Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June Menu and Grocery Musings

With the summer upon us, it seems like it would be nice to go into vacation mode with cooking.  But I'm pretty sure several of my charges would revolt, so I'm favoring simple meals and enlisting help from some of those dear children.

Dinners for June:
I'm only planning out the sides for the first week since I'm not sure how far our existing produce will go or what we will be getting in our first produce co-op bin.
1. pizza, fresh veggie platter
2. chicken potstickers, brown rice, broccoli
3. baked chicken, brown rice, fresh veggie platter
4. beer bratwurst (nitrate-free Boulder brand from Costco=yum), creamy corn w/peppers, chips
5. spaghetti, meat sauce (making large batch to freeze), spinach salad (peppers, carrots, cukes, etc.), garlic cheese bread
6. potluck - bring pasta veggie salad and peaches & cream bars
7. beef tacos
8. Birthday!  pizza, salad, cake, root beer floats
9. lasagna bake, focaccia, green beans or salad
10. potluck - bring big bag of chips & s'more brownies
11. grilled chicken
12. mac & cheese w/ham
13. chicken pot pie
14. enchiladas
15. hamburgers
16. lasagna (freezer)
17. shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches
18. chicken soup w/homemade noodles
19. pepper brat skillet over pasta
20. beans & rice
21. buffalo turkey meatballs w/mashed potatoes
22. make-your-own pizzas
23. omelets
24. creamy baked chicken & rice
25. breakfast for dinner
26. chicken & veggie pasta salad
27. pasta w/ meat sauce
28. shepherd's pie
29. sloppy joes
30. Leftovers! Clean out the fridge for a fresh start to the new month.

Lunch - served with vegetables and/or fruit
sandwiches - egg salad, chicken salad, ham, grilled cheese
cheesy pasta w/bits of leftover meat
frozen individual pizzas
snack lunch (meat, crackers, cheese, etc.)

Breakfast - served with fruit and/or homemade yogurt
homemade granola
overnight raw oatmeal 
bread with jam
pancakes with strawberry syrup
pineapple banana muffins
cranberry oat bars
cinnamon rolls
cold cereal
egg & sausage bake
baked french toast

Baking & Snacks
whole wheat bread (at least one batch of 5 loaves/week)
caramel corn  I've been meaning to make this as a treat for the kids for months so hopefully I'll actually do it this time.
key lime bars
chips & homemade salsa
strawberry rhubarb crisp
chocolate chip cookies

I'm feeling quite challenged trying to stay within our grocery budget as our kids grow, our family has expanded and everything has gone up in price, even the most basic of ingredients. I'm afraid I've lost the zeal for this frugal fight, but since we are in a position where there are no other budget categories which can be cut, I need to get this figured out and make it work.  We're still aiming for $500/month for all food eaten or packed at home, toiletries, diapers (for 2) and paper goods (we don't use many but t.p. is essential and it would be a challenge to cook and store food without at least some foil, ziploks, plastic wrap, etc.).  We very rarely eat out these days so I seem to be more inclined to splurge a little on things like chips and things that make eating at home a little more fun once in a while. I would like to find good quality food at a price I can afford without having to run hither and yon with 5 kids in tow to find it.  That's a tall order.  I'm mostly shopping at Costco for those reasons, and the fact that it is as close to home as almost any other grocery stop and has big enough carts to accommodate food and my little ones.  This week for the first time we are trying out a Bountiful Baskets produce bin so we'll see how that goes.  We're enjoyed some rhubarb & cilantro from the garden and the peas, tomatoes and basil seem to be coming along, too. 

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.  {Something I just might need to keep repeating on days like today when it felt like I was working in the kitchen all day only to have the day end with dinner being ruined with half a jar of oily salad dressing being spilled all over the floor by a child.  Ugh.  As a bonus, though, the kitchen floor, table and chairs are really clean.  For tonight at least.  Real life happens here.}

1 comment:

Melinda said...

I have a good and easy microwave carmel corn recipe if you want it. I have never taken the time to make the oven kind.