Menu Plan Monday ~ January 11th

Sorry all, I don’t know what happened. I had this post scheduled to go out at it’s usual time and it didn’t work. WordPress even told me I had one missed scheduled post.  Very strange.

Holy smokes, I was blown away by the number of participants last week, just shy of 500! Welcome to all of you who are new here (and everyone else too 🙂 ). I’d love to hear about how your first week went. Were you able to stick to your menu plan? Did you have to mix a few days around? Did you try some new recipes? Save $$ on your grocery bill? Would love to hear your thoughts, good or bad. If you are discouraged, please don’t give up. It will take a couple of weeks to settle into this new routine.

And don’t worry about whether or not your menu goes exactly according to plan. That’s the beauty of menu planning. For instance, my hubbie surprised us on Friday night by taking us out for dinner. No big deal, I simply moved the drumsticks to Saturday night and then tonight (Sun), instead of our normal simple supper (grilled cheese or omelets), we’ll be having the Corn Chowder that was originally planned for yesterday. It usually works itself out in the end especially if you plan in a leftover day and perhaps another day that is totally flexible like our Simple Supper Sunday. I’m rooting for you, hang in there. It’s so worth it, I promise!

Don’t forget that the The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook giveaway ends Tuesday, January 12th at 12:00 pm PST!

Last week’s recipe highlight goes to Mama’s Amazing Ziti. I just love casserole type dishes as they are usually so easy to throw together and you don’t have to worry about any side dishes. I thought this recipe was very creamy and healthy too. My hubbie isn’t so crazy for tomato soup so I won’t say it was his favorite but myself and the kids really liked it.

Here’s what we’ll be eating this week:

Monday: Black Bean Quesadillas (delicious!)

Tuesday: Potato Chip Crusted Chicken (new)

Wednesday: Italian Sausage Soup (new)

Thursday: Leftover buffet

Friday: Homemade Pizza (family favorite)

Saturday: Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin (new)

Simple Supper Sunday

Still stuck for ideas? Check out my Family Favorite Recipe Index


Menu Plan Monday guidelines and banner selections are here.

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday


64 Responses to Menu Plan Monday ~ January 11th

  1. 1
    Louise says

    Those look like some great meals you have lined up. A lot more work than mine, in fact, I’m going to be checking to see if I have any frozen pork in the freezer.

  2. 2
    Carrie says

    Oops! NOT my first time. Posted too quickly there. But it is my second time, close enough right? Haha, glad to be here and see all the great menus!

  3. 3
    Amber @ Classic Housewife says

    I knew that Ziti sounded delicious! Now we really do need to try it. I may have to omit the carrots though. =)

  4. 5
    Laura says

    Amber I promise you barely taste the carrots. They are cleverly disguised. Try it!! 🙂

  5. 6
    Dawn says

    Thanks for your inspiration! Last week didn’t go so well for us at our house. But we are just adjusting some of the recipes to this week. Thanks for reminding me that flexibility is o.k.!

  6. 7
    Laura says

    Dawn, definitely ok! Hope you have a wonderful week 🙂

  7. 8
    Andy says

    Thanks for doing this every week. It’s such a great resource to be able to see so many different menu plans!

  8. 10
    Glory says

    Last week was my first time to do Menu Plan Monday and it totally helped me. My whole week was so much more calm and organized. I used the software that you featured last week and then printed the week’s calendar off. I loved the way it made my grocery list. I printed that on the back of the menu calendar, and then hung it on my fridge. I couldn’t wait to do it again this week. I added lunches this week as I have 3 boys at home each day too.

  9. 11
    alisonwonderland says

    Laura, I’m struggling with Mr. Linky tonight. Please delete the entry that links to a review on my book log. The second entry is the correct one. I’m trying to get back into meal planning this year. But maybe it’s more than I can manage, if I can’t even link right! J/K. 🙂 Thanks! Alison

  10. 12
    Laura says

    Glory, yay so happy to hear that! Doing the happy dance for you!!

    Alison, no problem about the link 🙂

  11. 13
    Miranda says

    I have made the potato chip crusted chicken before and it is so good! You will not be disappointed.

  12. 14
    Kelly B says

    Thanks for everything, Laura! I am so excited for another week! Last week was my first, and I feel so amazing! The black bean Quesadillas sound amazing! I just got some coupons for flour tortillas. Maybe we’ll try this next week!

