulled beef, Cream Cheese Chicken, Easy Chicken Puffs just to name a few! Oh yum!

I am sharing my adventure with you in case you want to start along with me or just need a new recipe to try. Feel free to use what you need!

Here is the 8 Week Menu Plan.

Here are the 8 Week Menu Plan Shopping Lists.

(If you do use these shopping lists, let me know if something seems off. I used Lori's original lists, then rearranged/added/deleted according to my needs. I may have made a few mistakes that I haven't found myself yet.)

(Also, a number after a food item refers to the number of meals I need that item for.)

Here are the 8 Week Menu Plan Recipes.

Don't start getting all impressed with me yet! This will be my first week, and who knows, the whole thing could quickly unravel once I actually start.

But something tells me that this is a good thing!




Anonymous said...

So impressed! I would love to do this (in a couple of months, 'cause that's when I plan to have it all together!! Ha!)

I'm keeping this post bookmarked 'cause some of that stuff is looking YUMMY!

Jennifer said...

this is such a good idea and our home is much happier if I've taken the time to plan ahead. It means less runs to the store (which saves on gas) and no frustrations with being short one ingredient. I love to plan a week at a time, get everything needed, and I feel so much better at the end of that week. I know my family is eating healthy and we are not wasting money on eating out all the time. Thanks for sharing and hope this is a success for you!

Jennifer said...

Look at you planning for an entire 8 weeks! I can barely think into the next week, much less the next 8! Menu planning sure makes my life easier - hope you find it does the same for you!

Little Loveys Mom said...

Wow all I can say is and my gf's are always looking for meal planning ideas and were all at a standstill! Can't wait for next week to come and give the family a 'change up' from the same old routine menu!