Sunday, October 2, 2011

Monthly Meal Planning/ Once a Month Shopping- October

Things I learn last Month-

  1. Account for ALL ingredients when making Monthly Shopping List. I ran out of canned tomatoes mid month.
  2. Plan for "easy" meals i.e. frozen pizza, frozen leftovers from cooking. There were some nights I forgot about dinner until it was time to eat.
  3. Plan on one take out night per month. By then end of the month I wanted a hamburger and french fries so bad! Thankfully my Mom came to visit and took us out for one :) Thanks Mom!
  4. Divide Monthly Shopping Budget to include weekly $ for fresh produce and yogurt. I ran out of money at the end of the month. Again, thanks Mom for the last week fruit and yogurt! I think this is where a "cash only" system comes in handy. That way you can hide away the money for the next weeks budget. 
  5. Keep track of what you are spending while you shop. When you only have $X money to spend you only want to spend $X or less.
I hung my list on the fridge and each morning looked at it and decided what I wanted to cook for the day. I would mark it off when I cooked. I love that I have a list to pick from instead of having to make it up as I go.

After doing my shopping for October I had $13 left from my Budget plus my allotted $ for weekly fresh food. Of course I had forgotten a few things and had to go back the next day but over all a success.

I had 25 days to plan for this month. Once I got to the store I subed pork chops for ham because I found some on sale.

Monthly Meals
1. Hamburgers
2. Frozen Pizza
3. Spaghetti /Garlic Bread
4. Sloppy Joes, Ranch Style Beans CP
5. Pork Roast w/ Root Beer and BBQ Sauce CP
6. BBQ Sandwich CP
7. Stew
8. Chicken Curry
9. Salmon Patties
10. Chicken Velveeta Spaghetti
11. Beans and Fried Potatoes
12. Taco Soup CP
13. Burritos w/leftover Taco Soup, rice
14. Lima Bean Casserole CP
15. Chicken Mexi Casserole w/ beans, rice
16. Lentil Soup Moroccan CP
17. California Tamale Pie CP (As soon as I perfect this dish I'll share it!)
18. Stuffed Bell Peppers, Hummus, Homemade Pita
19. Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas
20. Tator Tot Casserole
21. Chicken Velveeta broccoli and Mac
22. Chicken Stir Fry w. rice
23. Porkchops w/ scallop potatoes
24. Chicken pot pie
25. Beef Fajitas

I want to share with you my Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe. It all started with the pita bread. And then the Hummus. I'm on a real bread making kick and have explored several different types. I'll share more in another post.

But this is about Stuffed Bell Pepper goodness.

4-6 Bell Peppers
(I like the fat, short ones so they stand up on their own.)
1-2 Cups Cooked Chicken, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
3-4 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 can of Chopped Tomatoes and Chilies (Rotel)
1 cup Cooked Rice
1/2 cup Black Beans w/juice
(I cook my own but you can use canned.)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

I was going for a Greek feel to the meal with the pita and hummus but Eli tells me that they don't use tomatoes or beans in Greek cooking. It's still good.

Saute onions and garlic in 2 T oil on medium heat until onions are almost transparent. Add Chicken, Salt and Pepper to taste and 2 T of Greek Seasoning. Stir and cook till onions are all the way done or all the oil is absorbed. Add rice and mix. Add Tomatoes/ Chilies, Beans and another T of Greek Seasoning. Stir and cook until heated.

Preheat Oven to 350.

Wash Bells. Cut tops off, about 1 in below top. Remove core and seeds. I heard on a cooking show you should never rinse the inside of the bell because it takes away from the flavor. So just tap out any extra seed. If a few stay in that's really no problem. Rub oil over outside and place "cup" side up in glass dish.

Stuff with Chicken and Rice mixture. Place lids back on and place in oven for 25-30 mins or until outside of bell is starting to turn brown/black and soft.

Serve with homemade pita chips and Hummus!


Anonymous said...

Oh, Melissa, you are a girl after my own heart! I love to plan meals so I never have to worry, "what's for dinner?"...Can't wait to try your stuffed peppers.


Vicki said...

I am in the midst of trying to get my October menu made. I'll definitely take some ideas from yours!

BTW, my grandchildren are sooooooo cute!! Please give them and Eli a hug from me and here's one for you! ( )

Anonymous said...

I wish I had the courage to try this meal planning.


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