I sat down yesterday to plan out our February meal plan and make our master shopping list.
I highly encourage meal planning, it really makes life easier and helps us spend as little as possible at the store. We plan monthly because my husband is paid monthly, planning for a shorter period of time might work better for you.
You will notice that I only planned 22 meals this month, there’s a reason for this :) February is a short month, we typically eat with my parents once a week (either they make it or we’ll buy something special) and we have some family events coming up that include meals.
There were some pretty decent sales on meat this week so more meals than usual will include meat this month. Also, I have some quick sandwich-type dinners on the list because there are several evenings this month that we’ll be away from home and need to carry dinner with us.
Also, note that I do not plan what will be served on what day, which the exception of the meals away from home. The meat for this month cost $153 and everything else was $255 (before coupons) for a total of $408. This leaves us with $30/week for milk, fresh produce and last-minute things (*cough* wine *cough*).
With all of that said, here we go! I have provided links or simple instructions to each recipe, most of which I adjust to serve 8-10 so there are leftovers for lunch. Enjoy!
Caramel Chicken, rice and egg rolls
Steak, baked potatoes & salad
Bacon, lettice, avacado & tomato on homemade naan
Pretzel Rolls with ham salad & very veggie pasta salad
Throughout the month save bits of leftover meat, veggies, sauces, etc. in a freezer bag. At the end of the month dump them into the slow cooker, add broth and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Tortellini with sauce, salad, garlic breadsticks
I admit it, I use frozen tortellini and jarred sauce but I make my own breadsticks.
Hot dog night
Exactly what it sounds like. I like cheddar cheese, chili, onions & mustard on mine.
Waffles or pancakes, eggs, fresh fruit & milk
Brown some beef tips (or ground beef) and drain. Boil egg noodles and drain. Combine egg noodles, beef, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup sour cream and mix well over low heat. Add fresh mushrooms if you like. I double this recipe because I like leftovers.
Brown cheap beef cuts that have been cut into strips (I prefer London Broil and it was on sale this week!) Add whatever seasoning you like (I prefer simplicity; soy sauce, black pepper, a touch of cumin.) Remove steak and quickly stir fry bell pepper and onion slices (I bought a frozen mix.) Plop it all into a large flour tortilla and you’re done.
Corned Beef, cabbage and potatoes
I bought a corned beef kit on sale, it’ll be cooked in the slow cooker on low for about 10 hours.
Lentil Loaf, salad
Bonus dinners are things we have the stuff to make in the event we decide to make something off-plan, for an extra lunch or whatever.
Chick pea & potato curry – I kind of wing this one. I saute onions and garlic in olive oil, then add a few potatoes that have been diced very small. I add a cup or two of cooked chick peas and some diced tomatoes if I have them. You can also add peppers or cauliflower if you like. I season generously (very generously) with curry powder (or curry paste if I have it, I usually don’t) or garam masala powder, whichever I have more of. If you have neither you can make your own spice blend from black pepper, turmeric, a pinch of cinnamon, a decent helping of cumin and some salt, ground clove if you like it. I serve over rice. My family really likes it when I add chicken to this dish.
Baked spaghetti – this one is simple. Prepare spaghetti according to box directions but stop cooking 2 minutes early, drain the sauce and put spaghetti into a casserole dish. Pour sauce over the noodles, add meatballs or cooked ground beef if desired. Top with cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.