Tag Archives: meal plans

July & The Plan

So, I’m trying something new.  Well, I’ve tried it once before, but I think I failed to have the proper plan in place or resources to pull it off.

I’m planning for about one month’s worth of meals.

Now, I’ll be the first to say, this isn’t for everyone.  First off, if you get paid on a weekly or biweekly basis, pulling off “large” “for the month” kind of purchases can be tricky or down-right impossible.  I have loads, and loads, and LOADS of weekly meal plans, so please peruse them here! We get paid twice a month … and this is a different animal.

So how did I come to the conclusion it was time to try this again?

First off, I had a great conversation on the facebook page with a follower about what it takes to do a monthly meal plan.  That got the wheels turning.  I sat down and calculated – how many pounds of ground beef do I typically go through in a month? How about chickens?

Then, I started thinking about how the other needs come into the house.  I buy bulk grains like Einkorn from Jovial, and rolled oats and steel-cut oats in bulk from Wholeshare.  (Wholeshare is unique for New York state, but there are loads and loads of options per locality/state!) I participate in a CSA, and shares are distributing… I don’t have control over what I get, and I pay for it throughout the year. (Just an FYI – my annual CSA fees reduce my monthly food budget as I often freeze/preserve the share to use later in the year, but obviously there are some things that I eat up fresh, like lettuce.) So I’m getting regular vegetables.  Even my grass-fed cow’s butter from Kriemhild is bought in bulk (5# buckets, baby!) So why not try to come up with a plan for how much we eat in a month and then order and shop according to that?

So, I did it.  I wrote out what I expect we’ll consume for the month.  As someone who lives on a grocery budget, it wasn’t all that hard because I’m usually thinking forward and trying to anticipate how to get through the whole month anyway.  If you don’t ever pay attention to what and how much you consume, I would start there before trying to do any sort of monthly meal plan.  Primarily because you wouldn’t know where to start!  Start the first couple of months just keeping small notes on what you did and how much you spent. (For example, how many loaves of bread did you need? Pounds of butter?)  I’ll write up another post sometime on how to create a workable food budget, but for now ;-) that should help you get started.

A couple of notes here:  obviously, there are not 30 options listed for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Realfoodists MUST DO LEFTOVERS. There’s no way around it.  Unless you are going to cook from scratch in tiny portions 3 times a day (not very practical if you’ve got other stuff to do)… you have to expect to eat some things twice.  If you’ve been preparing food for your family for any length of time, you know what keeps well and what doesn’t.  What does your family like on day #2 or gets shoved to the back of the fridge to become a science experiment (not that it EVER happens to ANY of us, right? *sarcasm*).

So, off we go on the monthly meal plan!

BREAKFAST:

Breakfast Breadish:
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Einkorn Cinnamon Muffins (no link here as it’s from a cookbook)
Sprouted Blueberry Muffins from Holistic Squid
Soaked Flour Biscuits from The Elliott Homestead
Gluten-Free Biscuits
Einkorn Waffles
Soaked English Muffins from The Elliott Homestead
Toast
Homemade Granola + Yogurt
French Toast (no recipe, just some common sense!)
Coconut Flour Pancakes from Ditch the Wheat
Cereal

Breakfast Meats: eggs (3xs a week), (1-2xs a week)bacon, (1xs a week) cottage bacon, (1-2xs a week) Homemade Breakfast Sausage from The Prairie Homestead (make it in bulk, freeze in smaller bags, thaw when you need it!)

Breakfast Vegetables & Fruits: will use the fruit we get every other week from CSA share, apples, bananas, frozen blueberries, jarred fruit, smoothies. We also will use onions, garlic scapes, tomatoes and other veggies we get in CSA sometimes in our eggs

LUNCH:

A lot of dinner leftovers. Very few things are made just for lunch, it’s often a pull from something already made.  I make a loaf of bread per week (at least).

Tuna Salad
Egg Salad
Cobb Salad from The Elliott Homestead
Grain-Free Sandwich Wraps from Real Food Outlaws (used for sandwiches and quesadillas!)
Homemade yogurt
Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwiches (mostly for the girls, I’m a whimp and don’t buy much GF breads! I usually just smear some Peanut Butter on an apple and call it)
Macaroni & Cheese.  Sometimes homemade, sometimes from a box (but when it’s from a box, it’s as clean as we can find!). And this is why you don’t get any judgment from me on convenience foods.  Friends, we all lllooooovvvveee them and have a few we aren’t really willing to give up.  This is mine.  I grew up on boxed stuff!
Hot dogs (nitrite/nitrate free!)
Other leftover breadish stuff from breakfasts

I make this bread at least once a week: Soaked Bread from The Elliott Homestead (It is NOT gluten-free. I do not indulge.)

