Menu Plan for the Week With Four Different Shopping Trips – Phew!

I think I was out of town more than I was home this week.  Between basketball games and appointments, I traveled 5 out of the last 8 days.  I am a wee bit tired.  Thankfully, we were still able to eat fairly well thanks to how easy it is to grab and pack fruits and vegetables for the road.

With all my comings and goings, how did I have time to actually go grocery shopping four times this week?  It was a little crazy, but also kind of necessary.  There were amazing sale prices to be had, plus – my family eats tons and tons of food.  I’ve found that if I put out the fruit – the people will eat it.  Pounds and pounds of it, I tell you. #lifewithteenageboys

Here’s a little grocery run-down of my week.  And by the way, we also eat meat, grains, and dairy – I just get them from our food co-op or local sources in bulk, so rarely take pictures of those.  Next time I get a big meat order, I’ll snap a shot of all the frozen packages, since I know you’re dying to see them.

On Monday, we were out of almost all fresh fruits and veggies.    I went to our local grocery store, which is just a few blocks away.  I took advantage of their sale price on cream cheese (Pumpkin Cheesecake, here I come), plus picked up some fresh produce to get us through for a few days.  I found a fun deal while I was there which gave me a FREE bag of clementines with my $25 purchase.  Sweet!!!

groceries 12-8-14-1

See that fresh coconut up there?  My 12 year old was with me and was very interested in trying it.  This week, I’ll be assigning him the task of learning how to crack that open and use the insides. :)

Tuesday I went to Walmart to try my hand at price matching.  I got avocados for just 29¢ each, honey crisp apples for 99¢ per pound, and pomegranates for 49¢ each.  I made Easy Cream Cheese Fruit Dip when I got home, and the entire bag of honey crisp apples disappeared.  #toldyoutheycaneat

groceries dec 10

On Wednesday, the boys and I were in Lincoln for appointments.  This also happened to be the grand opening day of a new Aldi store a few blocks from our appointments.  All five of us walked the very busy aisles grabbing butter for only $1.89/pound, sweet potatoes for 33¢/pound, and many more goodies for very low prices.  What a fun shopping trip!  I won’t be able to go to Aldi often, but I will continue to use their prices on produce for price matching at our local Walmart.

aldi shopping

 

By Friday, we were already out of mixed greens, pears, clementines, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  I decided to run to our local store for deli meat and cheese for our basketball travels, so picked up more fruit and greens while I was there.

groceries 12-12

Now here’s hoping I can stay out of the store for several days and instead work with all the deliciousness we have on hand.  Hope you don’t get tired of my grocery store pictures.  You like looking at pictures of food, right?!

Here’s what our menu choices will look like for this week:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I serve 1-4 with each meal)

I’m so thankful for all the wonderful options!  I’m also thankful I get to stay home most of this week.  I like home best.  :)

Don’t miss the BOGO Coconut Oil with Free Shipping this weekend!

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Menu Plan for the Week, Using Fresh Cranberries, and Price Matching at Wal-Mart?

I bought a few groceries at the beginning of the week:  broccoli, pears, cantaloupe, spinach, cottage cheese, cucumber, raspberries, clementines, blackberries, and petite carrots.  All but the cottage cheese and half the cranberries are gone already.  Time to go back to the store.  This is a good “problem” to have.  I am so thankful for all the delicious variety of produce available.

dec 6 groceries

By the way, that cantaloupe was the sweetest we’ve eaten in a long time.  That’s amazing to me, seeing as it’s December.  We devoured that melon.

I came up with a fantastic Cranberry Almond Orange Bread recipe this weekend, which I’ll share with you during our 5th Annual Heavenly Homemakers Christmas Brunch.  But regarding cranberries – I’m curious what you make with fresh cranberries?  Leave a comment to let us know how you like to eat them and what you like to make with them.  I’d love to hear your ideas.

You might remember the Orange Cranberry Scone recipe I shared two years ago.  I rarely make this, but the Christmas season is definitely the perfect time to treat my family to this. :)

Orange Cranberry Scones

Here’s what our menu includes this week:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruits and Veggies (I serve 1-4 per meal)

  • Mixed Greens
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Applesauce
  • The rest depends on what I get at the store – spinach, pears, apples, clementines, carrots…

Oh!  And we have an Aldi in Lincoln now, so I’ve heard I can start price-matching at Walmart since it’s 50ish miles away.  I’m excited to learn more about how this will work.  Any expert price matchers out there with tips for me?!

