If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Plan Monday... & Some Frugal Notes...

In my efforts to be more organized (and more frugal!), I decided to jump on the Menu Plan Monday bandwagon. I went through the freezer this weekend - apparently I don't need to buy much meat for a while - cleaned out the fridge, did a little shopping, and here we go! We're attempting to cut down on meat and up our intake of veggies, beans, and whole grains at the same time.

Monday: Black bean and quinoa burritos, with tomato, lettuce, avocado, salsa and cheese.

Tuesday: Happy Valentine's Day! A celebratory dinner of baked pork tenderloin chops; green salad; sauteed green beans with balsamic vinegar. A planned dessert as well (usually I skip dessert and the kids have yogurt with frozen berries)... my husband's favorite rice pudding. I'm making it this time with brown basmati rice, vanilla, and some fresh Meyer lemon zest.

Wednesday: A busy day, so a quick dinner: spinach & mushroom scramble, with whole-grain toast, and fruit on the side.

Thursday: Roasted chicken; salt potatoes (which I think I will skip); steamed broccoli with lemon.

Friday: A bean-and-veggie soup made with stock from Thursday's chicken. Biscuits or Irish soda bread with rosemary (rather than the more typical currants).

Saturday: Fresh, baked bass (thanks to a husband who loves fishing); sauteed cauliflower and broccoli; crudites with homemade hummus.

Sunday: Leftover night!

I've been reading how-to guides on frugal living all weekend - really enjoyed Family Feasts for $75 A Week because the foods were healthy ones, not weird cheap stuff. With food, there are just certain lengths I won't go to. It was also one of the few books I've read that does not rely heavily on couponing, and I have to agree with the author here: "One problem with coupons is that they tend to be for highly processed food and name brands, items I don't generally buy." This is my issue with coupons too, except those rare ones that are just for a certain amount off of a certain total amount.

The other book I really enjoyed was The New Good Living: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less. I knew before that the author, John Robbins, had turned his back on his family empire (Baskin Robbins), but I never really realized that meant he had no money either! The book is well written, enjoyable, and practical.

I also had a good friend send me some fantastic tips, which I really appreciate!

I took an inventory of sorts over the weekend - freezer, pantry, linen/stuff closet, even our homeschooling materials, and I can easily see how we can do with less. There might be a couple of initial investments... for example, I'd like to buy a bunch of brightly colored washcloths to use in the kitchen instead of paper towels, but they are small investments that will pay off in next to no time. I also researched stores in my area. I've always avoided stores like Costco, because I don't want to pay a membership fee, and I generally don't buy that much at any one time, but I did find Cash & Carry, which is just about the same without the membership fee. I also decided that once a month, I should stop by the bakery outlet store, and the grocery outlet store. I have a chest freezer that I need to clean out and organize so that it can be put to better use.

We're also working on actually installing a vegetable garden. We finally decided to build a grouping of smaller raised beds/boxes, as 1) our soil isn't fantastic, and 2) I think it'll be easier to maintain. Once we get it really going, we ought to be able to grow a good amount of vegetables almost year round.

And there's my rambling for today!

1 comment :

  1. Whoo hooooo! It sounds like you have a plan! Great ideas! :)


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