This Week’s Menu Plan

I didn’t get last week’s Freezer Cooking in an Hour post written on Thursday like I’d planned (it was just one of those weeks where I was behind on pretty much everything all week long!), but I did make the Bread Machine Bread Sticks, Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken, and All Natural No Bake Energy Bites (as evidenced from the photo above).

We didn’t love the Lemon Garlic Chicken, but the Bread Machine Bread Sticks were a BIG hit (notice that half of them are already missing from the picture above?) and I’ll definitely be making them again. The No Bake Energy Bites also went over well and the children had a blast helping me roll the balls.

We’re still experiencing pretty high temperatures, but it’s supposed to cool down later in the week, so I’m hopeful it will be cool enough for me to use the oven a little more. We’ll see!

Here’s our planned menu for the week:

Breakfasts
French Toast Casserole, Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies (used carob rice milk instead of chocolate milk; this was still very yummy!)
Granola bars, fruit salad
Scrambled eggs and toast, fruit
Blueberry waffles, fruit smoothies
Steel Cut Oatmeal, Fruit
Hard-boiled eggs, toast, fruit
Whole-Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Lunches
Lunch at church (our church provided lunch for everyone)
Pizza, peaches, All Natural No Bake Energy Bites
Lunch out as a family
Salad with hard-boiled eggs, bagels, fruit
Refried beans with rice, carrot sticks, fruit
Leftovers x 2

Snacks
Banana Almond Smoothie
All Natural No Bake Energy Bites
Fruit/Veggies

Dinners
Dinner at extended family’s house
Crockpot Barbecue Chicken, Crusty Baguettes, green salad, fruit
Lemon Garlic Grilled Chicken, fruit, Bread Machine Bread Sticks
Hamburgers, Oven Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries, Steamed vegetables, fruit
Build-Your-Own Haystacks, fruit
Asian Barbecue Chicken, rice, steamed veggies, fruit salad
Dinner out

Freezer-Cooking-In-An-Hour Plan (I’ll share pictures/details on how this goes on Thursday!)
Strawberry Freezer Jam
Crockpot Barbecue Chicken
Whole-Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Did you make a menu plan this week? If so, I’d love to have you share your link in the comments.

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Comments

  1. says

    Our freezer died this week…We had to toss everything! So, this week I’m doing simple and frugal. It happens to be our anniversary this week as well. Nothing says “I’m glad I married you” like buying each other a new freezer :)

    Our meals this week include:
    Homemade Applesauce for breakfast. I’m actually looking for a good crock pot applesauce recipe if anybody has one. Organic apples were $0.49/lb this week, so I picked up a bunch!
    Dinners: Black Bean Enchiladas with Green Salad, Steak Salad with French Bread, and Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches.

    The entire menu is here: http://www.savemoneylivejoyfully.com/2011/07/weekly-menu-july-17-23.html

    • says

      I just peel, core, and cut the apples then throw in the crockpot until they are soft. Sometimes I add a little cinnamon, but usually the apples are sweet enough that they don’t need any sugar. We’ve cut down significantly on the amount of sweeteners we use. I have added sucanat, but then I kind of consider it “apple butter” instead of applesauce. I like mine chunky, but you can always puree the apples after cooking if you prefer it that way. I then put the applesauce in canning jars and either freeze them or go through the canning process if I have enough that warrants doing that. Sorry to hear about your freezer.

