2014 Menu Planning Challenge
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  1. #1
    Registered User AspiringToBeFrugal's Avatar
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    Default 2014 Menu Planning Challenge

    To make sure we're getting as much mileage as possible from our grocery budget, I am aiming to do a better job of planning our menu and sticking to that plan every week (obviously with some flexibility due to unforeseen circumstances that arise). This goes hand-in-hand with my goal of trying one new recipe each week this year. I'll be looking at our calendar later today and then I'll post our menu for the week this afternoon!

  2. #2
    Registered User Raiquee's Avatar
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    Oh I want to join, I so need this in my life! But i'm terrified of failing! lol. We can hold hands and do this together tho!

    I don't have dates assigned, but I have these meals in mind for upcoming:

    taco pasta
    creamy chicken taquitos
    Venisun strognaff
    penne alfredo

    I gotta look in my freezer to see other proteins I got going on...and staples in the house. I will check back probably tomorrow with a few weeks of ideas at least!

  3. #3
    Registered User EmilyD's Avatar
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    I am going back on my diet so most food will be calorie controlled.
    and frozen, but I will also need to keep track veggies and fruits .
    I dropped my grocery budget from $160+ to $120.00 for every 2 weeks,
    so I need to keep track if I am going to stay in budget.

    I start tomorrow:
    all the main food is WW

    Mon: meatless
    Breakfast. oatmeal, fruit
    Lunch: Soup
    Dinner: Spanish rice and beans
    Snack: Apple/cutie

    Tuesday:
    Breakfast: Sausage sandwich
    Lunch: Mini cheeseburger,
    Dinner: Spaghetti and meat sauce, corn
    Snack: Apple/cutie

    More later.

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  5. #4
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    I need to do a much better job at planning!! Dh and I want to eat better so planning will help to keep costs down!

  6. #5
    Registered User hotprincesscm's Avatar
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    I would like to do this challenge as well! It will be difficult for me...as a new year is bringing about a new eating pattern. We are trying to eat healthier to lose weight and get healthy. DBF will be doing atkins, and I am leaning more towards, a vegetarian/vegan diet, weighing heavily on raw fresh fruit and veggies and low in cooked dried foods. So there will be two different meal plans going on in the house....I will figure it out and post back soon. I think I will plan for me and my children....and he can figure out his own food....

  7. #6
    Registered User AspiringToBeFrugal's Avatar
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    Awesome, everyone! If nothing else, this challenge may inspire us with some new menu ideas to try in our homes!

    I'm still working on the first week...we've had some things come up that are going to affect our travel plans for the first few days of the year so the meal plan is being adjusted.

  8. #7
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    I'm going to join in. There are a few challenges to work around such as DH's travel schedule and the kids' spring sports schedules. In the spring and fall we are hardly ever home for dinner. Maybe I'll plan on more salads with grilled chicken or roasts that I make on Sunday and eat throughout the week.

  9. #8
    Registered User MakeADollarHollar's Avatar
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    I've got our menu planned for the first week of January. The first Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday of every month is already planned so we can rotate out some of our stockpile. Every month there will be repeats until we get some things down to more reasonable levels for the two of us or use up things we simply don't eat anymore. The first Friday of every month instead of ordering pizza out I'm going to start using a frozen pizza to help save a little money.

    Wednesday, Jan 1st - breaking tradition and going with Smoked Brats with Sauerkraut

    Thursday - Turkey Chili Dogs, Whole Wheat Buns, Tater Tots, Frozen Veg

    *My menu starts on Friday so I'll update the rest later this week.

  10. #9
    Registered User wunsagin's Avatar
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    I only menu plan for dinners.

    S - LO's
    M - pita pizzas
    T - turkey noodle soup
    W - smothered pork chops, boiled cabbage and potatoes, blackeyed peas, LO desserts
    T - breakfast; eggs, sausage, pancakes
    F - beef bean stew
    S - tacos, mexican rice, refried beans
    Terry

    Jan grocery 129.57/275.00
    Jan coupon 1.00
    YTD grocery
    YTD coupon


    New Recipe 1/24
    Items repurposed
    Twenty wishes 0/20

    as of 1-11

    Personal challenge, 5 A Day
    put away, throw away, give away
    at least 5 items a day

  11. #10
    Registered User Jeanna's Avatar
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    I too only plan for supper.
    Here is my menu for the rest of this week
    M--Red Beans and Rice with smoked sausage, corn
    T-Sloppy Joes, FF
    W-Spaghetti with meat and veggie sauce , garlic bread
    Th-Chili w/ cornbread
    F-Chicken Fajitas, Spanish rice, fruit
    S-Pinto beans, Fried Potatoes, Pork Chops, Corn bread
    Sun-Chicken Pot Pie, mashed potatoes

