Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fall/Winter Menu Planning 2009

Menu planning sounds a bit excessive. It sounds a little rigid and too organized. I'm doing it. I've planned out dinners on a weekly basis before, with each week differing from the last. This new way is partially in thanks to Laura from I'm an Organizing Junkie and in part to another mommy blogger...but I can't for the life of me remember her name. When and if I ever come across her blog again (I forgot to bookmark it), I'll be sure to post a link. I have planned out the entire season. I have not necessarily used foods that are seasonal. I have incorporated things I have frozen or canned, like zucchini, applesauce and jam. I had planned on having tomato sauce, but we know what late blight brought...
I have also decided to plan out all three meals and snacks. We are usually a family that figures out what we're eating moments before we consume it. There have been times where I have printed out a recipe, last minute and based on ingredients only, prepared it and by the time I am ready to toss it in the oven, I then notice the cooking time - 2 hours! That happened last week, and it turned out that I did have a dinner ready for the next day, but it didn't even taste that good! :(
I decided that any more than a month's planning would drive me crazy. So, I have planned out an entire month and will rotate the menu. I have incorporated some pricey favorites and some cheap and easy recipes.
Sidebar - I have almost eliminated cereal from our diet. While the fiber is good, sometimes, a box of cereal is easily $3 to $4. With four of us eating cereal, it goes fast. We usually had 4 or 5 boxes of cereal opened, for variety. Many times it would get thrown out because it just wouldn't get eaten.
I bought a waffle maker. I absolutely love it. It's made by VillaWare. The UNO Farmyard Waffler. I bought mine from Amazon for $29.95 and it is completely worth it. I have been buying waffles in a box for years now. And they're not that tasty, just convenient, I suppose. This waffle maker is fabulous, and it has the cutest waffle shapes ever. My kids love them. The recipe in the accompanying booklet produces delicious waffles. The husband loves them. He then recanted stories from his childhood about his mother's delicious waffles, until she opted for a whole wheat recipe that apparently ruined the waffle experience temporarily. As long as you follow the directions, the waffles come out of the maker as yummy as promised. This digression is apparent, but a bit relevant. We will be having waffles for breakfast. I can even sneak some whole wheat into them, and maybe some flax seed or wheat germ. We will be having waffles for snack and probably lunch and dinner. Not all the time, but it will save money...a lot of it. I'll post my menu plan once I can transfer it from Excel to Word. Grrr.

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