Sunday, March 18, 2012

Game Plan 3/18

I think I need a nap.  This is a thing in our home--mandatory naps on Sunday.  I've got my list of meals made, this week I am trying to make room in my freezer.  I've frozen 6 flats of strawberries in the last week.  My local Aldi had a mistake in shipping and they sold strawberries $.49/lb on Saturday.  Plus, I did my last batch of freezer meals the same day our farmer delivered a side of pork and, well, I can't get around in my freezer anymore.  So on top sits this pork and those meals, so I guess that is what we will eat.
Over the last eight years my family went from being me and my sweet to being six of us.  And let me tell you, my kids can eat!  There are meals when my 6 year old son eats as much as my husband and I.  I know what you are thinking, wait until they are teenagers.  Trust me, I think of this often when buying groceries. I feel like I just fill the fridge and we empty it, in a never ending cycle.  The one thing that saves me each week from just hitting the drive-thru, is planning.
I've heard the common excuse that eating real food is more expensive than eating processed food, which I would agree with.  But in most cases, I don't think the problem is the cost with people, but it is the work.  In reality, dinner for 6 from McDonalds would cost the same as a dinner of real food, even grass-fed meat, which most people sneer at the price of.  And I will be the first to admit, it takes a lot of work!  From reading the labels in the stores, stockpiling, or saving to buy things in bulk.  Prioritizing which healthy measures are more important to your family and how to work those into your budget can get overwhelming.  Then there is all of the time you have to spend in the kitchen.  This is where planning can save you.  It saves you from wasting food and time running out for this and that.
The most important part is to keep tabs on what you have.  I make constant lists of what needs to be eaten out of the fridge and then plan meals around them.  I also up-cycle meals instead of just eating straight leftovers.  Sometimes a couple of things in the fridge will come together for something great.
In my meals this week I am doing some up-cycle.  Monday I will use chicken I roasted last week and Cream of Mushroom soup I have in the freezer to avoid chemicals in canned soup.  Oh and right now I am cooking the rice for tomorrow's dinner and extra to make Chicken and Rice soup for lunch from leftover the Roasted Chicken on Wednesday's menu.  This means my rice will be perfectly tender and I will get my daughter to volleyball on time tomorrow.  (Brown Rice really does take forever to cook, I prefer it to white, so I have learned to always cook it ahead.  After of course, having it "crunchy" about a hundred times.)

Here's my line-up for this week:

Monday: Chicken, Mushroom, and Broccoli Casserole, Tossed Salad
Tuesday: BBQ Potatoes (freezer), Salad
Wednesday: Roasted Chicken, Broccoli Salad
Thursday: Slow Cooker Enchiladas (from Moms with Crockpots)
Friday: Pizza-Pepperoni, Olives, and Spinach
Saturday: Chili with the Fixin's
Sunday: Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions, Pasta (freezer)
Treat: Flourless Pound Cake (from The Healthy Home Economist)


Finding your rhythm in the kitchen and grocery store isn't an overnight change you can make.  Each meal you get on the table without any processed ingredients is a success.  Pat your self on the back, pour yourself some raw milk or kombucha and enjoy!

Love and Butter,

Mishelle







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