Monday, January 10, 2011

Printable Meal Menu / Calendar

There was some interest after a recent post I made about meal planning, and how I hope it will help me save some time and some money. Thanks for all the kind comments regarding the "belt tightening" and wonderful suggestions!!

I have been on the calendar for a week now and am LOVING how little stress I have about meal time- and that all the ingredients are on my shelves! I went to work and put together an excel calendar to share with you (and also because I know I will likely lose the one in my notebook! Haha.) 

Here is the link to my printable meal menu calendar: Click here . There is also a template to print/make your own. I *think* all you need to do is copy it into excel or save a copy to your own computer. Hopefully that will work!

A few things about the meals:

  • My husband insists on MEAT at every meal. We have a freezer full of (grass fed, local) beef and elk. I would love to eat more fish than we do...I was an ovo-lacto vegetarian for 2 years.
  • We also eat a lot of frozen or canned foods because it's a) easy to store and we live in the sticks, and, b) it's usually cheaper. I'd LOVE to eat more fresh produce, but alas, it doesn't always keep until we get to the store again. We have a second refrigerator to keep some things in.
  • When I cook meat, I ALWAYS double the volume I need for one meal when thawing and cooking. Then I store away the extra meat for the next meal, (or a meal later that week). This saves me every time! You can refreeze cooked burger, chicken etc... and then microwave it to thaw if needed.
  • I have planned a lot of my meals to use this doubled meat strategy: back to back meals like roast beef Sunday and enchiladas Monday (using roast beef) are an example.
  • When making something like enchiladas or lasagna, why not make 2 at one time and freeze one for another "emergency" meal? Half the clean-up, almost half the cooking.
  • I use a lot of bread from a recipe I found. It isn't the best tasting bread I've ever had, but it is FAST to make and nutritious. I double the recipe to make enough for 4 loaves and freeze the dough to use for my homemade pizza shells.
  • I like exciting food- but my kids don't we compromise.
Anyway, I hope this helps even one other person out there! Please let me know if you have any good ideas to add in.

Running related: 7 miles this morning at a slow/easy recovery pace. I still need to do some daily core stuff, though.


  1. I'm a vegetarian too, I just prefer my vegetables to have been processed by a cow, deer, elk, etc first.

  2. this is so awesome!!! i actually just printed off five recipes for our dinners this week, made a list, and went to the store. i'm looking forward to just grabbing a recipe and knowing that i have everything i need to make it! thanks for the inspiration!!!

  3. I found grilled cheese on there, YAY!!

    I guess I just need a calendar that is pineapple pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Some day I'll be a normal vegetarian and actually eat, oh, I don't know ... vegetables??

  4. Ah-the organization!!! Love the spreadsheet. I'm coming over on Turkey Pad Thai day. I love Thai food:) I know nothing about living in the sticks.....hmmm....lots of frozen here too!

    I've been so behind without internet. I'm just back-reading your last 3 posts! I've been almost thankful actually as the late night temptation to sit and play on the computer instead of go to bed has allowed me a little more sleep this week. I never get enough sleep and I know it wears a person down. Rest up! You have a full plate.

    Nice work on the 8:06 18 miler! Especially the fact that it wasn't draining! Awesome considering the level at which you do your speedwork! Your legs are recovering quickly! You're doing just great! I was outside running this morning thinking it would sure be a lot more motivating to freeze my booty off if I had Boston on the horizon....

    Keep up the good work! Fun following your training!

  5. THIS IS SO SO COOL!! I am loving it! I will probably be copying every meal ha! Really thank you for this and thanks for motivating me to be organized! I have to ask what the baked/fried chicken means (is it that you are baking it but it still tastes and looks like fried chicken?) Great run!! I really enjoy recovery run!

  6. Thank you for this. You are so organized and sounds like you eat a well balanced diet as well as have an awesome active lifestyle!! I have talked about wanting to get some grass fed, local beef if we decided to keep eating beef. We don't have a big freezer though. and no room for one. Off to catch up on your other blogs that I've missed out on!

  7. Before I forget, here's the link to that recipe. She has a lot of other great ones too. The kids might not like the bourbon chicken because it's kind of hot.

    I hope that worked, if it didn't, it's on my blog, just one post down from my last one.

    I LOVE your menu set up! You've inspired me to start doing this too!

  8. Gosh, I wish I had this calendar when our kids were little! I still love it though and if it frees us up to enjoy our Sparkle Pants, running and more time outside, I'm all for it. THANKS!

  9. You are a motviating force! To be a mom in pursuit of a stellar Boston performance while managing her family and providing healthy, cost-effective, efficient meals, YOU ROCK!!

    Thinking of you as the score is 19-19!

  10. ERG,
    You might consider developing and printing a shopping list that has the generic and brands of items you shop for so that after eating (vital)you can set down and check off the items for your next trip to the land of food. As you recall I collect shopping list and these printed versions are showing up a lot more than in the past. Yes, I will(with love) watch the boys.

  11. PS/
    You might consider sending a letter with photos of the last pair of 400+ miles shoes to your favorite shoe company and ask them to check with their R&D department to see if they would like you to send them the shoes so they can get a real look at how their product is holding up under real feet. They should jump at the chance and should consider sending you a replacement pair for the opportunity. There is more than one way to get your foot in the door.

  12. Natty - always quick with the wit!

  13. Thanks C2, my writers appreciate the kudos.

    ERG---sorry about the game. I hear it was a good one, even came down to the very very end. Always good when a game does that.

  14. so organized, I love it. You are a wonderful mother and wife for nourishing your family with such great meals. :)

  15. Hey girl! Happy Hump Day!
    I just nominated you for the Stylish Blogger Award on my blog.


    I've been reading Running Times lately, and remembered you said something about DOMS, perhaps the above link will help!

  17. I know!! My race is this Sunday - I can't believe it. I gotta tough it out and show up with my game face on. I'm totally fine running in rain, it's the wind that gets to me.

    I'm in a quandry - the forecast says rain, but warmer (maybe 45-50). I want to wear my shorts so badly, because I'd much rather run in my shorts. I know I can run in my shorts in the colder weather, I just don't know about the rain. I guess I will figure it out on race day!

  18. You are not a snot! I do have a hat. My ultimate goal is under 2 hours, but I'm not holding my breath. We shall see!

  19. WOW! You are so amazingly well organized! Would you be able to post the recipe for the bread? Anything quick and nutritious sounds good. =)

  20. this is great- RunningSane mentioned you in her blog, glad I took a look because i really want to try the spreadsheet :)


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