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Menu Plan for the Week – and a Peek Into Our Thanksmas

I hope you have had a wonderful holiday weekend!  We had a great time with family in Kansas, bringing back Asa’s “new” 20-year-old car on our way home.  So exciting for him!

Here’s a picture of my beautiful (quiet, well-put-together) family:

thanksmas 2014 3

Nice, huh?  But God bless my sister-in-law for snapping the following picture on my phone as we were posing for the one you see above.

thanksmas 2014 2

If that’s not the real Coppinger family, I don’t know what is. 
I had a nice giggle when I discovered that jewel on my phone. 

After individual family shots, we attempted to get 13 grandkids - ages 3-weeks to 17-years - all in one picture.  I’ve decided that photos like this are so much better than perfectly posed shots.

thanksmas 2014 1

We had a great time together, you can bet on it.  :)

Not a single one of us got up early to go Black Friday shopping.  But here’s something fun to share:  When we got back to Nebraska, the weather had turned beautiful!  Malachi and I took a walk to the dollar store to look for something I needed for a quick project.  I didn’t find what I needed, but I did happen upon a 75% off clearance section.  I grabbed a few potholders and dish rags, thinking they would be about 25¢ each after the discount.  When they rang up, it turns out they were already discounted to around 30¢ each – then I got 75% off that price!  I ran back and grabbed more, of course.  My total for all you see below was less than $3.00 total.  Amazing and fun!

groceries november 14 4

I didn’t get any steals when I made a produce run later, but hey – it’s food.  Good food at that.  :)

groceries november 14 5

I picked up mixed greens, avocados, sweet peppers,
oranges, carrots, pineapple, and mushrooms.

Since it was such a nice day on Saturday, and since we were hungry for lots of veggies, I put together a big pasta salad.  It was so pretty, I had to take a picture.  By the way, adding spinach to pasta salad works very, very well.

pasta salad

A cold front is moving back in, but a couple days of warm weather sure was a treat!  Now we’ll be getting back to soups and hot drinks.  I’m still loading us up with pumpkin.  I have plenty, and all the recipes are delicious and healthy – so why not?

Here’s what our menu options will be this week:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruits and Veggies (I serve 1-4 with each meal)

  • Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Mixed Greens
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Spicy Avocado Dip
  • Clementines
  • Fresh Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Applesauce
  • Sweet Peppers

Don’t miss out on the big discount on our Build Your Menu Planning Notebook, which is going on through Monday, December 1.  It’s a sweet deal!  In fact, you’ll notice that you can get it completely free with our Oh, For Real bonus deal.

notebook 2

Did you brave the crowds and go shopping on Friday?  What’s your menu looking like this week?

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Menu Plan for the Week – Plus This Week’s Grocery Pictures

Here we are, beginning Thanksgiving week already!  We’ll head to Kansas to spend time with family later this week, thus the abbreviated menu plan below.  Since my side of the family won’t be together again at Christmas time, we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas all in the same weekend.

groceries nov4

Home-canned goodies make great gifts!

Here’s a picture of this week’s grocery store run.  See that nine year old boy hiding behind the groceries?  He was on sale, and I couldn’t resist.

groceries nov3

We’ll be enjoying the special treat of Chex Mix over the holiday.

Our Amazon Subscribe and Save order came this week.  I got such good deals – and they are all over my storage room.  Not only have I not had time to put them away, it’s freezing in there!  I’ll do it….later.  ;)

groceries nov

My new Menu Planning Notebook is proving to be soooo much fun - and super helpful too.  Do you have yours put together yet?  As you can see, I shared my work space with cookie cutters.  Malachi and I were getting cookies ready to take to Kansas.  :)

groceries nov2

Here’s what my menu plan ended up looking like for this week:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I serve 1-4 with each meal)

  • Pears
  • Applesauce
  • Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Petite Carrots
  • Clementines
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Mixed Greens
  • Spinach
  • Romaine
  • Raspberries
  • Fresh Pineapple

What are your Thanksgiving plans this week?

