Meal Plan 3/17

What are you eating this week?  You don’t know?  Well you should!  Planning your weekly menus is a great way to make sure that you have everything on hand you need for your meals, that you take into account your busy schedule, and that you use up foods in the fridge before they go bad.  It’s a win-win.

So this is what I’m working with this week here at the Frugal Upstate Village Homestead:

1.  Princess has play rehearsal every night except Friday this week.  Buddy has piano lessons and Scouts.  Yankee Bill has meetings 2 evenings and won’t be home for dinner either night, and I have my second to last guitar class (which means dinner needs to be ready for the family but I head out about the time they eat.)  Two days I will be in town for various appointments and events, and I’m giving blood one evening.  Yankee Bill will be gone all day on Saturday and may or may not be home for dinner.  Wow.  Once I write that all out I realize what a busy week we have!  I need to keep things pretty simple.

2.  In the fridge I have leftover cooked venison, a one lb package of ground beef, beef short ribs, bacon from the butcher shop and hotdogs.  Besides a bunch of typical salad fixings I also have fresh carrots, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.  There are plenty of eggs, milk and homemade yogurt (which can sub for sour cream in a lot of things).  I’ve still got plenty of potatoes in the basement from our buddy’s father’s farm, 3 or 4 butternut squash up on top of the cabinets, and both canned and frozen vegetables from this summer.

3.  Yankee Bill had drill this weekend and he made his famous Two Can Stew for the guys–a huge batch.  There is a TON left over and in the downstairs fridge.

4. I can’t wait for gardening season to be here, but right now there is nothing for fresh produce.  I’ve been thinking of doing some sprouts, but even if I started today they wouldn’t be ready till the end of the week.

5. As always my goal is to have one venison meal, one fish meal, one pork meal, one bean meal, one meatless meal and one soup meal per week.  Since I just picked up my 1/4 cow, I really need to start doing one beef meal at a minimum!

Taking all that into account here is my game plan:

Monday: Venison Stirfry

I over estimated when I cooked venison last week and cooked up two packages of meat, so there is a good amount of leftovers.  Stirfry is a perfect way to use it up since you slice the meat thinly–it always seems to stretch farther that way.  The vegetable portion will be the Chinese cabbage, carrots, peppers, and broccoli.  It will be served with rice from my bulk rice.

This is my venison meal for the week.

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner–Waffles, Bacon and  Peaches

We haven’t done a breakfast for dinner meal in a while–it’s not Yankee Bill’s favorite by a long stretch so we save this for nights that he won’t be home for dinner.  Buddy has gotten into making pancakes from scratch lately, so we’ve actually had pancakes for breakfast quite a few times.  Waffles will be a bit of a change up.  I’m interested to try the bacon from the butcher shop–he makes it in house and uses a different cure then the typical.  And finally, because I always feel “wrong” not to include a fruit or vegetable with a supper, we’ll add some home canned peaches as a side.

This is my meatless meal for the week (yeah, I know, bacon and all–but seriously, two slices of bacon each isn’t like eating a steak or something.  My point is to have a meal each week that barely uses any meat)

Wednesday: Two Can Stew over Rice

We have a LOT of that stew left.  I’m going to try canning some (typically I’d freeze it but I have NO freezer space right now) but there will still be plenty left for a supper.  Wednesday is my super busy day it will be nice not to have to cook anything–I’ll make extra rice on Monday night so it will just be a warming up leftovers type of meal.

This is my soup meal and my bean meal for the week (there are kidney beans in the stew).

Thursday: Sweet and Sour Hotdog Bites, Mashed Potatoes and Green Salad

My kids have never been big hotdog fans.  I know, I know, it’s practically un-American.  Yankee Bill and I enjoy the occasional dog on grill (charred just the slightest bit) so I typically have a package or two in the freezer.  This pack was pretty big and had been hanging out in there long enough that I felt it should get used up.  Last week I made corndog muffins–which turned out pretty good (I want to make them one more time before I share the recipe)

Friday: Beef Short Ribs with Noodles and Green Beans

When I was packing the beef from our bulk purchase into the freezer, I found one of the packages of short ribs was punctured and had lost it’s seal.  So I need to cook that up.  I’ve never made beef short ribs before so I’m going to pull up a couple of recipes and figure out what to do.  No matter what style of recipe I use I can’t imagine that noodles wouldn’t taste good as a side, and then I’ll do the home canned green beans warmed up with a bit of bacon added.  Should be yummy!

This is my beef meal for the week.

Saturday: Baked Stuffed Fish Rolls, Greens and Biscuits

I’ll just make a quick stuffing with leftover bread and roll the thawed fish fillets over it.  Pat with butter, sprinkle with some spice and bake.  Not really a recipe, more of a concept.  I’ll pair it with home canned greens and some homemade biscuits (rolled if I have time, drop biscuits if I don’t).

This is my fish meal for the week.

Sunday: Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Green Salad and Garlic Bread

We’ll do spaghetti (homemade noodles if I wind up with time–but probably just the store bought normal ones in reality) with some of the Italian sausage from our 1/2 pig (it’s links this year not bulk sausage).  Green salad just seems to always be what goes with spaghetti.  If I have time I’ll make some garlic bread, if I don’t get around to it we’ll be fine too.

This is my pork meal for the week.


Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .

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  1. says

    I highly, highly, seriously HIGHLY recommend the Pioneer Woman’s short rib recipe. We adore it! It is a cool/cold weather dish as it needs some serious oven time, but it tastes oh, so delicious and we do typically serve it over the polenta that she suggests (although just plain, no goat cheese, etc stirred in). It is one of my husband’s very favorite meals and he’d never even had short ribs until I made them like this! And it is one reason we always request the short ribs when we get a 1/2 steer…I can’t believe more people don’t eat them!

  2. Katharine Jones says

    Hello from Oneonta NY! I’ve become a fan of your menu planner, it gives me ideas!
    It’s also nice to know someone else keeps rice on hand in large amounts! I admit I use the 5 minute instant kind-i have 3 boys ages 10,3,and 6 weeks so fast is important! You wrote that you buy a quarter cow. My partner and I have been discussing it. He feels it would be cheaper. Is it more cost effective? With three kids, two who’ll eat you out of house and home, we’re on a fairly strict budget each month!

    • says

      Hi Katharine! It’s always so nice when I get someone “local” visiting Frugal Upstate! I’m glad that my weekly meal plans give you ideas–I always hope that they will encourage folks to have less waste, more variety and a somewhat calmer evening with meal planning.

      For the rice–if you are interested in making the switch to regular rice, you might want to consider purchasing a rice cooker. I know–it actually isn’t that difficult to cook rice on the stovetop or in the oven (the oven actually is dead simple)–but a rice cooker is so convenient. Toss in the rice and water, turn it on, when it’s done cooking (about 20-25 min) it pops over to “warm” and will keep the rice warm and moist for something like 6 hours. So you can start it a while before you even start dinner and then it’s there, hot and ready when you need it.

      For the beef-I’m going to be writing a blog post on it soon–hopefully this week. Long story (which I will detail in that post) very short–If you go by straight pounds of meat we ended up with it costs somewhere between 4-4.50 a lb (depending on how you calculate it). I know that by watching sales and shopping smart you can get beef for less then that in the store right now (although with inflation who knows what the price difference will be when I’m still using the beef next fall). However, when you get a half or quarter cow you get a variety of cuts–and you are getting both the ground beef and the filet mignon and everything in between for that $4 a lb. Keep watching for the full details, but that at least gives you something to chew on :)

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