The Weeknight Meal Game Plan: Goal Save Time and Money
There are things I love… Playing with my child, having a long chat with an old friend, spending quality time with my Husband…
Then there are things I have to do. Like budget and shop for meals. Cook. Clean. While I do enjoy cooking, there are times when it gets tedious. Especially when I am not prepared for the week ahead. When I’m struggling to come up with a meal because ingredients are scarce. When I’m wasting money on fast food (and making poor choices). These things make me grumpy.
My goals for the week are to provide my family with a (mostly homemade) well balanced diet, stay on budget, and not spend all my time doing it. So I have more time for the good stuff.
On Sunday afternoon I made a list of meals I planned to make for the week and a corresponding grocery list. My goal was to make multiple meals from whatever I could.
When I was putting away the groceries it occurred to me. What if I prepare all of the meat now? Instead of freezing everything raw, then thawing and having to cook every day. This would save me time, energy and money. Since I’d be doing the bulk of my cooking all at once.
My meal plan for the week is:
- Monday: Chicken Salad on Baby Spinach with Avocado, Strawberries, Blue Cheese and Pine Nuts with Garlic Bread
- Tuesday: (Use leftover Chicken for Sandwiches at Lunch.) For Dinner: Al Pastor Style Tacos made of Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Wednesday: My Daughter’s Favourite Spaghetti and Meatballs with Salad
- Thursday: Use Leftover Pork Tenderloin from Tuesday in a Stir fry with Veggies over Brown Rice
- Friday: Pizza Night! No Cooking!
So with that in mind. Preheated my oven at 350. I seasoned my chicken breasts and placed in a glass baking dish covered with foil. And baked for 25 min. While the chicken was baking I made my meatballs (from scratch) and browned them in a pan. Put them in a baking dish. Covered them in my garlic basil marinara, and baked them alongside my chicken breasts. Then I prepared my pork tenderloin by removing all the silver skin. And made a quick marinade of fresh garlic, soy sauce, pineapple juice, chipotle chiles, cumin, and lime. I will allow the pork to marinate for 2 days and grill on Tuesday for the Al Pastor Tacos.
I swear the whole thing took me an hour… with clean up add 30 min. Now my hope is to enjoy the week that comes, in all its organized glory. I will let you know how it goes. I’d love to hear about how you save time and money as well.