I've never really been into pre-planning my meals for the week unless I was on some sort of strict new diet. But in an attempt to save more money, I've decided to start planning our meals out for the week. I'm starting with meals that use what I already have and then choosing meals that require minimal shopping. The great thing is that I already have so much that has been canned or frozen from the summer and we have a ton of organic beef from when we got half a cow with my parents.
For this week I'm going to try the following. I may switch the days but I'm hoping to make all the below meals sometime this week. I've list most of the ingredients. If you have them in your home already maybe you might try these meals as well.
Monday: Garlic Prawns and Orzo (frozen wild prawns, garlic, white wine, olive oil, frozen tomatoes, basil, orzo, seasoning*)
Tuesday: Bean and Beef Burritos with Corn (ground beef, onion, seasoning*, chili, kidney or black beans, tortilla wraps, salsa, cheese, frozen or canned corn)
Wednesday: Steaks with Zucchini Dippers (steaks, soy sauce, garlic, chilis, seasoning*, bread crumbs, egg, parmesan cheese, zucchini rounds, dipping sauce of your choice)
Thursday: Beef Stew with Bread (stewing beef, vegetable broth, carrots, potato, pumpkin, onion, garlic, peas, celery, seasoning*, artisan bread)
Friday: Breaded Sole with Edamame (sole, bread crumbs, egg, seasoning*, herbs, lemon juice, ginger, frozen or fresh edamame)
Saturday: Beef and Vegetable Stirfry over Rice (beef, onion, garlic, peas, carrots, celery, water chestnut, soy sauce, brown rice, seasoning*)
Sunday: Vegetable and Barley Casserole (pot barley, chickpeas, carrots, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, squash, celery, seasoning*)
*seasoning is basically any spices or herbs you would like to use in your meals. My common seasoning includes sea salt, dried garlic, chili powder, black pepper, and paprika. But again it varies with the type of meal and who is sharing the meal with me.
Leftovers are typically used for lunches the next day so that is why I haven't planned lunches here. Also breakfast is usually quick in the morning (fruit, oatmeal, toast or cereal) so it doesn't really require planning.
At the end of the week I will take another inventory of what I have left in my pantry and freezer and decide if I can do another week of meals without shopping or not (my guess is that I will be able to).