Meal Planning: January 8 – 14

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Meal planning is a great way to make use of what’s already in your pantry — and to save money.

We’re into Week 2 of the Pantry Challenge. So far, so good. We did a few tweaks last week — and due to glorious weather, home improvement projects, and vacation, we did dip into our Eating Out Budget. But, I’m making some headway — and I think we’re eating better all the way around. LOTS of fruits and veggies around here.

The Pantry Challenge helps me be more creative with leftovers. I took dipping sauce from our New Year’s potstickers and turned it into a salad dressing for Asian Chicken Salad and Noodles. Less waste makes me very happy.

Based on what we’ve already got, here’s the dinner plan for this week:

Tortilla Soup (frozen), Cornbread or Rolls
Orange Ginger Grilled ChickenRice PilafEasy Garlic Green Beans
Warm and Spicy Grilled Fish, Quinoa Pilaf, Greens
Pasta with Red Sauce, Vegetables, Bread
Roast Turkey and fixings
Pizza Night
Turkey Pot Pie, Salad

(You can read my daily updates of what we actually end up eating here. And be sure to come by tomorrow to get the lowdown on the Pantry Challenge and share your own progress.)

What’s cooking at your house this week?

For more meal planning inspiration, visit Menu Plan Monday each week.

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  1. We’re entering our 3rd week of the pantry challenge…woohoo!

    Our menu focuses on some “make ahead” items from the freezer…looking forward to the week!

    Julie-enJOYing life

  2. What a great idea to turn your dipping sauce into a salad dressing! One thing I was particularly proud of during Week 1 was using up a mysterious bag (the writing had come off…) of chicken soup starter I had in my freezer. I re-purposed it into a base for a delicious chicken pot pie I made! 🙂

    Here’s what we’re eating this week in Eastern Iowa:

  3. My weekly menu will post in about an hour. LOL
    Chicken pot pie tonight; crockpot roast, roast beef sandwiches with sweet tater fries, tacos and a night of leftovers.

  4. Hot Dogs/Chips (freezer/pantry)
    spaghtti & Meatballs (freezer/pantry)
    Frozen Pizza (DH is out of town for the day)
    Potato Dumplings (Norwegian Krub)
    Frito Chili Pie (I made 3 crockpots of chili for a Christmas party in Dec..and have a ton left over)
    Potato Leek Soup (ingredients from AHO veggie box)

    I was way under budget today at the store even with buying paper towels, tp, and 4 gallons of milk. I’m also thinking of making some gluten free banana bread this week and see what other mystery things are in my freezer that can be made into gluten free snacks.

  5. Wish we were having turkey this week, yum! I’ll probably be making one in a few weeks for our annual “Thankful for Our Friends” dinner. We invite our best friends over with their kids and have a turkey dinner, it’s always a great night.

    I have a super easy week this week. Here’s our plan.

  6. I notice that you put roast turkey on your menu. Do you find that you can get a good price on one when it is not during the holidays?? I tend to stick to roast chicken but would love to mix it up and not only make a turkey or special ocassions.

    • Turkeys will last quite a while in the freezer, especially if you have a deep freeze. So, we buy 1 or 2 extra at the holidays when the prices are good and then eat them later.

  7. I’ve started a new blog to chronicle our family food adventures as I make budget friendly, easy to fix, favorite family meals.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. I made potato Sausage soup yesterday for today and we had Chocolate chip cookie bars and I am making some popcorn!

  9. I just did my revised meal plan for the week: I had planned on making spinach feta turnovers for dinner tonight. However, I don’t have feta, and since I’m personally going gluten-free, I’m substituting sauteed kale and roasted potatoes and carrots instead. Hmm, might slip a parsnip in there too to use them up.

    I cleaned my fridge out last Friday which took a huge load off my shoulders. I feel so much better about cooking with a sparkly fridge. 🙂

  10. Here is my plan for the week:

    Used only meat from the freezer!!!

  11. I am using a new chalkboard cabinet in my kitchen for my menu plan and loving it. The convenience of being able to adjust it as needed is great, and it cuts down on kitchen paper clutter.

    I do need to relook at my pantry and start going through some older canned goods…

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