Meal Prep Week 1 of 4

With the shut down of NY from COVID-19 I have been laid off from my job at the law office.

But if you know me at all a little thing like being laid off is not going to slow me down from earning the money we need to survive AND still getting our debt paid down.

Before this shutdown, on top of working two days at the law office, I had also started working the closing shift at the grocery store two nights a week and I had resurrected my bakery home delivery service again. And of course I was still rocking the Etsy sales selling my vintage dishware, dress patterns, linens, flatware and other odd trinkets like cat calendars from the 1970’s and 1980s.

When all of this hit I had to stop the two days at the office and now have shifted to working two nights and two days at the store plus home delivery and Etsy.

My 18 year old son also works at the store as a cashier and with his senior year of high school pretty much over with the pandemic he is working more hours than ever before.

My husband is also working his normal hours because his company sells medical oxygen and welding supplies and gases.

I know we are very fortunate to be working but it does put us in harms way. It’s a classic Catch-22 with no good answer.

Now that I have all of that background out of the way I have to admit I have been struggling with getting food ready for all of us. I am so tired after doing home deliveries on Wednesdays and working opposite shifts from my guys that I just don’t want to cook and I am REALLY tired of pizza.

I came up with an idea to have certain grab and go items ready for all of us without having to stand there and cook every night.

It’s not a new concept by any means but it made me feel better just thinking about it.

I made a list up of food ideas and here it is:

Homemade Salsa

Apples with carmel dip – Yum right!?

Homemade Mac and Cheese – Great for a leftover too

Pepperoni and moz cheese, sauce and bagels – Make mini pizzas when you don’t have time to cook a big meal

Cut up fruit – easy to snack on

Taco Meat for Nachos – I also keep a can of black beans on hand for the protein if I don’t have taco meat available.

Deviled and Boiled Eggs – The boiled eggs can go on salads!

Grilled Veggies – warm up with grilled chicken and add to a flour tortilla for a great quick dinner!

Salad Fixings – Always good to have on hand

Cabbage for slaw – making slaw is easy and can be used for over a week in the fridge

Grilled Chicken Breast – so many uses. Salads anyone?

Veggies and Dip – perfect snack! And if I don’t use them all by the end of a week I’ll toss them into a stir-fry or steam them for a side. It’s handy to have them washed, cut up and ready to go.

Pckles/Olives – We love munching on these

I spent about a day working with all of these ideas. Made my list and shopped, chopped, minced and prepared everything. I even cleaned out my fridge. I mean REALLY cleaned it. Took all the shelves out and everything!

Let me tell you…what a huge help this all was for me. The homemade salsa alone saved my butt more than once. You see the salsa has many of the starting ingredients that I would use in other dishes. The onions, peppers, tomatoes and garlic all ready to go meant I could just use it on the fly for pot roasts and even as a base for spaghetti sauce.

I also organized my spice and ingredient cabinet which was a big mess. It is much easier to find things now!

These are all suggestions and I hope it helps give you some inspiration. I’ll get some more ideas together and get back to you with more next week.

Stay safe everyone! – MM

Week 10 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – October Dinners – Meal Planning

October is already 7 days in, but here is what I am planning for dinner for the rest of October.

Oct 7th                            Oct 8th                   Oct 9th        Oct 10th              Oct 11th

Smoked Pork Chops    Chicken Salad     Breakfast     Crock Pot            Soup & Garlic Bread

Oct 12th                 Oct 13th                 Oct 14th             Oct 15th              Oct 16th

Wing it                Rot. Chicken            Pork Roast         Stuffed Shells       Tacos

Oct 17th                Oct 18th                Oct 19th             Oct 20th              Oct 21st

Burgers                   Soup                    Wedding             Wedding                Pot Pie

Oct 22nd              Oct 23rd               Oct 24th             Oct 25th               Oct 26th

Subs           Pork chops & mushrms   Crock Pot             Pizza                  Night Out

Oct 27th                  Oct 28th                Oct 29th            Oct 30th             Oct 31st

Stuffed Peppers    Veggie Stir Fry       Left Overs            Soup                  Wing it

There are a couple of things to note: We have a wedding we are participating in so dinners those two days are already covered and when I put generic meals like “burgers” I don’t just serve meat and cheese on a bun. We go all out for burgers, particularly because I prefer real ground turkey breast for my burgers and the boys like their beef burgers. We try all kinds of toppings; cheeses, bacon, mushrooms, etc.

Also pot pie in our home is made from scratch. No processed frozen pies. Homemade crust and many times veggies from our garden plus either beef or chicken. It’s soooo good!

I will try to get some videos done of a few of the meals that we make this month or at least some recipe posts with step by step. If you are interested in some of the things I grow, check out the live feed I did from Facebook a couple of days ago of my Garden Harvest

Oh and by the way, I paid another double payment to that pesky Old Navy card this week!

See you next time 🙂 – MM

Next Week’s Post – What our monthly bill payment schedule looks like.