Sunday, December 30, 2012

Getting ready for a Pantry for the month!

2012 is winding down, and we will be greeted with a brand new year.
A clean slate.
A chance to begin anew.

Set with my grandparents' silver, which was one of the few things we could salvage after their home was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan.  They are now deceased, so this is a sweet remembrance for me.

Each January, I plan a menu for the month, because we need to watch our budget after Christmas spending.  We also have a couple of big trips coming up to save for.  Jessica at Good Cheap Eats and Life As Mom is hosting a Pantry Challenge.  Jump in!

This weekend, I've been working on our menu and doing some shopping to get us set for the new year, and I think we've got a decent plan.  I'll be out of town for a few days, and the boys usually go out when I'm not here, but they've threatened to surprise me, so we'll see!  We have just harvested potatoes from the bed, and have a grapefruit tree that is loaded with fruit, so I'll be making good use of those.

My husband's green thumb produced this...
We will be incorporating a few meatless meals, which are always exciting at our table.  Hubs is definitely a meat and potatoes guy.  He did, however, LOVE this meal from last week:
Tiropeta, salad with Greek dressing, and homemade tomato soup with homemade whole wheat croutons. Yum!

We will start off this week with a BANG - my mother's famous homemade lasagna - I've never had any as good as hers!

For this week:
Sunday~ Mom's homemade lasagna, homemade garlic rolls
Monday~ possibly leftover lasagna, or a snacky dinner if we're not in the mood for it (which I doubt!!)
Tuesday~ HAPPY NEW YEAR! A pretty traditional southern New Year's dinner: ham slices (portioned out from our enormous Christmas ham), young blackeyed peas (harvested from our garden this summer), collards (also from this summer's garden), homemade macaroni and cheese (I'll sneak some butternut squash in there so we don't feel too guilty about eating it!!)
Wednesday~ Potato torte, tossed salad
Thursday~ An experiment: rice & beans with assorted toppings - taco meat, salsa, cheese, sour cream, jalapenos (a little like a taco, but with the emphasis on the rice & beans)
Friday~ Teriyaki chicken, jasmine rice, oriental vegetable stir fry
Saturday~ Eggplant parmesan (blanched eggplant in the freezer from the summer garden) or leftovers, depending on how much there are.

We are also going to begin incorporating at least two servings of vegetables into our evening meal (in colors other than white, as I have to say to my 12 year old).

6 - Pioneer Woman's chili (with added bell peppers from the garden)
7 - Chili-stuffed bell peppers, or chili-topped potatoes for those not fond of bell peppers, along with tossed salad
8 - Breakfast for dinner, to include eggs, bacon, waffles, grapefruit, and strawberry smoothies
9 thru 12 - Mom is out of town, so the guys will fend for themselves

13 - Spaghetti, tossed salad, homemade french bread
14 - Mom has an evening meeting, so it'll be a Fend For Your Self night (FFYS)
15 - Roasted vegetables and pasta, tiropeta
16 - Pizza (in the freezer)
17 - Breakfast for dinner
18 - Blackeyed peas, rice, collards, cornbread (veg from the summer garden)
19 - Roast turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted green beans (summer garden), corn on the cob (from the summer garden), homemade rolls or biscuits

20 - Open-faced turkey sandwiches, green beans, roasted squash (both veg in the freezer from the summer garden)
21 - Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday: Burgers & Dogs on the grill, coleslaw, corn on the cob (garden)
22 - Homemade turkey pot pie (with leftover turkey)
23 - FFYS - Mom is taking the girls in chorus to see the opera!
24 - Sweet & spicy kielbasa, cheesy hashbrown potatoes, green beans
25 - Breakfast for dinner
26 - Pasta fagioli, garlic rolls

The last week of the month is unplanned at the moment.  The above menus pretty well clean out our freezer, and I'm hoping there will be some decent sales on meat so I can round out the month.

Here's to minimal trips to the grocery store (milk, eggs, cheese...) 
and a frugal month of menus!


BerryMorins Bits & Tips said...

MPM definitely keeps me on track. I actually look forward to Mondays!
This New Year's Eve, I'm staying home, cleaning our house and doing some blog visiting. Hubby had to work so it will be quiet.
Your menu plan looks delicious.
Have a wonderful week and a Happy New Year!

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

Your meals all sound like things my family would enjoy. We don't usually do beans and rice, but the way you're doing it, I think my family would eat it- we like anything Mexican! Thanks for the idea!

I'm doing a Pantry Challenge this month, too. My menu for the rest of this week is HERE. Good luck with your challenge!

Annie-Savor This Moment said...

Sounds like a well-rounded and delicious menu! I love cleaning out the pantry and freezer, and I've started freezing gallons on milk(I've got 4 in the freezer right now) to cut back on trips to town after reading on another blog. The milk looks yellow when frozen, but is just fine after thawing.

I'm here from susieQTpie's linkup!