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Build Your Menu Planning Notebook

If you could find the perfect combination of cute, practical, helpful, easy, and affordable – would you finally be convinced that menu planning isn’t such a drag after all?  If someone could hold your hand and walk you through everything you need to do to plan healthy meals for your family – would you jump on board and enjoy the ride?  If you found a menu planning system that was just right for you, instead of a one-size-fits-all mess that leaves you frustrated – would you say, “sign me up.”

It’s here!  You are going to love the Build Your Menu Planning Packet.  Your fun is just about to begin, and just wait till you see the extra special spin we’ve put on this so that you can bless others too!

The Build Your Menu Planning Packet is a resource that will not only simplify your grocery shopping and meal planning organization – it will make the job easy and enjoyable.  This packet is full of 124 pages of printables, offering you guidance (and cuteness!) in everything from stocking your pantry, to planning simple menus, to freezer cooking, to having company - and everything else in between.

Build Your Menu Planning Notebook 550x

Here’s a tiny peek into the planning categories this packet includes:

Step By Step - Build Your Own Menu Planning Notebook

In each of the categories you see above, you’ll get to pick and choose from your favorites, printing and putting together a notebook that’s just right for you.  Don’t like some of the styles?  Skip it and print the ones you do like!  Need your notebook to be heavy on Freezer Cooking Planners but don’t need the Lunch Box Planners?  Okeedokee.  The planners you like and need are the ones that make it into your notebook.

Here’s a list of each section of the Build Your Menu Planning Notebook Packet:

Basic Ingredients to Keep On Hand Lists

From chicken to beef in your freezer, to cans of tuna and salmon in your pantry – knowing what meats you like to keep on hand for meal preparation is very helpful.  The same goes for baking supplies, dry goods, and all other ingredients you use regularly in your kitchen.  Within each category on the worksheet, fill in each ingredient you find beneficial to have available in your kitchen in order to efficiently put together basic meals.

Once filled in, use this page as a guide for grocery list making, as well as for a general guideline to help you keep your kitchen well stocked.

Fruit and Vegetable Inspiration at a Glance

We all need many servings of fruits and vegetables each day.  Challenge yourself to include more of these nutrient packed goodies in your diet.  Use the Fruit and Vegetable Inspiration at a Glance sheet to offer you fresh ideas and to open your mind to variety.  Be sure to fill in the blanks with more of your favorite produce items.

Menu Favorites Cheat Sheets

These worksheets are super handy for keeping a running list of all your favorite recipes and meals.  They are organized by category so that when you plan your meals, all you have to do is glance through your Cheat Sheets for inspiration and ideas.

Menu Planners

This section is loaded with a wide variety of menu planning pages to help you schedule meals for each week.  Choose your favorites, mix and match, print and enjoy!

Grocery Checklists

Choose and print your favorite Grocery List worksheets.  Tear them out of your notebook one at a time as you plan your menus and make lists of items to purchase at the store or online.

Online Shopping Lists

If you purchase groceries online from sources like Amazon or Vitacost, it’s helpful to have a running list so that you remember what to order once you make it to the computer.

Freezer Cooking Planners

You might find that making meals ahead of time and storing them in the freezer for a quick meal will save you lots of time and money!

What’s in the Freezer” sheets

Have a freezer full of meat, fruits, vegetables, and prepared foods?  Make lists of what’s in your freezer and attach it to the front of your freezer for an easy reference so that you don’t have to dig around to see what’s hiding behind the frozen chicken.

Planning Ahead for Company Worksheets

Hosting guests?  These worksheets will help you plan your menus and prepare meals efficiently so you can enjoy your company.

Baking Day Planners

Need to get some baking done so that you’ll have easy-to-grab snacks and breakfast foods for your family?  Use these worksheets to help you plan.

Lunch Packing Planners

If you need to pack lunches for school and/or work, creating a plan will help you do this more efficiently.  Fill out any of these worksheets to help you and your family prepare healthy lunches to go.

Cover Pages

Find one that fits you.  Print it and slip it behind the clear protector on the front of your binder.

When I built my personal Menu Planning Notebook, I printed 52 Weekly Menu Planners so I’d have one for each week of the year.  Some of the planners work well for the way I plan, so that’s what I printed.  I chose my favorite designs – the ones that really jumped out at me.

