I’m trying something new here, in the attempts to have our household stop wasting food. We give our scraps and food that’s no longer people good to the chickens. They love it. Wasting food is costing me money though, and those chickens aren’t laying eggs every day yet… seems silly to reward them for not pulling their weight.

New England clam chowder: Menu Planning for People Like Me | Knot By Gran'ma Blog
Menu planning allowed me to make (and have all the ingredients on hand) New England clam chowder… beyond delicious.

I keep reading about menu planning on Pinterest and other places. You’ll save money. Food won’t be wasted. Dinner time will be magical (Okay. I threw that one in.) Either way they’re very organized usually, and some of the posts/articles even have print outs. Well. I’m not that fancy. We’re still in the very beginning of this little experiment. The back of an envelope and a quarter piece of ripped paper got the point across.

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs: Menu Planning for People Like Me | Knot By Gran'ma Blog
Turkey quinoa meatballs over mashed potatoes with a mushroom gravy. So. Frickin’. Good.

I made up a menu that would cover two weeks. I left 2 days blank for leftovers. There’s no particular order here. The ones I tried already are marked with notes in parenthesis. I also wrote down what we’d like for breakfast and lunch, but that’s just stuff like fruit, sandwiches, oatmeal, eggs, etc… Since I’m gluten free, everything has to be made from scratch (Everything except my bread. I can’t figure out how to make it work).

  • Bacon & spinach macaroni and cheese (This was delicious… ended up adding tomatoes & olives too. So good.)
  • Turkey quinoa meatballs over mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy (I made a double batch of the meatballs.)
  • Chicken & waffles with broccoli slaw
  • Chicken soup
  • Shrimp fried rice (For someone who hasn’t had fried rice in forever, this was amazing.)
  • Roast chicken sandwiches with side salad
  • Ham & broccoli calzones (I’m still working on mastering the gluten free pizza dough. I use the recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring. Mine looked like crap, but tasted very good. I made a simple marinara for dipping.)
  • New England clam chowder (This blew us away. I had a “recipe” from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives… tasted exactly like the clam chowder in our heads. It was a lot thinner though, but I used milk over heavy cream.)
  • Shrimp kabobs with steamed collard greens & garlic
  • Pulled BBQ chicken on cauliflower wraps
  • Turkey chili over roasted potatoes… topped with cheddar cheese
  • Pork loin with roasted carrots, pickled cabbage, and cornbread

We’re just about at a week with the new menu planning. I pull out my scrap paper and envelope every morning and decide what we can do for dinner. So far I really like it. I don’t have the dreaded feeling of what am I going to cook for dinner? Do I have the ingredients for this? I know everything is in the fridge (or freezer) because I shopped for all the ingredients. We’ll need more eggs, milk, bacon, and bagels before the second week is out, but we are not wasting as much food as before. That was the entire goal of this little experiment. I’m diggin’ it, for sure.

 

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Menu Planning for People Like Me
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