January 8, 2012

Meal Planning Challenge - The first week!

I have just completed an inventory of my freezer, fridge and pantry and have realized that I have more than enough food to get us through most of the month of January! For one thing, I have way too much freezer space (2 chest freezers and 2 fridge freezers) and not enough pantry space. I was constantly buying groceries for meals that I didn't have ingredients for and soon started running out of space, non perishable food was/is sitting in bags on the floor of my kitchen because I don't have anywhere to put it. 

My challenge to myself for the month of January is to make as many meals as I can with the food I have and to also make at least 1 side with each meal (unless making a casserole loaded w/ veggies). I will still go grocery shopping as needed for perishable items like milk and fresh fruit and veggies. Here is my inventory list! If something is crossed out, I am using it up in the current weeks menu plan. I do not have all my spices or baking supplies listed, but I have quite the pantry full :) 

I should also mention that I have a [somewhat] endless supply of beef (roasts, hamburger, steaks, stew meat) thanks to Jay's family getting a steer butchered once a year or so. The pork that I have came from Wyanet Locker - I bought 1/2 hog last February or March, so the only meats that I buy at the store are chicken breasts and seafood. So if you see a meal w/ beef, and nothing is crossed off on my list - it's because I don't have all of my beef listed out (but I'm not buying it from the store). 

I usually plan at least 5 dinners and 2 lunches (Sat/Sun) for the week, this allows for leftovers and events or take-out. My meal plan will run Sunday thru Saturday and I have yet to figure out the best grocery shopping day for me. We are really not big breakfast eaters during the work week, Lane eats dry cereal, a fruit bar or toast before we head out. I eat my breakfast at work, and Jay will grab something at Grandma's once he gets chores done. For my lunches, I will either take leftovers or a frozen meal. I am going to try to get better about not buying lunch all the time (which means that I need to actually cook dinner at night!).

Week of January 8th - January 14th

   Lunch - Grilled cheese & tomato soup
   Dinner - Pork Roast w/ glazed carrots
Monday: MOPS (the boys are on their own)
Tuesday: Crockpot Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup w/ Biscuits
Wednesday: Crescent Dogs w/ Sweet potato fries
Thursday: Pecan Baked French Toast
Friday: Leftovers (I was just informed that this is Henry's Basketball Homecoming and there will be subs)
  Lunch - Leftovers
  Dinner - Hot Hammies

Each week I would like to share at least one recipe with you in this post (may post other recipes during the week). This week I am sharing the recipe for Hot Hammies. These little sandwiches are so delicious and heavenly, I think I could eat them once a week! My amounts are in red, the full recipe makes a ton and since only Jay & I eat these, we don't need that many.

Hot Hammies
from CFYF group on BabyCenter

2 pkgs Kings Hawaiian Rolls (2 dozen total) (4 pk Hawaiian sub rolls) 
1 lb shaved ham (honey ham is good, too) (1/2 lb ham)
8 oz. Swiss cheese – shredded (2 slices swiss cheese, halved)
¾ cup butter, melted (6 tbs butter)
1 ½ tbsp Poppy Seeds (scant 1 tbs)
1 ½ tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (scant 1 tbs)
1 ½ tbsp Dijon mustard (scant 1 tbs)
Whisk together butter, poppy seeds, Worcestershire sauce and mustard.  Cut rolls in half and place bottoms in 9x13 pan (8x8 dish).  Layer with ham and then Swiss cheese.  Drizzle ¾ of the mixture on top of the cheese and then cover with tops of rolls.  Brush remaining sauce mixture on the tops of the rolls and then cover it with foil.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (until cheese is melted) then remove foil and continue baking for 5 more minutes.


  1. Love it, Randie! I would love to see your inventory, too. I did the whole "use what we have" thing a while back, so my pantry and freezer are pretty well cleaned out at the end of a week. It is refreshing to plan based on what you have and reclaim that space :)

  2. Thanks Faith! I can't wait to have cleared some of the 'clutter'...besides, the money I'll save this month will be nice :)

  3. That recipe sounds yummy. Will have to showto scott. We need to figure ouy meals to makr and havr left overs and are not hard bc scott is the one who is home w boys during wk. I am sick of frozen meals. Need better meals for me.

  4. Ashley - I plan to share a whole bunch of recipes in the next month (not just w/ my meal plan post) so hopefully you get some great ideas!