After I had my Weekly Planners in place, I picked my favorites from all the other planning choices:  Freezer Cooking, Baking Day, Getting Ready for Company…

My notebook is all put together now, and working on it seriously makes me giddy.  Pretty pages, just waiting to be filled in to help me with organization as I work to feed my family?  I love it!

Now the even better news.

Anytime you buy an eBook or downloadable packet like this, you get to use it for yourself, and that’s it.  But we kinda figured you’d see this Build Your Menu Planning Notebook Packet and not only want it for yourself, but think of several friends who might enjoy having one too!  Here’s what we decided to do:

You can buy our regular Build Your Menu Planning Notebook Packet for your own personal use for just $5.99.  The contents will be yours forever, allowing you to print the pages and build notebooks that benefit you for years and years and years.

OR, you can buy our Extended License version of the Build Your Menu Planning Notebook Packet for just $10.99.  The contents are the same, however purchasing this version will allow you to not only print and build a notebook for yourself – it gives you permission to print and build notebooks to give as gifts to others too!

Just think.  For Christmas this year, you can put together some adorable, practical, and very inexpensive gifts for your friends or family members.  You can tailor make each of them according to the designs you think they’ll love.  There’s so much fun included in this packet!

Here you go!  Let the Menu Planning Notebook building begin!

Build Your Menu Planning Notebook – For Personal Use Only
(unlimited lifetime downloads)
$5.99

Add to Cart

Build Your Menu Planning Notebook – For Personal Use and for Gifts
(unlimited lifetime downloads)
$10.99

Add to Cart

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Menu Plan for the Week ~ Plus What I Accomplished Over the Weekend

Here’s a little something worth noting:  Our work as homemakers and mothers is glorious, but rarely glamorous.  I spent some extra time online this weekend, researching new recipe ideas for the holidays.  All of the pictures I came across were so pretty, the end result of the recipe was so perfect, and I almost started feeling overwhelmed with trying to keep up with the Joneses (or the Pinterest Queens as the case may be).

Then here I was, ready to post pictures of some of the very simple (but ever so helpful) tasks I got checked off my list this weekend so that I can try to better manage my wife/mom/school/work/ministries life next week.  None of my pictures even look exciting, much less pretty or pin-worthy.  And don’t look now, but I was so busy cooking and writing on Saturday, I never even made it upstairs to change out of my pajamas.  Glamorous?  Not even a little bit.  Glorious?  Absolutely.  I love the life God’s given me.

Rarely Glamorous, Always Glorious

Here are some snapshots of my not so glamorous, but absolutely glorious (or at least practical) weekend:

Friday afternoon I washed and poked three lovely squash our neighbors had grown in their garden and shared with us.  Into the oven they went.

weekend work 1

Then, I pulled out the chicken carcasses I’d saved from last weekend and set them to boiling for broth.  You’ve got to admit, a picture of chicken carcass floating in water is almost glamorous, yes?

weekend work 2

About 1.5 hours after I put the squash into the oven, I pulled them out, took out the seeds, scooped out the inside, and pureed it.  I now have five 2-cup portions ready to use for upcoming baking projects.  I use this squash in any recipe that calls for pumpkin.  No one can tell the difference.

weekend work 3

Friday night after the broth was finished, I strained out the bones and cooked rice directly in the broth.  I also threw tons of carrots and spinach into the pot.  Once cooked, I stirred in chicken and other ingredients to make Creamy Chicken and Rice Casseroles.  One went into the freezer for another time.  The other went into the fridge for my family to eat this week.

weekend work 4

Saturday we ate leftovers all day (a perk to having only three people at home all weekend).  I was barely in the kitchen at all except to make a quick batch of Chili and double recipe of Coconut Fudge Bars for this week.

weekend work 5

weekend work 6

Oh! And I finally finished the “Build Your Menu Planning Notebook” I’ve been working on for the past several months.  I’ll be sharing all the details about this on Monday once I get it uploaded into my shop.  You are going to love this new fun and helpful resource!