Lunch Vegetables & Fruits: will use the fruit we get every other week from CSA share, apples, bananas, frozen blueberries, jarred fruit, smoothies. Whatever fresh veggies we get on share from CSA.  We eat loads of cucumbers and carrots for lunches, too. (About 1-2#s of baby carrots a week!)

DINNER:

Meats:
Grilled Steak
Skirt Steak for Fajitas
Cube or Thin Sliced Steak for Paleo Fried Steaks (no recipe. Maybe someday!)
Spicy Honey  ChickenThighs
Chicken Thighs Cooked in Italian Sauce (twice)
Shredded BBQ Chicken (will use Chicken legs, with this BBQ Sauce)
Grilled Chicken Breast (not sure on marinade yet)
Grilled chicken and Shrimp kebobs (not sure on marinade yet… will probably depend on what types of onions we get in CSA)
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Hamburgers (twice)
Italian Meatballs (homemade. someday, I’ll post!)
Beef Skillet with Potatoes and Greens from The Elliott Homestead
Sloppy Joes
Korean Beef from The Elliott Homestead
Italian Sausage (1/2 #, cooked in red sauce… will do this twice)
Ham Steak – 2xs
Hot dogs
Salmon
Hot dogs or other Sausage
Bacon (breakfast for dinner)

Dinner Side Dishes (Breadish)
Side of fresh bread/garlic bread/butter bread
Gluten-Free Garlic Cheddar Biscuits (still working on the recipe!)
Baked/mashed potatoes
Baked sweet potatoes
Sweet potato casserole from The Hollywood Homestead
Roasted potatoes (cooked like roasted carrots)
Sauteed potatoes 
Al dente pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil
Gluten-Free pasta cooked with red sauce
Fried Rice
Butter + rice
Macaroni & Cheese
Beans + Rice

Dinner Side Dishes (Veggies-Ish)
Cabbage Stir Fry
Roasted Carrots
Side Salads – Cobb, or Blue Cheese + dried cranberry + pecan
Steamed veggies (frozen mostly broccoli, cauliflower, green beans)
Fresh carrots + cucumbers
Sauteed peppers and onions
Roasted Tomatoes + mozzarella
Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Meal Plan: 6/26 – 7/2

Can I just be real here for a minute?

(Haha.. I made a funny… this is Foodies Gone Real, afterall.)

I am really hating this last week of the month.  I try not to focus on it too much (just a “yay” for resourcefulness and when the budget officially resets).  I tried the envelope system – where I have so much money per week – but 1) I order stuff online (Wholeshare, SideHill Meats) and 2) Often these things need to be ordered by a certain time, and will give me more food than just what is for the week in which it hits my budget.  So that’s not a workable thing for me.

Anyone want to share some tips on how to not feel so desperate the last week? And no, going “off” budget is not really an option…

Ok, enough griping.  This is what I came up with this week:

SUNDAY:
Breakfast: cereal; eggs + garlic scapes and tomatoes
Lunch: chicken in red sauce, cranberry+pecan+blue cheese salad (ravioli for those so inclined)
Dinner:  turkey roll ups with this grain-free wrap from Real Food Outlaws, strawberries, radish + cottage cheese for me
Snacks, Other: chocolate roasted walnuts, making homemade mint ice cream (someday I’ll get to posting the recipe for this!)

MONDAY (I’m cooking earlier in the day on my lunch break to beat the heat, and also I’m teaching bible study in the evening so it’s just as well)
Breakfast: bacon, zucchini bread by Well Plated
Lunch: Greek meatballs (beef+feta+fresh oregano), side salads, roasted potatoes + garlic scapes, blueberries + whipped cream
Dinner: quesadillas with this grain-free wrap from Real Food Outlaws, salsa, sour cream
Snacks, Other: soaking oats for oatmeal, soak flour for English Muffins from The Elliott Homestead

TUESDAY:
Breakfast: oatmeal, homemade breakfast sausage from The Prairie Homestead, pineapple+beet+carrot juice
Lunch: leftover quesadillas, blueberries + whipped cream, homemade English Muffins
Dinner:  Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, (making GF pasta) smoothies, side salads
Snacks, Other:

WEDNESDAY:
Breakfast: English Muffins, scrambled eggs + garlic scapes and tomatoes, fruit of choice
Lunch: radish + cottage cheese for me, Leftover Alfredo
Dinner:  Apple chicken sausage, macaroni + cheese, side salads/cucumber slices
Snacks, Other: Weekly popcorn night :)

THURSDAY:
Breakfast: leftover oatmeal, scrambled eggs/sausage, blueberries + whipped cream
Lunch: large cobb salad with bacon
Dinner: steak, potatoes, side salads

