I love menu planning and seeing other's dinner plans! I'm weird like that ;) As I've shared before, being in the kitchen is my happy place so I love finding meals that are new but I also never forget our favorites! These will link to the author's original recipe unless it's my own recipe/creation that I don't have a link for... yet.
If you need some inspiration for how to create menu plans you can read here where I go into detail about how I make a plan for our food week and here to read how I create our grocery list.
I don't make specific plans for breakfast and lunch but these are the basics I rotate between while throwing in a few other things for special days or weeks when I have the right ingredients.
Lunches: Leftovers, PB&J, Meat and Cheese Wraps, Cheese Quesadillas, and Mac 'n' Cheese.
Dinners, however, are always planned for since they tend to take the most ingredients and prep time.
I got asked a fantastic question this week: Do you throw your grocery budget out for the holidays or how do you make the special meals work in your budget? Great question!! We don't throw our budget out (holidays are one of the most important times to have a budget in my mind) but we plan well ahead to incorporate the special foods and ingredients we need. Plus we try and eat as frugal as possible leading up to the holidays to save money for the special meals and treats. No treat or meal is worth breaking the bank for!
Here's what's on our menu this week:
Sunday: Chili - It's cold! Like, with windchills we are are looking at negative double digits. A super warm bowl of chili with all the fixins is perfect for this. I made homemade chili beans this weekend which keeps this meal extra frugal.
Monday: Rice & Bean Enchiladas - You can't get much more frugal than rice and black beans and with homemade enchilada sauce it's another meal that's easy on the pocketbook! Plus they are sooo yummy :D
Tuesday: Christmas Pancakes- This one comes from our Countdown to Christmas activity calendar. I'll color the batter green and red for a festive twist on regular pancakes. I'll probably make eggs and sausage as well because I've got plenty of that on hand.
Wednesday- Pizzadillas - Pizza toppings inside a quesadilla is always a win in this house. We made a batch of pizza sauce on Friday night so we are all set for these.
Friday: Homemade Pizza and Movie Night - you can find my pizza crust recipe here.
Saturday: Christmas Eve Appetizer buffet - We started a tradition a few years ago to have a large spread of appetizers for Christmas Eve. I like choosing apps that I can prep ahead of time so all we need to do is cook them quick - or even have them going in a slow cooker all day! We have a few staples and others get changed up each year. My parents and brother are joining us this year so we've got quite the spread! I'll have our whole Christmas Eve menu and Christmas Day menu up for you later this week. I'm so excited for all the food!
What's on your menu this week? Can you believe Christmas is a week away? Are you ready? Do you do any special foods for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? How do you keep your budget in line during the holidays?
If you need a place to plan a stress free holiday season you can grab my printable holiday planner for free. You can also get free printable Countdown to Christmas activity cards if you go here.