Build Your Menu Planning Notebook 350

Nothing about meal planning is particularly glamorous, but saving your family money and feeding them nourishing meals?  It is glorious.  I can’t tell you how much fun I had printing and putting together my own personal Menu  Planning Notebook!  I got seriously giddy as I picked from all the pages and then built a notebook to suit my needs.  Details soon!

notebook 2

Sunday night, about 30 youth and adults will be meeting at our house for High School Huddle.  I’m making baked ham, green beans, fresh pineapple, relish tray (carrots, cucumbers, sweet peppers, and ranch dip), French bread (store-bought, yay me!) and butter, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

As for this week’s menu, here’s what we’re look at eating:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruits and Veggies to Work With (I serve 1-4 with each meal)

  • Pears
  • Clementines
  • Fresh Pineapple
  • Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Applesauce
  • Apples
  • Mixed Greens and/or Spinach
  • Steamed Broccoli and Carrots
  • Raspberries
  • Home-Canned Peaches
  • Mini Sweet Peppers
  • Sliced Cucumbers
  • Cabbage (need to use this up – not sure what we’ll do with it yet)

Here’s to floating chicken carcasses, a simple pot of homemade chili, menu planning, and the glorious lives we can all be thankful for as homemakers!

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Menu Plan for the Week and What to do With Beets??

You know how dads are supposed to “bring home the bacon?”  Well this week, my husband brought home some beets and collard greens.  That’s almost the same thing as bacon, right?

Matt’s been working over at a gentleman’s house, painting a shed.  As he was leaving Friday, a neighbor handed him an arm full of awesome produce.  Awesome – except for beets and collard greens are two veggies our family isn’t very fond of.  We’re determined to find creative ways to eat them though as we know they are very good for us.  That’s where you come in.  A little beet and collard green help please??

After an internet search Friday night, I made smoothies with shredded beets, pineapple, orange juice, avocado, spinach, and strawberries.  They were actually pretty tasty, and the beets made them beautiful.  I’m not sure my family will go for another round of them though.  Tell me what you do with beets and collard greens.  :)

In other produce news, I loaded my cart at the store on Saturday so that I’d have plenty to work with for our meals this week.  A lady at the check-out was like, “Wow, stocking up?”  I’m so used to plowing through loads and loads of food each week, I forget what my cart-fulls must look like to others.  I had to tell her, “Nope, I have teenage boys.  This is all for just this week.”  ;)

Sorry about the picture quality.  The sun was shining on our kitchen table (yay sunshine!!), which caused a glare on my plastic containers.  Below, if you could see beyond the glare, you would find:  Baby Spinach, Mixed Greens, Petite Carrots, Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Romaine Lettuce, Raspberries, Zucchini, Asparagus, Clementines, Cabbage, and Sweet Peppers.

groceries 2014

I’m excited that at least for right now, our Wal-Mart and another small local grocery store in town  are carrying more organic varieties of produce for very reasonable prices.  Here are the meals we’ll be eating this week:

Sunday –  Matt teaches a college age Bible class on Sunday mornings, and I try to take home-baked goodies to share with the students.  This week I’m taking Apple Crisp.  We’re having company after church, so I’m making Chicken Noodle Soup, a plate of Carrots, Sweet Peppers, and Cucumbers, Olives, Dill Pickles, and Butterscotch Bars.  Tonight there is a church fellowship, so I’m taking two Apple Pies.  (Yes, we still have lots of apples at our house!)

The rest of the week, here’s what we’ll be working with:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruits and Veggie Sides and Snacks

  • Clementines
  • Apples
  • Raspberries
  • Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes (If you haven’t tried these yet, you should.  Amazing!)
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Mixed Greens
  • Spinach
  • Stir fried broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and zucchini
  • Applesauce
  • Homemade Dill Pickles
  • Fresh Pineapple
  • Beets and Collard Greens, apparently  ;)
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Menu Plan for the Week

It never fails.  Every time I load my cart with vodka so that I can start a new batch of Homemade Vanilla Extract, the cashier always asks, “Having a party?”  I always answer, “Nope, I’m making vanilla extract.”  It takes about three more questions from the cashier before they understand that I’m talking about vanilla extract, not some sort of vanilla flavored party drink.  This happened over the weekend.  And guess what?  I got carded!!!  My 41 year-old self loves it when that happens. :)

Once the guy had all my vodka rung up, he wrote down my website info so that he, too, could learn how to make vanilla extract.  It was rather cute.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Laura at Heavenly Homemakers influences people all over the place to buy liquor.  This is one time it is okay to give in to peer pressure.  (Go ahead.  Make vanilla.  Everyone is doing it.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We had our first hard freeze, so we are officially finished picking produce from our garden.  Wow, did we have a long growing season this year!  We pulled in all of our spaghetti squash, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, and honey dew melon before the freeze, so we’ll enjoy eating our way through those this week.

