Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekly Menu Retrospective #95

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the past week's eats. I prefer to report what we ate in the last week, rather than what we're planning to eat in the coming week. Why? The reason is pretty simple: although I usually have a general idea of what we're going to eat in the next week or so, life often unfolds a little differently than planned, and I adjust my menu plan on a near-daily basis to accommodate leftovers and other not-possible-to-plan-ahead circumstances. I find this is the easiest way to ensure that I minimize our family's food waste. I'm also willing to admit that I'm a rather spontaneous cook, given to preparing foods that strike me as the most appealing thing to eat right here and now!

If you'd like a whole book full of inexpensive, quick and kid-approved recipes,
check out my book, Cheap Appétit : The Complete Guide to Feeding Your Family for Less Than $400 a Month (While Eating Better Than You Ever Thought Possible) on Amazon (, and Amazon UK) and Barnes and Noble.  It's gotten multiple 5 star reviews!! I've included page references to recipes that are in the book in my menu plans so you can locate them quickly. For more details about the book, go here.  

Granola (p. 92), Zucchini Raisin Bran Muffins (variation of the recipe on p. 102 ), Baked Oatmeal (p. 91), blueberry clafouti (variation of this recipe on p. 223)

shrimp and pasta salad (shrimp left over from Tuesday's Pad Thai), scrambled eggs and toast, leftovers, sandwiches, pizza


Monday: Turkey & Vegetable Coconut Curry (variation of this recipe on p. 136)

Tuesday: Pork and Apple Stew (p. 156)

Wednesday: Pad Thai with shrimp (I got a great deal on the shrimp!)

Thursday: Smothered Meatballs (p. 143), mashed potatoes, peas and carrots

Friday: Spicy Peanut and Tomato Soup (p. 163)

Saturday: Classic Beef Burgers (p.125) and Easy Oven Fries (p. 194); buns made from my Whole Wheat Refrigerator Bread Dough (p. 239)

Sunday: Chicken Enchiladas (p. 127), carrot sticks, Amish Oatmeal Pie (p. 221)

 In keeping with my local and organic challenge, I'd also like to note the local and/or organic items on this week's menu:

Organic: coconut (in granola), coconut oil (in granola), coconut milk, canola oil, raisins (in granola), sunflower and pumpkin seeds (in granola), flax seeds, spelt bran, lemons, green onions, coffee (locally roasted and delivered by bike!), cane sugar, mustard, tamari, parsley, paprika, Fairytale tea, peppermint tea

Local: potatoes, carrots, onions, apples, zucchini, salsa (home-canned), ground beef, chicken and pork (from VG Meats), honey (unpasteurized), milk, sour cream 

Local AND organic: peanut butter,
sesame seeds (used to top bread loaves), oats (in granola), cornmeal, milk (used to make yogurt), eggs (not "certified organic", but real free range and fed organic feed), apple cider vinegar, popcorn, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour 

Want to know more about the specific food products I use and where I buy them? Check out my new "What's In My Pantry" board on Pinterest. I will keep this board updated with current information on what products we use, where we're buying them, and how much we're paying. It's a work-in-progress, and you can find it HERE.

For more great meal ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday at

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  1. Hi Karen.
    Just found you through another blog.
    I have never read your book, but like you I feed a family of seven on less then$400. a month. In fact up until this past January I fed them on $300. a month most months. The difference between this year and last is one family member is gluten-free now. I am still wrapping my head around making from scratch items of gluten-free, like pasta and brownies. But it is coming through trial and error.

    We on a farm in eastern Ontario. I try my very best to buy local and from local farms and have a large garden.

    I'll be checking in on you from time to time.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Farmgirl! I managed to feed our family of four plus a big dog (lab-shepherd cross) for under $300 a month when my boys were younger :) Now that they are teenagers the volume of food consumed has gone up considerably! Plus we are buying more organics now which does add some to the cost (although I have found a lot of great deals).

    Adding gluten-free to the mix can make things harder for sure! Have you started cooking with quinoa and millet? I have recipes for Coconut-Orange Millet Porridge and Skillet Millet, they might be good additions to your repertoire.

  3. Thanks for the recipes. I got a bunch of books from the library today. this is a test to see if gluten is the problem. It might not be so I don't want to go over board on it yet. However I am perfectly fine being gluten-free myself.

    We have two dogs ( one a wolf mix) and two cats. I do notice an increase in pricing this week.


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