Monday, March 23, 2020

{ Day 1 of Quarantine - Let's make a meal plan }

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We are officially under quarantine for the next 15 days.

For many families, it is a time to really look within, to work with what we have and to make do with the food we have available.  Supermarkets are struggling to keep food on the shelves, and some items like toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer have become hot commodities.

We know we are in it for 15 days, at the very least, but obviously that could change, and we could find ourselves under quarantine for a longer period.

With that in mind, making meals for the family is high on everyone's lists.  Most families are now having to come with ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  On a normal day, it can be a bit difficult, but when you are having to use what little you have at home, it becomes important to become creative and to put some thought into the meals before hand so that you're not left struggling at mealtime.

So, let's plan our meals.

The very first thing you will need to do is a quick inventory of your freezer, fridge and pantry.

Write down all the meat you have, including hotdogs, sausage, bacon, anything that you could turn into a simple meal.

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Do the same with the fridge and pantry.  Canned goods, pasta, rice, even ramen noodles become a super easy and quick meal when you bulk it up.

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Flour and yeast can quickly turn into homemade bread, especially right now that bread is one of the items depleted from the supermarkets.

Here are some easy bread recipes to make:

Homemade White Bread - Makes 5 loaves
Simple White Bread
Sandwich Bread Loaf
Homemade Buttermilk Bread
Best Homemade Sandwich Bread


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The trick is that meals don't need to be difficult or have tons of ingredients.  We are going for quick, easy.   You have a box of fish sticks in the freezer?  Why not serve them with a yummy homemade macaroni and cheese?  It is super easy to make especially if you use a pressure cooker.

Sit down with your inventory and start working on some quick meals.

The way to do it is to first make a running list of meals you can serve, and even split them into breakfast, lunch and dinner, before you put it down on a meal plan, that way if you want to change something or move things around, you don't have to keep erasing.

As always, keep in mind that nothing is set in stone, even after you've written up your menu plan.  If you don't feel like having something on a specific day, just shift it to a different day.  The whole idea of having a plan on hand is to take the guess work and frustration out of meal times.

Everything you have on hand can become a meal.  You just need to get creative and if you need ideas, there's always google and pinterest.  But, if a recipe you find includes items you do not already have on hand, skip it.  Use the recipes for ideas, to kick start your own thoughts and then go from there.

Quarantine means staying in.  It means not running to the store every other day for something you forgot to buy or decided you absolutely need to have.

I think we are in a time where we need to be smart with our choices and dig really deep to be as frugal as possible.

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Again, keep meals simple, now is not the time to try that new recipe that requires exotic ingredients.

So I sat down, did exactly what I've mentioned above and wrote up a whole month's worth of meals.  The only thing I will need to buy, and that is something I'll ask my husband to pick up on way home, since he is still working, is milk and fresh veggies that we will no doubt run out of.

Let me show you my plan and I'll list it below too.  Also, perfect example of switching meals, I made the Chicken Fajita Bowl last night instead of the Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, so I'll be making those tonight.



Sunday March 22 - Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches (already had pork tenderloins in the fridge, and already had bolillo rolls in the freezer too), homemade fries
Monday March 23 - Chicken Fajita Bowl
Tuesday March 24 - Fettucine Alfredo (pasta, diced ham, homemade garlic white sauce)
Wednesday March 25 - Bangers and Mash, Sauteed Collard Greens
Thursday March 26 - Ajo Chicken Wings, Butter Rice (it was hard finding meat in the stores, but my husband was able to get an 8lb pack of chicken wing sections, it will be enough for at least 3 meals)
Friday March 27 - Beef Enchiladas, Salad
Saturday March 28 - Chicago style dogs
Sunday March 29 - Cheese Tortellini, garlic bread
Monday March 30 - Beef S.O.S, steamed cauliflower
Tuesday March 31 - Cheesy Onion Chicken, roast potatoes
Wednesday April 1 - Teeny's Mexican Casserole, Salad
Thursday April 2 - Spaghetti (using pork sausage), Pepperoni Pull Apart Bread
Friday April 3 - Meatball Subs (since meat was hard to find, I looked into other options.  The frozen meatball bags containing 28 small meatballs, were only $1.76, so I grabbed 3 of those.  I have a pack of hotdog buns in the freezer, so meatball subs it is)
Saturday April 4 - Chicken with veggies (using chicken wing sections), rice and beans
Sunday April 5 - Oven Sandwich
Monday April 6 - Corned Beef Hash (again, I bought a can of corned beef, not the healthiest but good for a quick meal)
Tuesday April 7 - Baked Ziti (using ground pork), Salad
Wednesday April 8 - Skillet Sausage and Potatoes
Thursday April 9 - Chicken Curry and Rice
Friday April 10 - Pork Parmigiana and egg noodles
Saturday April 11 - Bratwurst, potato salad
Sunday April 12 - Better than Olive Garden's Fettucine Alfredo, Sauteed Squash
Monday April 13 - Fish Sticks, Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Tuesday April 14 - Shepherd's Pie, Mixed Veggies
Wednesday April 15 - Lemon Chicken, Garlic Butter Spaghetti Noodles
Thursday April 16 - Sausage Gravy Biscuit Casserole
Friday April 17 - Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings (again using the chicken wing sections), basmati rice
Saturday April 18 - Spaghetti Casserole, homemade garlic bread
Sunday April 19 - Sausage rice, best beans ever


