My First Menu Plan Monday

by Tina @ Life Without Pink on April 26, 2010

Today was a very hectic day. By the time I got the boys to bed, poured myself a glass of wine and sat down…. it hit me!

Tomorrow is grocery shopping day and I have yet to plan a menu!

I love to cook and experiment with new meals but I just can’t seem to get my act together when it comes to meal planning. I am really trying to work on this so that I can save more money for my family.

I recently received the $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook and it has been a true blessing!

The book is written by Erin Chase and has 200 recipes for quick, delicious, and healthy meals that cost less than $5 to prepare.

There are a few things I love about this book:

  • She devotes two chapters to strategic grocery shopping and couponing.  She really breaks it down so that you can make the most out of each trip to the grocery store.  She takes you through making your grocery list, product markdowns, deciding a weekly grocery budget to understanding the whole world of coupons!
  • Each recipe is easy and contains healthy ingredients. What I love is that I can always find a recipe where I have the ingredients on hand so makes dinner time go a lot smoother!
  • Every recipe shows the cost of each ingredient and the total cost of the meal.
  • At the end of the recipes, there is always a frugal fact to help stretch your dollar and eliminate waste.

My favorite recipe has to be the Orange Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry. Total cost for a family of four…drum roll… $4.94!!!

I highly recommend you check out $5dollardinners.com blog and order yourself a copy of her book {it’s only $11, what a deal!}.

Anyway, back to me sitting here with my glass of wine and staring at my blank grocery list.

I started to browse a few sites for meal ideas.  Then I came across Jo Lynne’s blog Musings of a Housewife {who I love by the way and is another Philly Social Media Mom}.  Her latest entry on “Menu Plan Monday” {which is hosted by Organizing Junkie} caught my eye.

I started to read it and she really got me thinking.

I use to do menu planning {before baby #2} and I remember how organized I felt when it came to making dinners for the family.

Lately, life has been a little crazy and my boys have been super picky eaters which in turn has really discouraged me from planning meals.

But I find myself in the midst of chaos at dinner time and I have been off track with healthy eating.

Reading her post really inspired me to start planning dinners again. I feel like since I am a stay-at-home mom, it should be my job to plan healthy meals for my family and at the same time try to reduce our food cost.

I have to admit, I am slightly overwhelmed when it comes to couponing. But I am thinking baby steps just baby steps.

I know this is a little late to jump in at Menu Plan Monday but I thought I would give it a shot and I am hoping this will help kick my butt in gear.

So here goes our menu for the week:

TUESDAY: Smoked mozzarella and pesto grilled cheese with side of veggies.

WEDNESDAY: Chicken Enchiladas with spinach salad.

THURDSAY: Bow ties with sausage, tomato and cream.

FRIDAY: Orange Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

So that’s all the planning I did so far, but its a start right?

I would love to hear what’s on your menu this week? And if you have any tips for meal planning please share!

The featured product in this post was provided to me free of charge by 5dollardinners.com. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone. Please refer to the site’s PR/Advertising page for more information.

Meet Tina @ Life Without Pink


I'm Tina, a wife and mother of two very active little boys. I'm the Co-founder of Girls' Lunch Out {GLO}, a marketing company that hosts networking events for women in social media. I'm also part of the BabyCenter social media team and the 2013 Family Expert for P&G's Have You Tried This Yet? Trend Trio.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alisha April 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Wow! I am just getting started on my menu planning, too, and couponing is just stinkin’ Greek to me! I shop mainly at a tiny little store in a tiny little town and coupons for their brands are super hard to come by, if at all possible, so I haven’t really gotten that all figured out yet. I would love to. I’m glad you’re doing this so I can learn from watching you.

I just got Dining on a Dime’s cookbook. Maybe it can help me add to my rapidly dying brain cells when it comes to menu planning.

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2 Ashley @ Just Another Mom of 2 April 26, 2010 at 10:33 pm

We are like casual menu-planners. I plan the meals for the week for the grocery trip, but not necessarily what day we’re going to have them. It would probably be better to be a little stricter! These recipes sound delicious, I am going to have to check out her cookbook one of these days!

Good luck with your menu planning mission!
.-= Ashley @ Just Another Mom of 2´s last blog ..Saturday Spotlight! =-.

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3 Musings of a Housewife April 26, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Thanks for the shout out. And for the new recipes to try! :-)

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4 Tina @ Life Without Pink April 26, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Can’t wait to try your Chicken Enchiladas…I never made them because I thought they were so hard…little did I know they are super easy! Crossing fingers the kids like them.
.-= Tina @ Life Without Pink´s last blog ..My First Menu Plan Monday =-.

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5 purseblogger April 26, 2010 at 10:54 pm

This post could have been written by me. I so understand this. I am going to get this book! I feel like I spend way more at the store each time I go than I need to. I also need to be a better menu planner. I know if I were, it would make my life a whole lot easier. Love this post!

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6 Tina @ Life Without Pink April 26, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Thanks! Every time I just run into the store for a “few” things I walk out $100+ later! What is going on?!? So I need to plan better and I do love finding new recipes to try.

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7 Trina April 26, 2010 at 11:49 pm

I also do meal planning. First I think it saves me money because I make meal around the things that are already in the freezer, pantry and fridge. I sit down on Sunday and go through my favorite Everyday Living, cookbooks that I haven’t used in awhile and online. After I’ve made my list I head out to the store on Monday morning while the kids are in school. I tend to make meals that I can put together ahead of time and then pop in the oven or use the crockpot.

Thanks Life Without Pink and Musings of a Housewife for the inspiration to make my own menu plan for others to enjoy. Every little bit helps and I love getting new recipes!

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8 heidi @ wonder woman wannabe April 27, 2010 at 8:32 am

My bloggy friend, Marci, just did a post on meal planning – she did a great job, and I use a lot of the same methods she does – pop on over!

http://overcomingbusy.com/2010/04/26/overcoming-busy-with-menu-planning/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OvercomingBusy+%28Overcoming+Busy%29

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9 Bobbie April 27, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I am so bad about this. I always go into the week with an idea in my head of what I’m making but I never truly have a menu. This is something I definitely need to tackle soon. Let me know how it works out for you.
.-= Bobbie´s last blog ..Running Safety =-.

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10 Daughter/Dad April 27, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I have heard many good things about this book. I am in the minority though, I have a family of 6 and for us, it works better if I go to the grocery store daily. I find that doing that I catch more of the markdowns, and then that is how I plan my meal for the night. For example, today I went to the store, they had 3 pounds of ground beef for 3 dollars, so I bought that and made pasta. It’s a little bit of a hassle going daily (or every other day) but the grocery store is right up the road, and in the end, I find it saves us money.
.-= Daughter/Dad´s last blog ..Welcome! =-.

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11 Michelle April 29, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I love planning my menus! It helps me stay organized, save money, try new recipes, and enjoy cooking because I am not scrambling at the last minute. When I stayed home and had more time I did this and The Grocery Game religiously. The Grocery Game in Maryland stinks compared to Colorado and I gave up on it months ago. I haven’t been as good at couponing or menu planning the past 6 months but I still do it about 75% of the time. The weeks I don’t I regret it big time!

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