      We love steel cut oats in our house, this week I am trying a new recipe – a soaked and baked oatmeal. Can’t wait to try it. I was thinking of doing this in the crockpot instead of the oven due to the extreme heat this week, but if I do it in the morning it might not be so bad. Anyway, here is our menu for the week – chock full of veggies from our CSA and new whole grain recipes. http://delicious-nutritious.blogspot.com/2011/07/this-weeks-meal-plan-7182011.html

        • Rae says

          I actually just cut the apple off the core (or you could use a corer), add the cinnamon and a little tiny bit of honey (both are just an amount that looks good) then a little water. I cook it until soft then if wanting it chunky you can mash it with a potato masher and pull the skins out. Or you could use an immersion blender (which also takes care of the peels to leave those nutrients in). And an added benefit, you could take some out then continue cooking in the crockpot until it thickens and darkens (a few more hours including 1 or 2 without the lid) and it will be yummy apple butter :)

    • Jen says

      I can relate to the freezer dying, because it happened to us 3 weeks ago. We were fortunate that I caught it before everything had defrosted. I’m SO thankful I went to get a roast out for dinner the next day, because I think it had been out for a few days by that point. We buy our meat in bulk each fall from a local farm (1/4 beef, 1/2 pork, 12 whole chickens), so we’ve used a lot since fall. However, we still had plenty left. I madly rearranged the freezer in my fridge and our small chest freezer, and managed to fit everything in! Some things had defrosted but were still chilled, so I figured I’d use the smell test before using anything. I felt safe doing this since our meat has only been frozen once while it was fresh. It’s the equivalent of freezing previously frozen meat from the grocery store when you get it home.

      We ended up repairing the dead thermostat on our freezer, because even though it was a RIDICULOUS price, it was still (slightly) cheaper than replacing the freezer (which was only 2 1/2 years old). I’m happy to report that I’ve used several items, and they have been fine.

      So sorry to hear you have to replace your freezer. It’s such a bummer. Happy anniversary, and enjoy your gift! :)

      • says

        Can you share some info about how you went about finding a place to buy whole chickens? I would like to start doing that. (We already by a side of beef from my cousin’s farm.) With all of the news about antibiotics and such in chicken, I would like to start buying from a farmer who avoids that.

        • Jen says

          Hi Melissa. I found all my local food and meat sources starting from 2 Websites:
          eatwild.com
          localharvest.org
          Both have a feature where you can search for local farms in your area. Good luck! We have found the pastured chicken we buy to be excellent. Seriously, there is a huge difference in taste from the grocery store chicken. It’s awesome!

          • says

            Thanks. I appreciate you getting back to me! I will definitely look into buying from a local farm. On average, what is a good price per pound (whole chicken) to pay?

    • robyn says

      i have a super simple applesauce recipe for the crockpot, but use my vitamix. i use organic apples and leave the peel on. simple core the apples and cut, place in vitamix, cover with water and pulse/blend.( if you have a vitamix you prob know what this is like -sames as chopping onions or potatoes for hash browns). once the apples are copped pretty fine i strain (basically dumping the excess water out) through a fine colander and pour in my crockpot. by using my vitamix the apples are really fine but still a little chuck and there’s extra moisture from the water so i don’t add any in the crockpot. then i add cinnamon and maybe nutmeg and leave the crockpot over night. super simple and maybe takes me 10min to get ready, most of the time is spent in the apple coring. if you want finer applesauce you can put in the vitamix (or blender again after cooked).

  2. Shannon Van Wye says

    We do this same set up as a family a lot. Except, we call it Taco Mountain… and there is rice involved. We love rice! :)

  3. April says

    Those energy bites look awesome…and I have ingredients to make them in my pantry (using a couple substitutions)! I plan on making them tomorrow. Thanks!

  4. says

    I made those no bake energy bites (with mini chocolate chips, flax seed, dried cherries & unsweetened coconut) last week. My kids liked them so much, they were fighting over the last one!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. misty says

    We loved the lemon garlic grilled chicken. I cut mine into strips though and only marinated it for a few hours. Could have marinated a little longer but the kids loved it. : )

  6. says

    I feel like I was so much better at this before I had my son. I used to be able to plan out a month at a time – now I’m happy if I can throw together spaghetti!

    Getting back into the swing of things…baby steps :)

    • Meredith says

      aw – things really change with little ones! I’m about to have my second – my first just turned 5 and I’m JUST getting the hang of shopping by the circulars, stocking up on rock bottom prices, and menu planning. You’ll get it back! You’re right – baby steps!! :D

  7. Julie says

    Crystal, did you bake the breadsticks and then just freeze them as is? They look wonderful!