  13. 15
    PlanningQueen says

    Menu planning is like any routine really. It can take a bit of tweaking to get it right, but when you do, it makes life so much easier. Each week I try to have at least one meal (like the pasta bake) that I know will have a large amount of left overs, so that I can take a night off cooking!

  14. 16
    hyperactivelu says

    your menu sounds yummy! off to check out potato chip chicken!!!

  15. 17
    The Happy Housewife says

    We are doing the pantry challenge this month so our meals have been really cheap.
    A for the scheduling error, I believe it is a glitch with WP. Have you upgraded to the newest version, it was supposed to fix it.

  16. 19
    Becky says

    I have been menu planning for about 6 weeks now and I love it!! It as made life so much easier especially in the rush of after school activities and homework!

  17. 21
    Heather says

    I’ve been continuing to plan menus weekly, though the past few weeks I’ve had to make adjustments. Seems like every week I have to move meals around due to our activities. At least I know I have the ingredients to make a complete meal. I also put at least one day of leftovers into our weekly menu plans. Maybe this week will be better.

  18. 22
    Jenna @ Newlyweds says

    I’ve been doing a weekly menu plan now for 58 weeks, I say that because that’s the number of Menu Plan Monday’s I’ve had on my blog. Thanks so much for introducing me to this idea and hosting the linky each week. It has truly helped me stay in budget and be much more organized when I am cooking for my family. I tell everyone I know about having a weekly menu plan.

  19. 23
    Millie @ Real Food for Less Money says

    500+ participants last week is amazing! I know that for me, menu planning has made a huge difference in the quality of food we eat (home cooked as opposed to take out or drive thru) and in the amount of money that we spend on food. I don’t worry about sticking 100% to my menu plan either and usually also plan a ‘leftover’ night in the form of a meal that requires zero prep.
    Like many others we are using January (and possibly part of February too) as an opportunity to clean out the freezer and pantry. It is wonderful to start having some space in the freezer. We actually can fit the ice cube trays in again! WhooHoo.

  20. 24
    Martianne says

    We just added our update not only on Menu Planning Mondays, but the Eat from the Pantry Challenge – compelte with breakfasts, lunches and snakcs – at As you can see, both MPM and the EFTPC are keeping us on track. We are so grateful for the inspiration and hope to continue to make budget-friendly menu planning a habit.

  21. 25
    Keli says

    I can’t wait to try the Black Bean Quesadillas! Thanks for hosting MPM!! It has really kept me on track

  22. 26
    Rebecca says

    Cleaning out the pantry/freezer each season is really helped along by making menu plans. It’s great to post my menu and I hope it inspires others as much as visiting this page (and the linked pages) inspires me when trying to come up with what to feed folk.

  23. 27
    mrs spock says

    I love how other women of the Internet are helping me with meal ideas and save money. There are always a slew of new recipes to try every week.

  24. 28
    shirley rempel says

    Great menu for the week, sounds really yummy!!! I have loved doing the Eat From Your Pantry Challenge!!! Thanks for letting your readers know about it! Its made a HUGE difference to my grocery budget this month!!!

  25. 29
    [email protected] says

    oooohhh…..monday and saturday sound yummy!!! 🙂 have a great week!

  26. 30
    Cyn says

    Your menu sounds good. I have linked mine up. I make a potato chip crusted chicken too but mine is different – basically it’s just dipping chicken into beaten egg seasoned with whatever spices you want and then crushed potato chips. I’ll have to try the one you’ve linked here sometime as it sounds really good too. (I also do my same recipe as above but with crushed cornflake crumbs OR crushed pretzels – it can be nice to add some mustard to the egg for an extra punch on this one OR crushed peanuts. Any of these are really tasty! This can be done with bone-in or boneless chicken and with the boneless, it’s nice to cut them up into strips to make them more like chicken fingers.)

  27. 31
    Cyn says

    hmm, I just noticed that for some reason beside my name it says “Cuban Sandwiches” – which is one of my posts but NOT the one I linked here. I checked the link and it does take you to my menu plan for this week.

  28. 32
    Tammy says

    The Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin sounds very good. Gotta try that one!

  29. 33
    Kelly says

    Sorry put new next to my name and it is really my second week! Last week went well, but had to spend more than I planned this week–darn winter produce! Trying the Mama’s Ziti this week–I love anything with carrots mixed into it!

