Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely was published in 2009. I bought it shortly after it was released. And I used it. It was fairly simple – a weekly meal plan that included shopping lists. The food was varied and healthy. It was easy to make. But there were lots of veggies and the boys wouldn’t eat a lot of it.So, I gave up.
Over the past several years I have tried to find things that everyone will eat. But the guys in my house are pretty picky. Generally if it involves vegetables no one but me will eat it. Until…
At some point the boys started eating lettuce – not iceberg lettuce, but Romaine, Spinach and other leafy greens. The change in tastes have made it a bit easier to make things everyone will eat. They don’t eat a lot of veggies, but they will eat some.
Leanne Ely has a Saving Dinner Meal Plan that you can purchase online (www.savingdinner.com). You get new menus every week along with the shopping lists. The menus are still easy to make and generally delicious. The cost for 12 months of recipes is $47. That is 6 recipes each week for a month. Recently, the Menu Mailer was on sale (apparently it happens once a year). So, I decided to try it again.
What I decided this time was that I was going to get input from the guys. They would have to take a look at the recipes and mark things off if they wouldn’t eat it. Now, there are several different plans and when you sign up you get all the different menus each week, so if you aren’t following a specific diet you can use all of the menus (I think there are 4 different “diets”).
I printed the menus and had each one of the guys go through them. The first week I ended up with 4/6 recipes (not too bad). The first meal was Apple Chicken and it was amazing. The second was Orange Pork Chops and it was very good. The third was Chicken and Sausage Stew. We didn’t care for this one, but it wasn’t “bad,” it just wasn’t a “make again.” The next one is Campfire Casserole.
I can’t post the recipes (violation of copyright), but you can go to the website and check things out and get some sample menus.
Honestly, our grocery bill has gone up. I’m not planning dinner around the sales and that is the majority of the cost increase. However, I am working on stocking up on items I know I will use with the meal plans, so I am saving a bit there. I am also watching for meat to be on sale and buying extra. In all, because I expect that we will eat out a lot less, I think that we will save in the long-run. Although, it really doesn’t matter. Since I am the one cooking and doing the shopping, anything I can do to make things easier benefits all of us…
I’ll let you know how things progress as school starts (in less than 3 weeks)!