Weekly Menu: Making Meals Stretch

When we didn't visit the meat market this past week but chose to visit another Butcher shop instead, I was a bit wary.  I didn't find the prices the best nor the state of the meat either but opted to buy a sirloin steak and four cryopacked ground beef packages.  John was a bit concerned that wouldn't be enough meat but I reminded him that we had chicken breasts and chickens in the freezer at home.  Considering how our meals have gone lately, there was little reason to worry we wouldn't have enough meat for the pay period, indeed for a month!  That's one advantage to being aware of what you have on hand and how to introduce it as a new meal if you happen to have leftovers.  I think I'll re-introduce the Leftover Makeover feature I'd begun on Penny Ann Poundwise a couple of years ago.  It is, truly, a huge help in knowing how to make your meals go a bit further without spending a great deal more money.  I'll start with yesterday's meal.

Sunday:  Grilled Burgers and Hot dogs, Baked Beans, Chips, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and Pecan Pie
I made up two packets of hamburger into burgers yesterday.  We thought we might have more guests for dinner.  As it happened, Mama came by after dinner and so we had a few leftovers.  Kate took a burger home with her.  John had one for supper last night.  I have a very few leftovers now, just enough for a single meal.  John used two hot dogs this morning in an omelet he prepared for our breakfast as well as the remaining onions.

Monday:  Ravioli Lasagna, Salad, French 'Buns'
I made a crock pot of lasagna this morning. I  used cheese ravioli, cottage cheese and mozzarella, along with a jar of chunky vegetable sauce from the pantry.  There were enough leftovers to make up a casserole dish for freezer.  That's one of my 'secret' leftover uses.  Put it in a dish, freeze it and use as a convenience meal later. Just thaw and reheat.  I do recommend keeping track of ready prepared foods on a separate list of freezer items.  

Tuesday:  Grilled Steak, Scalloped potatoes, Three Bean Salad
We cooked the steak yesterday on the grill, since the coals were hot.  I plan to cook potatoes in the crock pot.  A friend lines her crock with aluminum foil and sprays with non-stick spray for messy things like this dish.  I'll follow her lead.  If you use heavy duty foil you can form TWO containers and cook a second item in the crock pot as well.  I mean to do just that with a can of beans, chopped leftover hamburger and hotdogs.

Wednesday:  Bean Pot Bake, Coleslaw, Corn Muffins, Plum Tart
The baked bean dish I cooked in the crock pot yesterday will reheat in the microwave (or oven as I bake muffins).
Thursday:  Lemon Roasted Chicken, Pan Roasted New Potatoes, Green Peas with creamy herb butter
I do occasionally cook my roasted chicken in the crock pot...and if it is to be hot Thursday, I shall use it to cook the chicken.  I stuff my chicken with lemon halves, onion and rosemary as a rule.  I noticed that the Pioneer Woman has a similar recipe up today and she smooths butter over the skin of the chicken.  It looked wonderfully brown.  I don't expect I'll use my butter for an everyday  chicken dinner, but I might be tempted for a Sunday dinner perhaps.

Friday:  Chicken and Broccoli Pot Pie,  Mashed Potatoes, Peach Salad
I had a lovely pot pie recipe years ago that called for ham and broccoli in a light lemon sauce.  It was delicious but when we stopped eating ham years ago, I never used the recipe again.  I've thought of it often and this evening as I typed out the Lemon Roasted Chicken menu it occurred to me that I might substitute chicken for the ham and it do nicely, too, since lemon is such a great accompaniment to broccoli or chicken either one.  I'm looking forward to attempting this old favorite recipe once again.

Saturday:  Corn and Black Bean Enchiladas, Salad, Molten Lava Cakes 
I have one last pan of the enchiladas in the freezer.  I put a sauce with green chilies on the last batch and John thought they were too 'warm'.  I'll use a cheese sauce on these which should be a better choice I think.  It shall easily be heated up if we choose to go to synagogue.  I'll make the molten lava cake batter and the salad on Friday.


Anonymous said...

The one thing that stands out when looking atn your plans is the frequent desserts. If you are trying to stretch foods and budget, cutting out the unhealthy stuff definately comes to mind

Anonymous said...

Dessert will round out a meal that may not be quite enough on its own. When I was growing up, everyone always had dessert and the obesity problem wasn't anywhere near what it is today. Dessert is a necessary part of the food budget and a great way to stretch the fruit you buy for the family, by the way!

E said...

I don't think anonymous meant that dessert is causing your obesity- it's true that it doesn't help, but putting all dollars towards healthy foods makes sense both dollar-wise and healthwise.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your menus! It gives me so many ideas for our dinners. Thank you so much for putting them back up.

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