Thursday, June 4, 2009

Menu plan

I have been tweaking my menu plan just a little. I am trying to trim down my meat even more. In the winter it was easy, I just added more soups. Summer is a bit more difficult. We finally have propane for the grill, and I love to grill. But, our budget is not allowing a lot of meat. If anyone has any suggestions....PLEASE let me know!
Now on to the menu plan for this week:

Crock pot Mac-n-cheese and tuna franks
Beefy baked beans and potato salad
Homemade pizza
Stuffed shells (no meat)
Hamburgers (camping with Mom and Dad)
Lemon Pepper chicken (It was a HUGE hit with family)
Tuna casserole
Breakfast casserole

Homemade brownies
Homemade rice krispie treats
Cake with homemade icing

pop tarts
Egg sandwiches

Sandwiches and fruit

I found absolutely no deals in meat so far this week! Bummer! But, I want to start learning to cook vegetarian meals. I have no creativity in this I will search for some good cheap veggie meals. My garden is starting to grow and with it being summer, I'm hoping to really stock up on some awesome veggie deals to freeze. I am also wanting to learn how to can veggies. So, we tighten up our belt once again. Gas is starting to go back up and my hours at work has been cut way back. I must confess that I wasn't sticking to my grocery budget for the past month, but now that's not an option. Back to clipping coupons, looking for deals and being more frugal than I was in May!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Getting things ready to freeze!

I spent maybe an hour minus the cooking time to prepare dinners for the freezer. I usually buy the large family size packages of chicken (I use thighs because they are cheaper!).

I cook all the chicken then take the meat off the bone when it is cool. I then measure out a cup of chicken per freezer bag (most recipes only call for a cup of chicken) and freeze flat.

Then I buy the whole chicken (at Aldi these are .89 cents a pound). I clean them inside and out and rub them down with lemon pepper seasoning on the inside, outside and under the skin.

Then I wrap them up in foil and place them in a large freezer bag and freeze.

This little bit of time preparing now saves a whole lot of time when you are in a mad dash trying to fix dinner in the evenings. A lot of times I measure, mix and freeze all of the casserole ingredients in one large freezer bag. Dinner is simply defrosting during the day while you are busy with other things and then placing the ingredients in a casserole dish to cook when ready. This I would have showed you, but due to poor menu planning on my part I didn't have key ingredients for my casseroles! Ugh! Oh well, at least the meat is cooked and ready to go!!