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What’s on the menu this week

Greenmpm 

Our freezer is quite stocked, but I have a few more items I still wanted to make up to add to it before the baby comes so my goal is to finish those this week. I've planned them into our regular menus so that I can just double or triple a batch of whatever I'm making to make it much easier and efficient. At this season of my life, this is one of the easiest ways for me to make up food for the freezer–especially when it comes to main dishes.

Here's the proposed menu:

Breakfasts
Whole-wheat pumpkin waffles, fruit  
Strawberry smoothies, toast
Banana bread, apples, scrambled eggs with cheese
Oatmeal with brown sugar
Blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs
Cereal

Lunches
Homemade pita pockets (make extra for the freezer) with melted cheese, apples
Veggie frittata
Spinach brown rice and cheese casserole (make extra for the freezer)
PB&J, carrots
Apples with peanut butter, cranberry pumpkin muffins
Baked potatoes with cheese and broccoli
Egg salad sandwiches, apples
Leftovers

Dinners
Steak, wild rice, steamed veggies, banana bread
Homemade BBQ Beef Pizza, veggies and dip
Three-Cheese Baked Spaghetti (make 2 extra for the freezer), cooked carrots, Italian cheese bread
Steak, baked potatoes, green bean casserole
Quiche, grapefruit
Veggie and steak stir fry over brown rice
Dinner out

Snacks
Muffins (from the freezer)
Cereal
Veggies
Apples
Granola bars

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18 Comments

  • Lauren says:

    This might be a silly question but how do you wrap the items you store in the freezer so that they do not get freezer burn? I am 7.5months pregnant with my first and I am trying to get a supply of food going for after the baby is born but I am worried about freezer burn. Thank you for your time!

    **********************
    Money Saving Mom here: My biggest advice? Don’t worry about freezer burn! I’ve never had a problem with it. I put most everything in Ziploc-type freezer bags. Just wait until things completely cool, make sure all of the air is out, and stick them in the bag. And they should normally keep quite well for 3-4 months.

  • carrie says:

    Sounds ambitious!
    I don’t usually menu plan, but i guess i will have to figure out my dinners this week since my daughter has two rehearsals and one performance for our village’s ice skating show! she’s only 4 so this is my first experience with all this after-school hubbub!

  • Katherine says:

    Hey,
    Your menus always sound so delicious with so many homemade items! I’m just curious, though, because I often see pictures of your shopping trip for the week with pre-packaged foods (like all those sweet potato casserole boxes). Where/when do you work those into your menu? Have you only bought those things recently to eat after the baby comes? I often find great deals at Kroger on things like Au Gratin potatoes, but then I have trouble working them into my menus. Any thoughts on how to balance homemade items with pre-packaged items? Thanks!

    ************************
    Money Saving Mom here: We don’t use very many pre-packaged foods. Many of those I buy (like the Sweet Potato casserole), I give away. But I do keep some things on hand (such as cereal, granola bars, etc.) to have if we need a quick snack or meal and I’m not feeling up to cooking. And yes, we’ve definitely dipped into those more during my pregnancy and will likely also do so after the baby is born, which is why I’m trying to make sure we have a stock of quick snacks on hand right now.

    Hope that helps!

  • carla sorensen says:

    I just thought I should say thank you for the spaghetti recipe. I have not tried it yet, but plan to soon. It looks so good and easy and I think my husband will like it a lot! If it is as good as it seems, then I have a new recipe for company! Mostly, I want my husband to enjoy it, however.

    Blessings,
    Carla

  • laVender says:

    Thanks for the reminder that planning helps prevent losing my peace of mind in the kitchen. There is nothing worse for me than going into the kitchen at dinner time and not knowing what to cook! Cooking is my least favorite thing to do, but planning makes it much easier!

  • paige says:

    I menu plan from time to time, but when I do I always mess it up and do things on different days or not at all, so my question to you is how often in a week do you stray from your plan?

    ***********************
    Money Saving Mom here: I don’t consider it “messing up” to stray from the menu plan! The menu plan just serves as a guideline, not a slavemaster!

    I don’t assign certain days for certain meals; we just pick from the list as to what works for that day–that gives a lot of flexibility but also means that there’s a plan in place to go by.

    The biggest help for me in having a menu plan is that I know we have enough food in the house to make around 21 meals for the week, plus snacks. Some weeks, we stick pretty closely to the plan, other weeks, I get creative and shuffle things around. But knowing that I have ideas in place and the ingredients to follow through with those ideas is a huge help to me.