I still have meat left in the freezer, which will go towards the meal plan after April 19th.

So as you can see, it is easy to plan, organize and be prepared, it's just a matter of taking some time to sit down and compile your list, your meals and know exactly what you have and what you may still need to buy.

I do hope this helped you in some way.  We are all home, and we all have the time to prepare.

Far too often I hear people say that the reason they don't ever meal plan is because it takes too much time to do it, well, now you have that time right? 

Whatever your situation may be, just know that we are all in this together.  We are here to help each other, advise, offer tips and tricks and help each other and our families through these trying times.

If you have suggestions or just want to share how you have prepared for the next few weeks, when it comes to meal times, leave a comment down below.  I would love to hear how everyone else is dealing with the food situation. 

Blessings my dear friends, and remember Faith through the Fear!!!

13 comments:

  1. Thank you for this lovely, helpful, hopeful post. <3

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  2. Girl, I am with you on the shopping from your pantry and freezers. I love making things from scratch. I have enjoyed quarantine so far. Alot of parents are complaining about being home with their kids and that they are driving them crazy. Makes me wonder how bad their kids are that they dont even enjoy being around them. I love being with mine and my grandkids. Our first quarantine day was St Patrick's Day. We got in here and made rainbow pancakes, shamrock cookies and rainbow bread
    We had Math, Chemistry and Home Economics all in one class.

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    1. I am like you, I love having my kids home. Then again I've been home schooling for over 10 years so I'm used to the kids being home, all day. I think people need to just enjoy the time that they have at home, it's not forever, so make the best of it. Far too many parents complaining about their kids instead of focusing on loving them, making time for them, having fun and so on.

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  3. I also posted pics of what our St. Patrick's Day things looked like when we were finished on my blog.

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  4. We had already been in a self quarantine for 8 days before we got our order in our state. Nothing different. Just taking 1 day at a time.

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    1. Right? And I think for us who are homebodies to begin with, we've been home for a while lol It's easier for us to adapt though.

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  5. Great post, Sandra! Is Curt home too? I have several Mil-Instructor friends who are teleworking. Thank goodness for technology that enables us to keep our jobs and our social distance! Take care.

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    1. Thank you Pamela. No Curt is still working, they have not yet decided to close it all down. He has trained already for teleworking and they are preparing in the eventuality that it becomes a necessity. I for one wish he would work from home, but the base doesn't think it's necessary to close as of yet.

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  6. This is our 2nd week in quarantine. I've been doing the same thing. I have this week planned, but still need to work on the next few weeks.

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    1. This is only our first. Thankfully I've always been good about meal planning and having it all on paper, but this quarantine has made me go the extra step to be prepared. It's so crazy to think we are going through something like this.

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  7. I'm a homebody, too. I have actually been enjoying the time, and getting back into cooking and baking. Your meal plan looks incredible! Your family must love eating the delicious meals that you cook. It's such a relief to have a stocked pantry and some meat in the freezer. I bought extra beef jerky, too.

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    1. Well hi there fellow homebody lol I really have been enjoying this time at home, no place to be, no schedule to keep, just doing whatever I see fit. Thank you so much, you always leave such kind words and I have yet to make it over to your blog, I'm going to do that today without fail. Stay safe :)

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Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Please be respectful of each other and my blog. Rude comments will be deleted.

Thank you for stopping by, hope you are having a blessed day!

♥Sandra♥


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