  30. 34
    Rebecca says

    With special dietary needs, meal planning is essential for us; I can’t imagine not doing it now that we’ve been doing it for awhile.

    The black bean quesadillas sound good and cheap!

  31. 36
    Kelli says

    I changed up my entire menu planning process and have noted it all on my post this week. 🙂

    With that said, I have a question… how do you decide who to visit? This is to players, too! Almost 500 people are playing these days and that is really an overhwelming number to slide through. I try to visit some players, but now I don’t know who or how to decide. LOL!

  32. 37
    cathy says

    Kelli I am having the same challenge. But there is some fun in just randomly clicking. You just might be pleasantly surprised with what you come across.

  33. 38
    insanitycooks says

    I just wanted to say thanks for this great site. I have given this a try before, but I am back again and am going to try and be more dedicated to my planning and my blogging. Thanks.

  34. 39
    Kristen says

    This is my first time linking up…I hope I did it right!

  35. 40
    purple moose says

    Hey Laura, I’ve been wondering . . . what is your “Simple Supper Sunday”? Have you posted about it before? Hope your week is full of pleasant surprises!

  36. 41
    Laura says

    Kelli, I have to admit there is no way I could possibly go through each of the links each week. What I’ll do instead is set a time limit and randomly hop all over the links visiting as many as I can. I wish I could visit all of them but it just wouldn’t be fair to my family.

    Purpe Moose ~ Simple Supper Sunday just means we eat something easy that only requires ingredients we’d have in the house anyway. Something like omelets, grilled cheese, soup, pancakes, waffles, that kind of thing. It’s also one last chance to use up any leftovers because what isn’t eaten by Sunday gets tossed and I hate to waste food. I always like to start fresh on Mondays though as Monday is when I get my new groceries for the week.

  37. 42
    Sammy says

    Black Bean Quesadillas sounds yummy! I might have to try that next week…

  38. 43
    Kari says

    I have been menu planning since we had to change our diets in a major way due to our youngest son’s allergies. I then decided, about a week or so ago, to put it on my blog. Then I figured, hey, join in here. Someone else might like some gluten, casein, soy, and oil-free receipes. I might find some we want to try. This week’s menu is super simple because we have a LOT of things going on. But check out my last one if you want different menu ideas.

  39. 44
    Pam Smith says

    After reading your review on Plan To Eat. I just had to give it a try. I LOVE IT!!! I’m on my second week and my husband has made comments about how nice it is to have such good meals on the table. Before PTE it was a “fly by my seat” kinda of dinner “plan” (or lack there of).

    Thank you for MPM and wonderful reviews on the many ways we can menu plan. Each one of us are different – some like to plan on the computer (and then let the computer do all the hard work ex. shopping list, keeping all recipes in one place, etc.) and others like to plan on paper. You make it easy for all of us to make the best decissions for our own families. Thank you for your hard work!

  40. 45
    Ronni says

    Your menu looks very tasty. We are also having homemade pizza this week. Hope you have a wonderful week. 🙂

  41. 46
    Rebecca in Colorado says

    Last week, I stuck with my plan like never before. I didn’t even do any switching of days. It was really great Monday through Friday, but we did experience a little bit of soup burnout. Saturday night, we wound up eating out but I was pretty impressed that we hadn’t swayed earlier. This week, I posted a review of last week’s new recipes and old favorites, and I’m Link #400.

  42. 47
    kolfinnas korner says

    Word press has done this to me too lately on one of my blogs. Make sure your version and plug-ins are all current. I had to update my blog, and it seamed to fix the problem so far.

  43. 48
    Pamela says

    Thanks for your comment about flexibility! My menu plan did not go as I had originally planned last week for many reasons, but I am going to give myself that freedom and not be hard on myself! I love having the planning done and the groceries in the fridge every week 🙂

  44. 49
    Grace2882 says

    I had gotten out of meal planning and boy did my grocery budget show it. It was unreal the amount of food that I found in my freezer once this challenge came along. I know that my downfall started at the same time that I was diagnosed with Diabetes and had to start eating healthier. I now realize that we can eat healthy and not spend as much as we have been. I appreciate getting the reminder.

  45. 50
    Kathy says

    This is a great way to help keep me on track for some of my 2010 goals! Thanks!

  46. 51
    Zom says

    Thank you Laura for being such a gracious host. Believe it or not this is my 40th (?!?!) week of planning along with you. Meal Planning really made a huge difference in our family budget. We made about 15% less this year, but made huge financial strides. Whoop!

