Just for the record, I am superstitious about writing menus. I suspect that the moment I write them they will turn into a ball and chain and transform me into an evil victorian school marm forcing children to eat mush and powdered milk for every meal. I try to avoid that scenario, but it’s still haunting me around the edges.
The next point I’d like to make is that I am making these menus because we are so hard hit by the current economy that my choices are either make the menus or eat every meal at my mom’s house. And the gas it would take to get there every day would actually cost more than groceries for the week. This fortnight I have $130 or $65 per week. I have been steadily emptying my freezer the past few months and also using up the stuff in my pantry. I have some dried veggies and beans that I haven’t opened yet, but I expect that I’ll be opening them soon as most veggies go out of season and get more expensive.
2008 has been a difficult year for us financially. We have a “New Normal” that is less prosperous than our “Old Normal” and we are still adapting to it. At least we’re out of the denial stage that was making us spend more than we could afford, because for a few months we didn’t realize that a new normal was upon us. So we kept up our old habits only to quickly realize that our old habits were too expensive and that we needed to economize IMMEDIATELY! Which we’ve done. Praise the Lord for the ability to that, and to still have such a luxurious life. Everytime I feel poor I look at my stove and refrigerator and the bags of beans and rice stocking my pantry and I thank God for His abundance. A frugal abundance to be sure, but abundance none the less.
DINNER MENUS–leftovers for lunch the next day
- Bowl of Beans (Spicy pinto beans, cooked in crockpot overnight); Ketchup; Chopped Onions; Chopped Jalapenos; Fried Corn Tortillas; Fruit Cocktail (this is one of our favorite meals and very easy on the cook)
- Roast chicken; Mashed Sweet Potatoes; HM stuffing (leftover bread); Peas; Cranberries from freezer made into relish.
- Chicken Gumbo with Onion, Green Pepper, Okra, Frozen Italian Veggies, Hot Sauce & Tomatoes; Hoecakes; Gumbo broth is made from leftover chicken bones and any leftover chicken.
- Lentil Stew with GFCF Dumplings (lentil stew from my old site, new recipe for dumplings made from rice flour and cornstarch to try out) Pineapple & Carrot gelatinized in orange & Pineapple juice.
- Turkey Sloppy Joes with Chipotle for zing; HM rolls; HM Coleslaw; Potato Chips (naughty, I know), carrots & celery as alternative (or in addition) to Potato Chips.
- Meat Loaf; Green Beans; Mashed Potatoes (instant cause I’m lazy); Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad (thawed broccoli & caulifower marinated in Italian dressing).
- Snake Bites (chicken nuggets coated with seasoned, spicy cornflake crumbs); Carrot Raisin Salad; Oven Fried Potatoes; Boiled Squash & Onions.
- Black Bean & Veggie Soup; Corn Tortillas fried in margarine; Fried Eggs to go in soup (one for each person)
- Mock Lasagna made with layers of cooked really yummy and cheap oriental rice noodles; spaghetti sauce (from a can) with added sausage flavored TVP; HM Cottage Cheese made from Tofu and egg and a little mayonnaise; HM Fake Parmesan; Garlic Bread; Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad
- Beef Stew made with Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Celery, Tomatoes & some frozen peas; Muffins; HM Lime Juice Gelatin with some fruit, probably canned pears.
- Dirty Rice made with Ground Turkey, Mixed Vegetables, Onions, a handful of added sausage flavored TVP and lots of red pepper; Mixed Greens; butter bread
- Turkey Chili–1 lb of meat & 1 pound of dry beans, cooked in crock pot overnight; Tomatoes, peppers, celery; Cornbread; Celery Sticks (and peanut butter)
- Chicken Rice Casserole (made from canned chicken from my pantry) with peas & mushrooms and white sauce made from HM Soymilk; Pickled Beets;
- Choice of Butter Beans or Split Pea Soup–some hot bread–toast if necessary–oatmeal cookies if possible. Yum.
- Fried Rice; Hot & Sour Soup with many Veggies & Tofu; Fried Spam coated in brown sugar before frying (I know, it’s horrible, but we love it) and then caramelized to a golden brown. Pineapple on the side.
DESSERTS & SNACKS
- Rice Cakes spread with peanut butter and sprinkled with raisins
- Rice Cakes spread with peanut butter and topped with bananas slices
- Rice Cakes with Marshmallow Fluff & Chocolate Chips
- Apples (from our tree)
- Celery with Peanut Butter and Raisins
- Monster Cookies
- Cake (looking for recipe) with thawed frozen strawberries and Tofu whipped Topping to make Strawberry Short Cake of sorts.
- Pizza Bread
- Refried Beans & Chips
- Sandwiches: Ham, Turkey, PB&J, Fried Egg, Tuna
- Vegetarian Tacos made from TVP & Refried Beans, fast and easy–topped with shredded cabbage and well drained canned no-salt-added tomatoes. Also HM tofu sour cream if desired
- Tater Tots as desired (kids make for themselves in big oven or toaster oven)
I have no idea how I’ll do about sticking to these things. I’m just going to give it a try and see how things go. The boys are now doing dishes, after school (at 3.pm) every day, it’s only the lunch dishes (mostly easy dishes from reheating leftovers in the microwave). This is the way I cook most of the time, only I’m not always so organized about it. Since I’m using up stuff already in the house, as much as possible, it was a necessity to make the menus to keep myself on track.
BTW, for breakfast we have both hot and cold cereal (with soymilk), Also fried eggs, fried turkey sausage; sausage gravy & biscuits; french toast, pancakes, fruit smoothies with added flax seed & soymilk, and that’s about it for our every day stuff.