One of the best ways I have found to “Make it Do” is to plan my meals a week at time. I am amazed at how much money I save just by planning ahead. A good idea is to plan on the day your grocery store ads come out. Mine come in the mail on Tuesdays.
When I plan ahead I only buy the fresh fruits and vegetables that I need and nothing goes to waste. And I am able to plan a menu around the sales and based on what I have in my garden.
When I know I have a busy day, I plan a meal that is fast or something I can make ahead of time. In the past we would go out to eat… which is expensive and usually not as healthy.
Here is my menu for the upcoming week: All my meat and fish is from my freezer and much of what I am cooking will come from my garden.
- Tuesday- Chicken Stir Fry with peas and zucchini out of my garden (it’s heating up finally and this is the last harvest of my peas… what we don’t eat I am going to freeze.)
- Wednesday – Grilled Tilapia with grilled zucchini and a green salad- lettuce and zucchini are from my garden (This is one of my quick easy meals… 20 minutes or less. Since I am helping my mom decorate cupcakes for a wedding that day, I need it to be easy. I will make the salad, take out the frozen tilapia and put it in the refrigerator to thaw and pick the zucchini… all in the morning before we go. That way I’m not tempted to pick up dinner on the way home.
- Thursday- Chicken Milanese with a baguette- this recipe is so good… I can’t wait to share it!
- Friday- Cheeseburgers with Macaroni Salad and Cantaloupe slices
- Saturday- Hot Dogs, left over Macaroni Salad, Watermelon and S’mores – We are heading up the canyon with my 9 year old nephew, Will. The kids love cooking over an open fire!
- Dinner at my Mom’s- yeah I don’t have to cook
If planning gives you fits, try having an attractive book or template to plan from. I found this website with wonderful free templates… all you have to do is email her. I keep my menu planning in a small cute spiral binder. Just like the template I write my menu on the left column and my grocery list on the right column. Then I can throw it in my purse when I go to the store.
Most weeks I plan a left-over night. I hate to throw away food and this is good way to make sure it all gets eaten. I also love left-overs for lunch.
I still want to eat really healthy, delicious food even though I am on a budget. I find that if I am careful to buy what is in season, use what I’ve grown, and buy what’s on sale, I can do exactly that.
Just a little sad story… I know you all don’t want to hear me cry… but my computer hard drive crashed this weekend! It is such a bummer!
I just want to take a moment to thank Martha Stewart… I won a contest for my Easter Table Runner this Spring from her and received a SeaGate External Hard Drive and have been backing up my computer dutifully ever since… so with any luck my data including photos will be recovered. It seems amazing to me that we entrust so much to the caprice of technology… which is why I may start double backing up in the future. I am working on a borrowed machine now (thanks Dad) but without all my photographs for my posts… so bare with me.