  12. #11
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    Joining!
    Yesterday: Honey chicken thighs/drumsticks in slow cooker, rice, veggie
    Monday: Pancakes, sausage, bacon, fruit
    Tuesday: Tacos, mini taco salads, mexican rice, and pineapples
    Wednesday: Stuffed shells with cheese and italian sausage, garlic bread, buttered green beans
    Thursday: Pork roast w/ red potatoes, carrots in slow cooker, and biscuits
    Friday: Chicken Kiev, mashed potatoes, corn, and breadsticks
    Saturday: Homemade pizzas with salad.

  13. #12
    Registered User qsaver704's Avatar
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    I am in!

    Trying to plan all three meals to save money, but many times breakfast and lunch are not followed!

    1st:
    B-muffins (frozen)
    L-chicken noodle soup and rolls (frozen broth, frozen chicken, frozen rolls)
    D-stew beef n rice, green beans (frozen beef, garden canned beans)

    2nd:
    B-toast with fruit (bread frozen, fruit leftover from Christmas goodie bags)
    L-Lo soup
    D-out for spirit night at school

    3rd:
    B-toast and fruit
    L-frozen burritos, carrot sticks, cucumbers, hummus
    D-chicken nuggets, cooked carrots, leftover chips, pretzles, etc.

    4th:
    B-cereal
    L-fend for yourself
    D-pork chops, stuffing, LO green beans and carrots, scalloped potatoes

  14. #13
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    I only plan dinners as well, this is the plan so far.....

    today-breakfast for dinner
    Tuesday-tacos
    Wednesday-chicken stir fry and fried rice
    Thursday-baked potato soup and sandwiches
    Friday-grilled chicken or bbq ranch chicken salad
    Saturday-homemade pizza
    Sunday-pork roast in the crockpot with mashed potatoes and a veggie or salad.

  15. #14
    Registered User qsaver704's Avatar
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    Week 2 almost done!

    5:
    B-biscuits (frozen)
    L-peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with fruit
    D-????

    6:
    B-pancakes
    L-canned soup
    D-bacon, eggs, toast (bacon from freezer)

    7:
    B-grits
    L-bean and cheese burritos (beans and shells from pantry)
    D-chicken n rice, peas (chicken freezer, rice and peas, pantry)

    8:
    B-muffins (pantry mix)
    L-turkey salad sandwiches (turkey in freezer)
    D-meatball sandwiches (meat in freezer, but need to buy bread and cheese)

    9:
    B-cereal
    L-turkey salad sandwiches
    D-hot dogs, chili, fries

    10:
    B-toast with fruit
    L-????
    D-hamburger helper, field peas

    11:
    B-shake
    L-peanut butter sandwich or quick crackers and cheese, etc.
    D-?????

  16. #15
    Registered User AspiringToBeFrugal's Avatar
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    OK! I finally hammered out what I think are my menus for the first two weeks. I go ahead and plan basics like triple batches of waffles or pancakes, cereal, smoothies, etc. for breakfasts and mac & cheese, soup & sandwiches, eggs, and leftovers for lunches. My actual "recipes" or big meals that I'll post here are for our suppers. As you can see, I try to make Friday our meatless meal so we have at least one of those meals every week. This menu also helps me plan to try new recipes for that "Try New Recipes Challenge" so I've ID'd those with an *.

    1 - Soup & Sandwiches
    2 - Spaghetti & Meat sauce w/ homemade garlic rolls
    3 - Beans & sopa
    4 - Enchiladas w/ homemade pico de gallo* (a Pioneer Woman recipe)
    5 - Pork roast w/ potatoes and roasted veggies
    6 - Chicken fajitas
    7 - Sausage & pepper sandwiches w/ homemade fries
    8 - Leftovers
    9 - Chili w/ cinnamon rolls
    10 - Pasta puttanesca w/ homemade garlic bread
    11 - Homemade pizza (homemade crust* from Pioneer Woman recipe)
    12 - Homemade tamales*
    13 - Eat out--DS's b-day
    14 - Christmas tortellini & spinach soup* (Taste of Home Recipe--Dec/Jan '13)
    15 - Roasted chicken w/ veggies
    16 - Chicken pot pie* (Pioneer Woman recipe)
    17 - Black bean burgers* (Cooking Light Dec. '13)
    18 - Eat out--DD's b-day

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