Meal Plan Monday - July 18


This week's forecast is hot, hazy and humid.  In order to stay cool this week, I'm planning simple meals that don't require me to turn on the oven. 

Last week I found a recipe for a meal that could be cooked right in a rice cooker and decided to search online for more recipes.  I was really surprised with what I found!  I love experimenting in the kitchen and I'm excited to try out some rice cooker recipes over the next few weeks.




Breakfast
Cereal
Oatmeal
Scrambled Eggs
English Muffins, Bananas

Lunch
Ham Sandwiches, Grapes
Tuna Salad Sandwiches
PB&J, Nutella & Jelly {for our youngest who has peanut allergy}, Apple Slices
Chicken Nuggets, Peas
Dinner Leftovers

Dinner
Monday:  
    Chicken Taco & Rice


Tuesday:
    Creamy Rice Cooker Macaroni & Cheese, Carrots


Wednesday:
    BBQ Chicken Quesadillas, Salad--Using chicken from Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken recipe.

Thursday:
     Awefully Easy Chicken {crockpot recipe}, mashed potatoes, veggies -  Recipe from Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook

4-lb. chicken legs & thighs
3 large onions quartered or sliced {optional}
1/2 cup water
14-oz. bottle barbecue sauce

1.  Quarter or slice onions and place in bottom of slow cooker.  2.  Add water in bottom of slow cooker.  Add chicken and pour barbecue sauce over top.  3.  Cover; cook on low 8 hours.  I usually half this recipe.  The sauce is delicious served over mashed potato.

Friday:
    BLTs, Potato Salad

Saturday:
    BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Coleslaw--Using chicken from Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken recipe.

Sunday:
    Leftover Night

$5 Dinners has a wonderful grocery shopping list with meal plan form and a few other printable planners that you might find helpful in meal planning {not to mention some great money-saving recipes!}.

Get more meal inspiration at  Menu Plan Monday

A Container Garden For The Gardening-Challenged


I was so excited to be able to pick our first cucumber this week!

In case you're wondering what all the excitement is about, let me just start out by saying that I have a black thumb.  Yes, it's true.  If you visit my home you will notice a sad lack of plant life.  I have managed to kill every plant I have had over the years including two gifts from my husband and one from my mother-in-law.  

I think it may be a genetic trait--when I was growing up my family had a cactus and the Christmas Cactus that blossomed only once during my childhood. 

Or maybe I just don't have the knack for it.



So for this black thumb from the city and her husband {who didn't inherit his mother's gardening skills}, container gardening seemed like a wise choice.  We decided to start by planting tomato plants.  Since this is a vegetable {or I think it's actually a fruit?} that we eat quite often, we were excited about the prospect of saving a little bit of money and enjoying fresh tomatoes. 

That was the plan, anyway.  That first year we were so disappointed when we discovered blossom end rot on many of our tomatoes.  Last year tomato worms destroyed our tomato plants and we ended up with only  a dozen tomatoes.  Of course the city girl thought that the worms were some kind of harmless caterpillar and by the time she realized that they were actually enjoying a nice meal, it was too late to save the tomatoes.  Note to self: insects on vegetable plants usually are not friendly ones.

This year we planted cucumber and tomato plants and so far they have survived high winds, hail and beetles.  Yes, this year we are fighting the cucumber beetles and are hoping that we caught them before they could do any major damage.

Considering our lack of success with container gardening and the amount we spent on plants and soil, I'm pretty sure we haven't saved very much money over the years, but it has actually become a fun and educational family project that we can do together every summer.  Our boys love to help us water the plants and they are anxiously waiting for the tomatoes to turn red so we can pick them.

And maybe, just maybe they won't take after their mom.  Which in that case I would consider money well spent.

Meal Plan Monday - July 11













Breakfast
Cereal
Omelets
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
English Muffins, Bananas

Lunch
Turkey Sandwiches, Grapes
PB&J, Nutella & Jelly {for our youngest who has peanut allergy}, Yogurt
Chicken Nuggets, Peas
Dinner Leftovers

Dinner
Monday:  
    Quesadillas

Tuesday:
    Asian Chicken Stir-Fry With Mixed Veggies

Wednesday:
    Spaghetti

Thursday:
     20 Minute Teriyaki Chicken & Rice, Carrots - I was thrilled to find a recipe that uses a rice cooker.  We were given a rice cooker as a wedding gift and I think I've used it a total of 2 times in 7 years!  Now if I can just remember where I put it...:)

Friday:
    Marinated Chicken, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Peas

Saturday:
    Bruschetta Chicken, Rice with Carmelized Onions & Peas

Sunday:
    Leftover Night


$5 Dinners has a wonderful grocery shopping list with meal plan form and a few other printable planners that you might find helpful in meal planning {not to mention some great money-saving recipes!}.

Get more meal inspiration at  Menu Plan Monday

Meal Plan Monday On Tuesday & Grocery Challenge - July 5



The Good News:  Last week we had a wonderful vacation.

The Bad News:  We spent more than the $100 budget in the Grocery Challenge. 






While we did pack a picnic lunch for our day at the beach, we ended up eating out two times last week for a total of almost $50.  I also noticed a great deal on cereal at Food City and spent a little extra in order to stock up on cereal.

To be honest, there were ways that we could have spent less on the grocery budget last week.  Sure, we could have saved a dollar or two here and there, but you can't put a dollar amount on the stress-free, memory-making moments spent together as a family.  And, boy, did we make some memories!! :)

This week we're getting back into our daily routine, and here's what's cooking in my kitchen this week:

Breakfast
Cereal, Sliced Strawberries
Cinnamon & Spice Oatmeal Muffins
Bananas

Lunch
Ham Sandwiches, Apple Slices
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Mexican Mac & Cheese, Corn
Dinner Leftovers

Dinner
Monday: Happy 4th of July! 
    BBQ with family and friends.

Tuesday:
    Spaghetti


Wednesday:
    Biscuit Pizza Bake

Thursday:
    Marinated Chicken, Slow Cooked Bean Medley

Friday:
    Hamburgers, Coleslaw

Saturday:
    Leftover Night

Sunday:
    Smoky BBQ Chicken Salad


Other: Cookies and Cream Shakes


$5 Dinners has a wonderful grocery shopping list with meal plan form and a few other printable planners that you might find helpful in meal planning {not to mention some great money-saving recipes!}.

Get more meal inspiration at  Menu Plan Monday