  • Diane says:

    Thanks, Crystal, for the inspiration. We are due with our fifth child in two months. Since none of my children are old enough to cook by themselves, you’ve inspired me to stick to my list and keep stocking that freezer :o)

  • Kelley Johnson says:

    Thank you so much for the ideas! My husband and I are both in college, and sometimes we get home from class too late to make dinner. This means we end up picking up fast food on the way home which is not only… yucky… but also a waste of money! So, I was thinking it would be great to freeze some dinners and then be able to just heat them up real quick when we get home. That Three-Cheese Baked Spaghetti looks really yummy! I just have one question, and it may seem silly, but how do you heat it up afterward? Do I need to take it out for a long time and have it thaw? Do I just plop it in a pot and add a little water? Sorry, I am pretty new to the whole cooking thing 🙂 Thank you!!!

  • Andi says:

    I’m not a cook, but now that I’m 7 1/2 months preggo and the only one home full-time, it’s turning into my job to have meals ready. THank goodness you’re here with recipes for help! When you say you make extra to freeze, do you do the WHOLE recipe (put ingredients in casserole dish, bake for 35 min, then let cool and put in a different ziploc baggie)?? Or do you do everything except the last step and then you just have to throw it in the oven to bake when you want it? ANd are there different cooking times when you take them out of the oven for cooking? SOunds like an elementary question, I’m sure, but like I said, I’m a newbie!!!!

  • You must have one huge freezer to hold all this food! Very smart of you!

    *************************
    Money Saving Mom here: Actually, we just have two refrigerators so I’m using the over-the-refrigerator freezer space in both. I’ve gotten pretty good at maximizing it over the years since we only had one refrigerator for a long time. That’s one reason I freeze most everything in Ziploc bags. I can fit a lot more in if I freeze them flat and stack them!

  • Laura says:

    I just wanted to let you know I was in Kroger today and they had Kashi frozen entrees, pizzas and sandwiches on sale for $3-5. I found coupons on a tear pad in the regular frozen section for $2 and $3 off so I was able to get frozen pizza for $2 and entrees for $1. I thought that was a great price for healthy meals that have a lot of fiber, protein etc. I thought of you and all the other preg. moms that these would be good to stock up on for quick lunches! I wish I had more freezer space to stock up.

  • Trixie says:

    Hello,

    Your menu sounds delicious, especially the blueberry pancakes. We have several goodies this week on our menu — a fish fry and a baked spaghetti.

    My menu is over here. I usually stick to the day scheduled, but also don’t consider it “messing up” when I flip flop a day.

    http://farmhomelife.blogspot.com/2009/03/menu-plan-monday_15.html

    Take Care,

    Trixie
    http://farmhomelife.blogspot.com

  • Melissa says:

    Yum! I love that you are able to eat so healthfully with fresh fruits and veggies on such a small budget. Thanks for sharing your menus – gives me lots of ideas! I am planning to try the whole wheat waffles this week (and freeze some, too!) Thanks!
    Melissa

  • Amber says:

    I just wanted to second the question about when you actually bake your Spaghetti recipe? Do bake it and THEN put it in the freezer? Or do you get it completely prepped, put it in the freezer, and then later defrost and bake it?
    Thank you so much!

    ***********************
    Money Saving Mom here: Seeing as I haven’t made it yet, I’m not sure. My current plan is to make it all up and freeze it uncooked. But I might change my plan after I’ve made it so we’ll see! 🙂

  • Lerin C. says:

    I have made that Baked Spaghetti recipe many times and it always turns out good. I usually use a different mix of cheeses each time…whatever I have on hand. And it’s always yummy! I have yet to try freezing it though.

  • Kristen says:

    Crystal-if you havn’t made the Spaghetti yet-you’ve got to! It was sooo good! Thanks for posting the recipe. I made the italian cheese bread with it and it was amazing. Thanks to Tammy for these awesome recipes. I think it would freeze really well. My family raved about this!

  • Shannon says:

    I know you said you freeze pretty much everything in plastic ziplock bags, but what about the casseroles? Do you use disposable dishes? Seeing how frugal you are, just wanted to know your how-to ideas. I’m hoping to get a freezer soon, and then I’m definitely taking advantage of stocking up as well.

    **************************
    Money Saving Mom here: Most casseroles, I also freeze in plastic bags, actually. However, I do have a few extra glass pans that I use sometimes if it’s something like lasagna or a layered dish. I do not use disposable containers pretty much ever because they are most costly and less reusable.

  • JimFive says:

    If you want to freeze something like a lasagna and save space, line the pan with enough foil to wrap the food, then layer in the casserole, seal the foil and freeze. After it is frozen you can remove the foil packet from the pan and put the pan back in the cupboard.
    To cook it, just put it back in the pan and bake (loosen the foil so the cheese doesn’t stick too much).

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