  8. Sherry says

    Crystal, Did you bake your Bread Machine Bread Sticks before putting them in the freezer? I made a batch to freeze for the first time and I did not bake them before freezing. Does it matter? I follow your weekly menus…so many great ideas. I use them all!!

  9. Erin says

    The energy bites look like the bones of a granola bar recipe I just tried, minus the nut butter. I am not a big fan of granola or granola bars, but yum! They were like dessert! Might have to try these.

    The beautiful thing about marinated chicken breasts is that if you don’t love the marinade, you can always use the chicken in some other way, like grilled atop a salad, as a chicken salad (dressed with a mayo-yogurt combo), or as tacos or nachos.

  10. Stephanie says

    Hope you enjoy making the freezer jam this week! It is something our family looks forward to all summer. We do strawberry, blackberry, peach, and cherry. YUM!!! You can’t beat it :)

  11. marsha says

    For the Crusty Baguettes, can you do the ice-cube thing with an electric oven? And do I just throw them in around the heating element or would it be more prudent to place them in a shallow pan? Appreciate any tips.

  12. says

    Thank you for including my banana almond flax smoothie in your menu plan! It’s great for when you’re out of fresh fruit, because you can use frozen bananas and pantry staples!

  13. says

    My husband just got laid off from his employer last week. With zero income, we have to get creative with our meals. I have over 200 recipes on my What’s Cookin’ website, with most based on a couponers budget. Time to go through them and make my menu for the week!

  14. says

    I also pinned the Energy Bites, but have yet to make them. I’m glad they turned out well for you. That gives me hope. This morning, I made 5 loaves of zucchini bread, 2 cinnamon swirl, and a loaf of banana bread. So, I think my freezer cooking for this week is done. Here’s my menu, and of course it includes your Breakfast Burritos and Cinnamon Roll Biscuits :).
    http://myfavoritefinds.blogspot.com/2011/07/menu-plan-week-of-july-17.html

  15. Rae says

    Crystal, have you ever tried barley as a breakfast cereal? I have tried making it twice now (the first times ever using barley at all) because I read that it is even better for you than oatmeal. Well the first time came out good (I used cinnamon, butter, and a little syrup) but yesterday I made it again and it was DELICIOUS! I cook the pearled barley in the crockpot ahead of time then refrigerate it until I’m ready for it. I spoon some into the bowl, chop it up with the spoon, add cinnamon, and chopped (pretty small so you get a few pieces in each bite) strawberries then microwave. The strawberries get soft and sweeter when cooked so it actually sweetened the barley enough that I didn’t need the syrup at all. Seriously… barley, fresh strawberries, and cinnamon…. so healthy but sooo good. I like things sweet so if I had added the strawberries, I would have needed some syrup or honey or something in it.

      • Rae says

        Well if you want to try it, put pearled barley (I got mine at an Amish store on vacation but here I’d probably get it in the bulk section) in the crockpot with water. The barley to water ratio is 1:4. I did one cup of barley for the 3 of us and it was enough to fill us up but no leftovers (we ate 2 bowls each because it was so yummy :P ). Set the crockpot to low and leave it alone for a few hours. Time depends on your crockpot (size/type) and also how much you make. For the one cup of dry barley that I made, it was done in less than 6 hours so I’m glad I did it during the day and not overnight like I had seen. If you do make it overnight make sure you do more than one cup. I always have the intentions of making extra so that some I can make into breakfast and some I can use in a savory dish later on but it never makes it past breakfast. You know it’s done when it is starting to brown around the edges just a bit. You can make it into the breakfast cereal right away or what I did was make it the afternoon prior (I didn’t want to chance it overnight since I wasn’t making that much) then refrigerate. When you do make it, eyeball the amount of cinnamon you want and chop the berries and add them right away. If you taste it after heating it up and it’s not sweet enough, you can always add honey or maple syrup at the end. :)

  16. says

    I tried freezer cooking for the first time about a month ago. Since then we have saved so much money becuase we don’t eat out as much anymore. My husband always use to say “I am hungry and there is nothing to eat” so he would go and pick up food or we would eat out. Granted there was a food in the house, having the meals prepared makes it easier for him to pop something into the oven and have it all cooked in 20 minutes!

