Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Menu Planning

A whole bunch of my friends have lately started planning meals and menus for their weeks. At WW, they have taught us that planning is a key to success. And frankly, I'm a little tired of going to the store 3, 4, 5 nights a week to get dinner, a forgotten ingredient, a snack, etc. I honestly don't know how my mom did it--going to the store once every two weeks. But maybe since that was the option, she was a better planner.

Regardless, my intention now is to start planning better. I plan to shop once a week, probably on Sunday mornings when the stores are least crowded around here. I don't want to keep going after work. I don't want to add anything else to my Saturdays.

But also, culinarily speaking, we are stuck in a deep, deep rut. For some reason, Mister and I decided to make a list of "acceptable foods" and we rarely strayed from the formula. Joining WW leads me to want to find new and interesting foods to enjoy while staying on plan. And trying different things has given us good and bad results, but has definitely led to some interesting dishes.

So my hope is also to try one new recipe per week. It may get to the point it's one new recipe every other week, but I have tons of recipes and cookbooks and I never, ever use them. So I've started reading them and it's time that we try some new things.

Ok, so this week's menu is as follows:

Tuesday night (Hubby's Choice):
Hot dogs
French Fries (for him)
Mac N Cheese (for me)
Peas n onions (for me)

Hebrew Nationals 97% FF hot dogs clock in at a mere point each. Usually I skip the bun.

Wednesday night (Wife's choice):
Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
Corn (for me)
Salad (for me)

Thursday night (Adventurous New Recipe Night):
Hawaiian pork tenderloin
Green beans

Friday Night (Least work possible and low cal foods before weigh in on Saturday):
Bisquick Heart Healthy Pancakes
Brown & Serve Lite Sausage

Saturday Evening (I'm volunteering at the library--something quick and easy is called for):

I went to the store to pick up all these items, plus rabbit chow, breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for the week, and spent a mere 97 dollars. Beginning this weekend I'll start buying the Sunday paper to get coupons. Still, this is about 60 dollars less than I usually spend, so I will consider week 1 a success.

A lot of this food is real easy to make. I would like to eventually get to the point where I'm not relying so much on pre-processed foods, but honestly, I don't see myself making hot dogs with my own sausage press any time soon.

What I also like about this is that hopefully I will be more likely to stay on points for the weekend, which I think should help with my weight loss goals. Up till now, I've been really letting go on the weekends. This weekend I did not track for three days and according to Wii Fit, I haven't gained a thing, so maybe I'm getting better at this WW thing. However, I am back on points today, and intend to continue this week with tracking and planning. Meanwhile, I'll be scouring the recipe books for new ideas. This week's pork tenderloin recipe is from a 5 ingredients or less cookbook and is the first recipe I've made from that book. I'm excited to try it out, it sounds so good!

Bon appetit!

3 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Cindy said...

I base a lot of meals on what is on sale meat wise at the stores I shop at - Bloom and Giant. I stock pile meats when they are on sale, so if neither store is having a good sale, I can still have stuff.

I would make 30 different meals in a month if Jeff would let me. We'd try a new meal, and he'd say - oh, this is good, I guess we'll never have it again. And it was kind of true.

So, I started a list of Dinner's Jeff likes. I try to have at least 2 of those dinners a week. I go through my cookbooks every week, and go shopping on Sunday morning.

I'm switching up the menu this week - like we're having Wednesday's meal today because I didn't get the salsa at the store on Sunday for today's meal. It wasn't on sale, and I just didn't want to pay the price. So, I need to go out tomorrow anyway, so I'll see if I can find cheaper salsa, and if not, I'll change the menu.

Also, I have certain dinners certain nights of the week. Tuesday is Crock Pot Tuesday. Fridays is either tacos or fish fry - Jeff said he likes having a fun dinner on his last day of work for the week. Not sure what is fun about those, but it works.

Elizabeth said...

You Rock!! I have been trying to get myself organized enough to plan meals in advance for about...hmmm...a year now. I bet it will make your life easier and free up some time. Good going!

Seraphim9 said...

Funny, I was just thinking about meal-planning just this morning. I think I'll elaborate more later on my blog rather than hijacking your blog! LOL!