One of the easiest ways to save money is to make some kind of menu plan. Different meal plans work for different people. I like to have a general idea of what I am going to make and then be flexible to the leftovers and the different meals that can morph into other ones.
Here are my loose menu ideas for the month of November. I am including a link to my Thanksgiving meal plan from last year when I froze some items and made many in the crock-pot to reduce stress.
Speaking of freezing, I decided this month to really go after the food in our freezers. We have a stand up freezer in our garage and a side by side standard freezer/refrigerator combo in our house. Our freezers have some semblance of order to them, but there is still much room to hide something (for many years) and forget things. I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but I just found some meat in my freezer that is from 2009. Oops! And since this is Thanksgiving month I thought it’d be appropriate to aim at clearing that puppy out. I want to make a whole bunch of meals using items from the freezer.
I am also sharing here what I made in the last few weeks, too. And I’ll start with snacks and desserts this time!
- Raw Fig & Cherry Bars (vegan) from Ricki Heller-We made these this last weekend, and WOW! Ricki doesn’t mention in the title “lemon”, but there is lemon zest that, when combined with the cherries, makes my taste buds dance.
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from iklugg: When my kids saw that they were telling me, “you have got to make them.” I said, “with your help:).”
- No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bites: You don’t even have to wait for these little babies to come out of the oven. Process them, and eat away. My husband jokes that desserts like these are so healthy they are classified as salads. Ha! Enjoy your sweet salad, hubs.
- No Flour Protein-Packed Brownies: Here’s another kind of brownie, and it’s made with a secret ingredient:).
- Pumpkin Purée: I thawed my last pumpkin purée from last year recently to make room to make more, so I plan to make some pumpkin purée tomorrow.
…and a No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake. And I plan to make a couple more of these and freeze them early to have ready to go for Thanksgiving and a potluck.
- Overnight Steel Cut Oats in the Crock-pot-made weekly lasting about 2 mornings
- Sourdough Waffles
- Crock-pot Granola
- Sourdough Pancakes
- Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls-I make these for special occasions like birthdays and holidays like Thanksgiving. When we visited my sister last month I made some for the family. Yum!
- Nachos with Crock-pot Salsa and Greens
- Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili-This is so good and easy. Who doesn’t like an easy meal?!?
- Tuscan Vegetable Soup-Here is another super easy soup to throw in the crock-pot (after sautéeing the veggies for extra flavor) and enjoy. So good!
- Practically Free Chicken Stock-Since we’ve been eating a ton of soups lately, I’ve needed to make lots more stock!
- Crock-pot Stuffing-I may make this early and freeze it like last year. We’ll see.
- Easy Crock-Pot Turkey-Regardless if we have people over or not yet this year for Thanksgiving, I plan to crock-pot a turkey because I love the moist meat and having lots of leftovers.
- Homemade Refried Beans-I made a ton of these last week to get me through the next couple of weeks, using them in burritos and…
- Chimichangas with Homemade Guacamole-We enjoyed these tonight! So good and filling!
- Crock-pot Pork Roast and Pork Chops-The first foods we took out of the freezer this weekend were the pork roast and pork chops. One was from 2009. We thought we’d smell it thawed, cook it up, and then smell it again. We’ve been eating the meat for the last four days (finishing it today), and we are still here:). Are you ones to toss meat after 6 months, or a year, or would you have risked it?? By the way, I am not saying that you should risk it. I am just saying that’s what we did. We ate the pork with barbecue sauce, in burritos, or some kind of variation each day. Yum!
- Turkey Tertrazini-with Thanksgiving leftovers
- Applebee’s-Inspired Asian Chicken Salad.
Here is my Thanksgiving menu from last year if you are interested on what I froze ahead and what I was able to make the day before and day of.
- Crock-pot Jumbalaya from a Season for All Things-My friend Jolie had the idea to make some Crock-pot Jumbalaya when we had a dinner together, so we put together our resources and doubled the recipe. We ended up having to use two crock-pots, a 4.5 quart and a 6 quart because we had food coming out of our ears. My kids especially loved the sausage and kept asking for more!