Tuesday, February 24, 2009

meal planning

Now that the science fair is over *THANK YOU, GOD!* (my apologies to all those who like science) I needed to get my house, life and school back on track. I spent several evenings planning and today was the culmination of all those plans.

These are my meal planning steps :
  • choose 7 breakfasts
  • choose 7 lunches
  • and 10 dinners
I make my list from inexpensive meals. For our family of 6 (plus a baby) I have a list of
25 breakfasts (variations on a theme) with an average cost of $1.76
45 lunches with an average cost of $3.76
35 dinners with an average cost of $5.33

Those average costs are for the entire family. It doesn't include beverages per meal (which average $.95) or side dishes (which I usually have at least one veggie and averages about $1.25)

So, I plug and chug and made a menu plan for breakfast, lunch & dinner for a month (this time it was 6 weeks hoping to get me to Easter.) My goal is $400 for a month. This month I bought 3 fish meals and those were pretty expensive $8-10/meal just for the fish. I tweaked a few meals to lower my overall cost, so I could do it.

Yesterday I shopped for 4 hours (that was longer than it needed to take, but I ran into some glitches) and I came home and cooked 15lbs of hamburger, 6lbs of chicken (which left the remaining 9 to be cooked the next day), and 2 lbs of sausage. The girls and I (and a very pregnant friend came for a few hours -- she wanted to come help!) spent all day cooking. The boys helped some and were on baby duty alot. We put up 13 side dishes (mashed potatoes, garlic & cheese buscuits, cornbread and rice pilaf) and 17 meals (3 lasagna, 3 shepherd's pie, 3 sausage & rice bake, 3 sloppy joe, 5 omelet mixes). I also put up all the meat for the rest of the meals.

I ran out of time (and steam) and still need to make 10 meals worth (40 Cups) of Alfredo sauce, but then I'll be done. I'm so pleased that I don't have to mess with cooking for quite some time! One more item off my plate and we can focus on school! YEAH!!


  1. Wow! Do you often do this much cooking in advance. I thought I was good to meal plan for the week and just have the schedule written down so I knew what to buy for the week and what to pull out to defrost each morning.

  2. I do this about 4 times per year. Another 4 times per year, I'll just buy a bunch of meat on sale and cook it up ahead and have it in my freezer for whatever meals strike my fancy that evening. It takes up more of my time to go week to week on shopping and planning, but I do have to dedicate a chunk of time for planning and executing a 30 day meal plan.