Monday, December 7, 2015

What's For Dinner?

I always find it interesting to see what other families eat. I've written lots of posts about our meals when we followed Wheat Belly and Whole 30 diets. Here are the most common meals we eat. I prepare the first ten meals much more frequently than the rest of the meals.

  1. Chicken Tetrazzini with salad or green beans
  2. Shepherd's Pie (loosely based on this recipe)
  3. Chili (2 cans of chili beans, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of rotel, 1 diced onion, 1 lb ground beef), with tortilla chips or cornbread muffins, sour cream, shredded cheese
  4. Tacos (beef with taco seasoning, lettuce, grated cheese, salsa, sour cream, refried beans, Mexican rice)
  5. Turkey meatloaf (1/2 the recipe) with mashed potatoes and veggie (green beans, cooked spinach, peas)
  6. Lasagna w/ salad
  7. Taco Soup
  8. Cube steak (cooked in crock pot with cream of mushroom and lipton onion), rice or mashed potatoes, veggie
  9. Enchiladas with black beans and Mexican rice
  10. Pork chops (fried, grilled, crock-pot, or baked--any flavor), stewed apples, slaw, mac-n-cheese or baked beans
  11. Chicken pot pie
  12. Chicken and gravy (chicken breasts cooked in crock pot with cream of mushroom and lipton onion) served over egg noodles, veggie
  13. Baked BBQ chicken, potatoes (either baked sweet potatoes or lipton onion potatoes), cooked veggie or salad
  14. Fajitas (top round steak in crock pot all day, add strips of peppers and onions) with cheese, sour cream
  15. Chicken stir-fry (frozen stir-fry veggie mix, cut up chicken breasts, teriyaki sauce), served with either Asian noodles, fried rice, or egg rolls (The kids won't eat this meal so I fix PB&J or frozen pizza.)
  16. Sloppy joes (ground beef, can of manwich sauce, hamburger bun) with homemade sweet potato fries
  17. BBQ sandwiches (pork roast cooked in crock pot, shredded, put on bun), sweet potato fries
  18. Beef stew with rice
  19. Baked fish (tilapia or salmon) with steamed broccoli and packaged cheddar broccoli rice
  20. Spaghetti and salad
  21. Quesadillas (chicken or plain cheese), black beans
  22. Breakfast Night (scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits, hashbrowns, fruit, yogurt)
  23. Pigs-in-a-blanket (hot dogs and crescent rolls), mac-n-cheese, veggie
  24. Pizza (frozen or from a chain restaurant)
We used to have a bit more variety (stuffed peppers, soups and sandwiches, pecan crusted fish, chicken ceasar salad, butternut squash, etc) and we also ate out more. That was before kids, when finances were more flexible and we didn't have to worry about kids refusing to eat. I still like to try new recipes every once in a while. I have an unopened box of stuffing mix from Thanksgiving that I plan to use in this casserole. I just have to be more conscientious about whether I think the kids will like it or not. (Of course, nowadays the toddlers refuse food they loved the week before!)

Ever since becoming a stay at home mom, I've been responsible for all grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking. Almost all of our groceries come from Aldi. When I shop on the weekends, I have a general idea of what meals I'll cook for the week. I no longer make a list, but I cook the same rotation of meals and keep certain things on hand at all times, so I've become a more efficient shopper and meal planner. The average monthly grocery budget for our family of six is $400 (strictly food, not including toiletries, cat food, or other household items). I can spend less when absolutely necessary, but $400 gives us a good variety of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

As I unload groceries each weekend, I write our meals for the week on the dry erase board in the kitchen. There's a place for meals beside the calendar, which allows me to reference any scheduled events when meal planning. It helps me keep track of what meat to thaw, when to put the crock pot out, and how much time I need for meal prep. 

Feel free to share your favorite kid-approved recipes or meal planning strategies!


  1. Wow! 400 barely works for me and Mike for a month! How do you do that? I don't know how kid friendly it is, but chicken in a crockpot with barbaque sauce then add bacon (cooked) and swiss cheese about 10-15 mins before serving. Also meatballs with barbaque sauce and grape jelly in a crockpot for meatball subs. "bubble" meals are a hit. Biscuits torn, layered on bottom with ranch chicken (chicken rubbed with dry ranch mix) and cheese put in oven... Sry just finished my recipe book so i'm in meal planning mode.

  2. Another "bubble" meal is with pepperoni and pizza sauce with the biscuits... Those are endless...