FRIDAY:
Breakfast: coconut flour pancakes from Ditch the Wheat with blueberries, scrambled eggs
Lunch: leftovers! PB&J as needed to fill in
Dinner: more leftovers, will rely on large cobb salads as necessary (but I gotta get out of the house and do my grocery shopping!!)
Snacks, Other: soak flour for bread from The Elliott Homestead

SATURDAY:
Breakfast: Einkorn Muffins (not sure yet what, but will be pulling from Jovial’s cookbook), scrambled eggs, blueberries + whipped cream
Lunch: fresh bread, carrots/cucumber slices, fresh fruit of choice
Dinner: Brined/grilled chicken (my recipe in progress!), GF cheese + garlic biscuits (my own recipe! work in progress), veggies (will see what we get from CSA this week!)

Meal Plan 6/19 – 6/25

Let’s hear it again for no more packed lunches! School’s not out yet – she still has half-days – but I am soooo glad to have her back under the roof for lunch and onward as I mentioned yesterday in my post about why I love summer.

Needless to say, I’m excited for more homemade lunches, picnics, and hopefully some pool time this week!

SUNDAY:
Breakfast: cereal, applesauce, bacon
Lunch: raviolis (for the family, not for me!), Italian sausage, dried zucchini cooked back up with sauce, cranberry+blue cheese+pecan salads
Dinner: Dinner with the In-Laws
Snacks, Other: didn’t get a chance yet to make these wraps fom Real Food Outlaw… hoping to squeeze it in today!, soaking oats for tomorrow’s breakfast

MONDAY:
Breakfast: oatmeal, fresh blueberries, scrambled eggs
Lunch: chicken quesadillas (with these wraps! from Real Food Outlaw – they keep well!), berries + spinach smoothies
Dinner: leftover Italian sausage, zucchini, pasta for those inclined, side salads
Snacks, Other: soak oats for granola

TUESDAY:
Breakfast: GF biscuits, sausage gravy (I sub in rice flour to make it Gluten-Free), fresh fruit
Lunch: BLT wraps/sandwiches, fresh fruit of choice
Dinner: salmon, baked potatoes, side salads
Snacks, Other: make more flour soak flour for bread (recipe courtesy of The Elliott Homestead)

WEDNESDAY:
Breakfast: granola + yogurt, bacon, fruit of choice
Lunch: fresh bread, cucumber slices, radish + cottage cheese (for me. I love it!), fruit of choice
Dinner: steak, roasted cauliflower, rice stuffed in peppers
Snacks, Other: making chocolate roasted nuts

THURSDAY:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs, leftover oatmeal, smoothies
Lunch: roasted veggies, sandwiches/wraps, fruit of choice
Dinner: chicken broccoli alfredo

FRIDAY:
Breakfast: leftover day!
Lunch: leftover chicken broccoli alfredo, fruit of choice
Dinner: hot dogs, smoothies, baby carrots
Snacks, Other: soak flour for bread

SATURDAY:
Breakfast: coconut flour pancakes with blueberries, sausage
Lunch: bread, fresh veggies of choice, fruit
Dinner: homemade gnocchi (GF!), red sauce, side salads

Time and Meal Plans

Whew.  What a week. For those of you unaware … I work full time.  From home.  I know it sounds glorious, but if you really think about it, it creates a neurotic planning of the day.  It takes self-control to balance the two worlds – home life and work life, and not let one rule the other.

I also am taking a college class here and there, and managing several ministry opportunities.  And for good measure, throw in some planting, weeding and chickens.

I am sometimes overwhelmed and overworked.  In a world that measures your worth by how much and the quality of what you produce, this is a tough line.

So, here I am, late Sunday night, working on a meal plan.  I’m sure there are some (good) arguments regarding my use of time, and whether or not this is the best!  Well, knowing what you know about how precious my time is… it IS.  There is something reassuring to know that I have accounted for all meals in this little post.  I of course take into account my personal schedule (as much as possible) when planning what gets cooked/prepped when.  There is no wondering what I’m going to make at the end of a hard work day, and if I have the ingredients necessary.  It is DONE, it is FINISHED when I hit publish.

In a sense, the time I spend creating a grocery list and meal planning helps me balance all other things in the week, and allows greater use of my time in other ways when I’m not frantically figuring things out or making multiple trips to the store.