  47. 52
    Cara says

    I’m back to Menu Plan Monday after a few weeks off. As you mentioned, my menu plan rarely goes 100% as planned, but sometimes the best meals come from being a little creative and spontaneous in the kitchen. (And that’s coming from the least spontaneous person on earth, mind you!). The baked ziti you mentioned sounds delicious…I love dishes like that too!

  48. 53
    Valerie says

    I am soooo making those black bean quesadillas for lunch today. I am hungry just thinking about it. Do you have any other great ideas for canned: Kidney beans, Pinto beans and black eyed peas. I get these throught the WIC program and we’be had 15 bean soup with them (which I love) but I don’t know alot of other great recipes. Thank you for the great black bean recipe!!

  49. 54
    Lisa Gano says

    Enjoy looking at all the menus. I was wondering if you have thought about using more than one linky. Maybe it isn’t possible but I thought it might be nice to have everyone put their menu’s under categories. For example, pantry challenge, frugal, vegetarian/vegan, gluten free, etc. I am sure that there are lots of other categories you could think of too.



  50. 55
    sharon says

    Hi Laura: Last week was my first week of mpm. Here’s how I did it- bought all the groceries for the week. But instead of having them on certain nights I just made whatever I was in the mood for that night. This helped tremendously by me not having to choose the recipes- which takes so long. In the future I will also peruse the family favorites section to substitute a dish etc…Thank you and we loved the ziti, too!!!

  51. 56
    Teresa says

    WooHoo!!! You broke the 500 mark!! So many people being blessed by your meme. It feels great to be a part of it….guess I should submit my menu plan for this week too huh?

  52. 57
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    I really like your menus because they are such simple foods; we eat a lot of the same things you guys eat. We do breakfast for dinner once in a while, too. I don’t plan out every meal every week, but I’ve gotten a lot better about what I call semi-planning, and having the ingredients handy for those things we do make often.

  53. 58
    Liz - Meal Makeover Mom says

    Congrats on breaking the 500 mark. That’s so cool. Janice and I at Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen would like to thank you for sharing our Mama’s Amazing Ziti recipe last week for Menu Plan Monday! We’re always happy to share, so feel free to check out all of our recipes on our main website as well as the blog. By the way, the Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin looks really good!

  54. 59
    Laura says

    Lisa I hadn’t considered more than one linky but I do fear that would complicate things because I wouldn’t be able to please everyone and have a linky for every category. So far though it seems to be working with participants including a category or theme beside their name on the list.

    Thanks Handy Man, Crafty Woman…simple dinners is definitely a goal of mine each week because I don’t like to spend a lot of time in my kitchen but still want to serve my family healthy meals.

    Liz your recipe was so delicious and healthy and I can’t wait to try more of them out for sure 🙂

  55. 60
    Megan says

    Looks like I’m probably the last one to post the menu for this week. Oh well, better late than never, right?

  56. 61
    Audrey says

    I am single and live by myself. I enjoy cooking but find it incredibly difficult to make small sized meals with just a serving or two. I also do not have a oven which makes things a little more difficult, but try my best to work around that. I tend to just through some unhealthy dish together, I am really trying to eat better and on a budget. Are there any blogs that you could point me to with family sizes of just one or two?

  57. 62
    Terri says

    love your blog. I keep falling off the menu planning wagon and have yet to actually post any attempts but am determined to get there. I am a little backwards right now as I use your site to get ideas for that nights dinner if I can’t think of something on my own. LOVED the mama’s amazing ziti. my hubby too is not nuts about tomato soup and so I didn’t have any in the pantry. used canned tomato sauce instead and that worked out really well I thought. I received odd looks for the carrots but no complaints about taste or texture – yay! hopefully I’ll get brave and post a menu plan someday soon. 🙂 thanks for inspiring amatuer cooks everywhere!

  58. 63
    Laura says

    Audrey keep watching the links as hopefully those cooking for 1 or 2 will let others know by putting (cooking for 1 or 2) beside their name in the Mr. Linky list.

    Terri isn’t that a great way to get the kids to eat their carrots. Love it! And believe me I know what it’s like to be an amatuer cook, that’s me! Good recipes totally help 🙂

  59. 64
    Valerie says

    I made those Black Bean Quesadillas and we all loved them. I think that will be one of our new favorites around here. Thank you.


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