Monday, January 3, 2011

January Meal Planning and Freezer Cooking

A simple meal of Sticky Chicken, Biscuits, and a Salad

It's January, which means time for more meal planning. After doing a month-long menu plan in December, I'm ruined for the weekly method I was previously using. Monthly planning, along with a freezer cooking day, made dinner time go so smoothly last month. The other plus? I also spent less time in the kitchen washing dishes! Hurrah!

Are you ready for another go-round?

Last month, I simply compiled my list of favorite freezer-friendly meals and the menu came together quite easily. This month I'm doing a little more experimentation. I'll be trying out a few new recipes and discovering how well they freeze. Also, I'm tackling a few tempting recipes from a cookbook that I'll be reviewing for you a little later this month. Exciting! You know I have a cookbook addiction...

Here's the low-down when it comes to dinner in January:

(Soup Night)
(Pizza or Date night)
(Fish or Steak)

Lasagna/ salad
Sticky Chicken/ Baked Coconut Rice with Spices
Chicken Cacciatore/Green Beans/ Butterhorn Rolls
Steak/ mashed potatoes/salad

Spaghetti/ Green Beans

Brunswick Stew/ Broccoli

Lemon Pilaf w/ Salmon/ Broccoli

Sticky Chicken w/ veggies

Chicken Cacciatore/Green Beans/ Rolls
Parmesan Tilapia/ peas and corn
Spaghetti/ Green Beans
Brunswick Stew/ Broccoli

Steak/ Mashed Potatoes/ Salad
Leftover meal

Today is my freezer cooking day, in which I'm hoping to accomplish most of the following dishes (the asterisk implies that I'm making the dish for the first time):

Shredded Beef Filling* (the roast is already in the crockpot to cook overnight)
Curried Chicken Rice Soup*
Chicken Cacciatore (recipe coming!)
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches*
Pizza Dough
Butterhorn Rolls
Bacon and Spinach Quiche*
Chicken for Chicken Stir-Fry
Brown Ground Beef for Spaghetti Sauce

Whew! I'll post a full update on how it went tomorrow, along with a cost analysis (and a report of how we ended up doing with the grocery budget last month). :)

Several of you mentioned that you might give monthly meal planning a shot after I gushed about it last month. Have you tried it out yet? I highly recommend it!


Linked to Menu Planning Monday.


  1. I to love monthly menu planning, it's great once you get the hang of it.

    That Sticky Chicken sounds interesting, I'll be giving it a try soon.

    I just got a deep freezer and can't wait to give freezer batch cooking a try. I'll be doing mine on the 10th. Good luck with yours today!

  2. I like your idea of having a pizza night! :) Keep me posted on how your quiche turns out. I've always wanted to make one, but I'm a little nervous about them.

  3. Great plan! We love our pizza night. It's super easy and we've even started using flour tortillas to cut down on calories. They have spinach and tomato ones at Publix that are amazing!

  4. Your menu looks very good. We would love your curried chicken and rice soup. Thank you for sharing and you have a great week!

  5. Candi...nice idea! That makes it very frugal! :D

    April, that's awesome!!

    Sarah, I will let you know about the quiche! The recipe is from fishmama, so I'm sure it won't disappoint!

  6. This looks real yummy, I might have to add sticky chicken in my menu sometime.

  7. Oh Alicia, you so inspire me :) I've written a months worth of menus but just haven't put it all together yet (in addition to the pantry/freezer challenge) so sticking week by week for the time being :)Do I see that right, 6 days at Blissdom??

  8. Oh girls, the sticky chicken is so good! You must try it! Better yet is the chicken broth you can make with the carcass. :D

    Frugal in Florida--I'll be at Blissdom for 4 days...2 of the days are driving days! I'm SO excited!

  9. Hey Alicia-I just saw you won a ticket to Blissdom, I could not be MORE happy for you!!!! congrats daaaaaahling! You certainly deserve it! You better remember your biggest fan when you get to Pioneer Woman status!

    Great menu plan, by the way. I love it!

  10. You. are. awesome.

  11. What a fabulous menu. I love the grid approach!

    Will your husband be doing the cooking while you're at Blissdom?

  12. This looks great! We just got a very large deep freeze...I am anxious to begin freezer cooking.

  13. I'm totally inspired by your monthly menu plan, and your freezer cooking. I'm going to try to phase the monthly plan in this month, and maybe in a month or two, do the freezer food. I'm interested in your Brunswick Stew recipe. Will you be posting it?


I love your comments. :) I know your time is precious, so I appreciate the time you spend reading and giving feedback.

Please be respectful of others and kind with your words.