SUNDAY:
Breakfast: cereal, cottage bacon, fruit
Lunch: sandwiches (I had it all rolled up in lunch meat), apples
Dinner: ravioli (none for me), Italian sausage in red sauce, and broiled tomatoes
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: homemade lunchable, carrot+apple squeezy pack, parsnip chips

MONDAY:
Breakfast: leftover frittata, leftover oatmeal, blueberries and strawberries
Lunch: turkey roll ups, cranberry+blue cheese+pecan salads
Dinner: homemade chili, GF cornbread muffins (I LOVE them!)
Snacks, Other:  Prep more homemade breakfast sausage from The Prairie Homestead
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: peanut butter jelly sandwiches, cucumber slices, strawberries

TUESDAY:
Breakfast: leftover french toast, homemade breakfast sausage, blueberries and kiwi
Lunch: strawberrries, hotdogs, carrots
Dinner: burgers, roasted broccoli, apple slices + peanut butter
Snacks, Other: soak flour for biscuits
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: hot dog, apple + carrot squeezy pack, banana

WEDNESDAY:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs, biscuits, smoothies
Lunch: BBQ chicken, side salads, baked potatoes (in the microwave! ain’t perfect, but it’s quick!)
Dinner: homemade pizza with italian sausage (still working on my favorite GF crust!)
Snacks, Other: making ice cream starter! (someday I will post this!)

THURSDAY:
Breakfast:LEFTOVERS! plus some bacon :)
Lunch: leftover burgers, radish + cottage cheese, smoothies
Dinner: leftover BBQ chicken, green beans, sweet potatoes
Snacks, Other: making these wraps from Real Food Outlaw

FRIDAY:
Breakfast: cereal, scrambled eggs, fruit of choice
Lunch: sandwiches (lunch meat roll ups for me!), baby carrots
Dinner: GF pasta, chicken thighs cooked in red sauce, roasted cauliflower, applesauce, ice cream :)
Snacks, Other: soak flour for bread, prepping granola, making yogurt

SATURDAY:
Breakfast: coconut flour pancakes
Lunch: fresh bread, cucumber slices, smoothies
Dinner: steak, baked potatoes, frozen veggie (will see what I still have in stock at the end of the week!)
Snacks, Other: making more granola!

Meal Plan 5/22 – 5/28

Hooray, hooray, it’s a new week! I’m at the end of my month and grocery budget and did fairly well.  Similar to the envelope system, I actually bought a gift card or two at the BEGINNING of the month to ensure I had something to pull from at the END of the month.  I have done this now two months and it really helps!  (I’m sure this isn’t everyone’s thing, but it works for me!)

At any rate… here’s my plan:

SUNDAY:
Breakfast:peanut butter granola from Mrs. Happy Homemaker, yogurt, strawberries
Lunch: italian sausage, red sauce, squash
Dinner:  leftover cottage pie (from last week’s meal plan)
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: homemade lunchable, cucumbers, strawberries

MONDAY:
Breakfast: watermelon, leftover waffles, bacon
Lunch: Spicy Honey Chicken thighs, radishes + cottage cheese, grapes
Dinner: ham, asparagus, rice+beans (recipe coming soon) …cooking extra ham for tomorrow’s dinner
Snacks, Other: soak flour for these biscuits
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: grilled cheese, carrots + peanut butter, watermelon

TUESDAY:
Breakfast: biscuits, bananas, fried eggs (with tomatoes and salsa for those so inclined)
Lunch: leftover chicken thighs, roasted broccoli, watermelon
Dinner: Comfort Food: Ham & Biscuit Pot Pie, macaroni and cheese
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: leftover macaroni+cheese, ham slices, cucumbers, fresh fruit of choice

WEDNESDAY:
Breakfast: orange slices/pears, gluten-free bagels (splurge!), Prairie Homestead homemade breakfast sausage (nitrite/nitrate free!.. I make a batch and freeze it in smaller portions for quick thawing)
Lunch: leftover pot pie from yesterday
Dinner:  Roasted Potatoes (using the method I use in this recipe for carrots), asparagus, cheesy herbed meatloaf from The Prairie Homestead
Snacks, Other: soak oats for oatmeal tomorrow morning
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: granola + yogurt, fresh fruit, carrots + peanut butter

THURSDAY:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs + sausage + kale, pumpkin pie oatmeal
Lunch: leftover meatloaf, carrots, fresh fruit
Dinner: chicken tikka masala from The Domestic Man, rice, cauliflower
(NO SCHOOL TOMORROW!)

FRIDAY:
Breakfast: leftovers, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit of choice
Lunch: leftover chicken, leftover cauliflower
Dinner: chili + this gluten-free cornbread
Snacks, Other: soak flour for bread from The Elliott Homestead

SATURDAY:
Breakfast: coconut flour pancakes (I add frozen blueberries!), bacon
Lunch: fresh bread, roasted broccoli, fresh fruit, deli meat of choice
Dinner: LEFTOVERS … clean out the fridge!

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