    Thanks!

  17. Cara Ivey says

    Our menu this week is
    Turkey Burrito Pie (Mexican lasagna with totillas instead of pasta, great way to use up stale tortillas.)
    Asian Chicken Noodle Salad
    Chicken Broccoli casserole
    Turkey Cheese Burger Meatloaf Muffins
    Breakfast for Dinner (Whole wheat Blueberry pancakes/turkey sausage)
    Southwestern Hashbrown bake
    Turkey Haystacks
    I did mostly Freezer prep this week. Cooked off 10lbs of chicken and picked it all, made 1 1/2 gallons chicken stock, Morning Glory Muffins, and diced up a bunch of Mangoes I got on sale to freeze until I figure out what to do with them.
    Also wanted to let you knw that I have tried all of your pancakes, baked oatmeal, and choc. chip oatmeal cookies and Loved them!! I did make one change to all to make them a little more “mommy friendly”, I switched out ALL butter for applesauce!! And they all came out fabulous!! Just FYI for those trying to lose the babyweight and still get yor treats in!!
    I turned a friend onto this site and she made the enery bites and watermelon frosty! I’ll be making them tonight!!

  18. says

    Thanks for linking to my dairy-free Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe. I think the key is “toasting” the oats in the beginning. They give it kind of a nutty flavor. Mixed with the creamy milk (we use almond), brown sugar and cinnamon, I want it every morning!

  19. Jana says

    Crystal-

    Do you have to use whole wheat AND unbleached all-purpose flour for the Whole Wheat Banana Choc Chip Muffins? I have everything I need except the all-purpose flour b/c I only use whole wheat…. Do you think it would make much of a difference?

    Thanks!

    • Cara Ivey says

      I make all my muffins/cookies with whole wheat. Since you do it regularly I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy with the results! They just have that “heartier” flavor and texture. I also only Applesauce, no butter. They also taste really good withot the butter!

  20. Victoria says

    Crystal~
    Absolutely love your website! Thank you so much! I have a question regarding the bread stick recipe in this weeks menu plan. I followed the recipe, but was not sure as to cover them during rising cycle. Do you cover yours? Would appreciate any comments regarding the breadsticks as they look so yummy. God bless you!

  21. says

    Thank you for sharing some of these wonderfully easy and quick recipes. I tried the oven baked, parmesan fries and absolutely loved them. They are the perfect oven baked fries. Thanks again!

  22. says

    Thank you so much for posting your menu plans every week, they are very useful to me. I generally use them as a spring board to see what I could make and try some new recipes!

  23. Cynthia says

    I did awesome this week! I’m leaving for 3 weeks to visit my mom and my husband is staying by himself. Great opportunity to put what I have learned in here into practice. It took more than an hour. Spent the whole day in the kitchen, which is really hard when you have a 6 month old baby. I ended up doing, 3 pan of baked pasta, 3 pan of chicken penne pasta, 2 pan of rice and chicken mexican casserole, 8 meatloaf balls, 12 corn dog muffin, 3 honey cornbread and 10 breakfast burrito. I’m so proud of myself, never cooked that much and my husband was sooo impressed. Thank you for your blog is really encouraging.

  24. sarah says

    thank you SOOOO much for posting these!!! i look forward to them every week to see what new yummy ideas you have! We made you “energy balls” this week and my 4 year old GOBBLED them right up. You encourage me through these to try lots of new recipes and healthier alternatives. thanks again!