spaghetti squash garden 2014

My current menu planning system seems to be working quite nicely.  I’ll stick with this for now, then change things up if and when this stops working.  Here’s a bullet list of menu items I’ll be choosing from to make each day this week:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I always serve 1-4 fruits and veggies with each meal)

Are you still eating garden produce this time of year?  If you have any ideas for cooking flounder, I’d love to hear!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Don’t forget!  Today’s the final day we’re offering our Holiday Hospitality eBooks for just $1 each!

Heavenly Homemakers Guide to Holiday Hospitality

$6.95 
$1.00

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Heavenly Homemakers Guide to Holiday Hospitality for Kids

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Menu Plan for the Week ~ With a Fun Menu Planning Resource Announcement

Last week’s new (to me) menu planning idea worked out pretty well!  I loved the flexibility, knowing I could make anything on the list for any meal of the week.

The great thing about menu planning is that there are so many ways to go about getting yourself organized.  One thing is for sure though – menu planning always saves money, time, and energy.  This is why I talk about it so often here and share my menu plans with you.

Want to know a little secret?  It’s about menu planning, and it’s different from anything we’ve offered here before.

We’re almost finished creating a really fun menu planning resource packet to add to our shop.  It’s full of printables for you to pick and choose from.  Then based on your needs and preferences, you build your own menu planning notebook.  It’s a never ending resource of fun and organization.  Who says menu planning can’t be FUN!?!?!?!

Coming early November…

Build Your Menu Planning Notebook 550x

That’s a sneak peek at the cover of the “Build Your Menu Planning Notebook” packet.  More details to come as we finish it up and offer it for sale.  I can’t wait to share more about what this is like.  Watch for it soon!

In other news around the Coppinger household, we are still buried under apples.  It’s a wonderful and tasty “problem” to have.  :)  I made 17 more quarts of Applesauce this weekend.  Then I mixed up 9 quarts worth of Apple Pie Filling.  Instead of canning the filling, I froze it in bags.  This girl, if you can believe it, is almost out of jars!  That’s what happens when you are having a fantastic produce year!

apple work 2

I also made a big Apple Crisp for a Fall Festival at church Saturday night.  Apples, apples everywhere!

apple work 1

Like last week, I’m listing meal ideas for the week according to the meal instead of scheduling them specifically for each day.  I’ll mix and match depending on how much time I have each day.  Here are our food lists for this week:

Breakfasts

Lunches

Dinners

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes (I always serve 1-4 fruits and veggies with each meal)

 What’s on your menu plan this week?  Praying your week is off to a great start!

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Menu Plan for the Week – A Little Bit Different This time

Remember the big boxes we got in our Amazon order last week?  Malachi has made very good use of them.  We’ve cut flaps for doors and secret hide-outs, and we’ve gone through way too much packing tape.  Malachi keeps watching for the UPS man to come back and bring more boxes.  Sorry, Buddy.  Mama got a big order, but I don’t think Mr. UPS is coming back this week.  :)

malachi fort

In other news, I’m finding that my current menu planning system isn’t working very well right now.  This school year is trying to knock me flat.  We added a few different (and good!) academic endeavors this year.  I’m amazed at the extra time it takes away from my blog work and house work.  In addition, I’ve been doing a lot of canning, and need to do more during the next few weeks.

So, in an effort to simplify my kitchen work even more (and I already feel that it has been pretty basic), I’m going to try a different menu planning system this week.  The idea is that I will list food ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Fruits/Veggies based on the ingredients I have on hand.  For each day, I’ll just look at the list and figure out what I have time to work on.  We always have 1-4 fruits or veggies with each meal, so we can pull those out quickly to put with each meal.

Make sense?  I think the crock pot is going to get a work-out.  :)  Here’s what we’ll be working with this week:

Breakfasts

Lunches

Dinners

Fruit and Veggie Side Dishes

We’ll see how this works, and I’ll report back next week!  I may find that it works better for me to have everything planned specifically like I’ve done for years.  But what if this is a change for the better?  We’ll see!

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