Friday, January 12, 2018

Meal Planning - 20 Day Stretch

Being a military family, payday is always the 1st and the 15th.  However, if those dates fall on a weekend or a holiday, then the paydates shift to the weekday prior...  If you bank with a few of the different military banks, then your money goes into the bank the day before payday.  Normally, this isn't a problem.. but there's always a few months out of the year where this results in an extremely long stretch between two paydates..  The month of January is one of those months. Because of the MLK Day holiday on Monday (the 15th), payday moves up to the 12th.. Which means the banks paid everyone on the 11th, resulting in everyone making that paycheck stretch for 20 days, when we get finally get paid again.

20 days is a LONG time to have to plan meals out and I admit, if I was better at budgeting, I probably wouldn't need to plan that far out.  But when it comes to these long stretches, there never seems to as much money as days and so I like to make sure I have food in my house for each and every date, just in case.

This also means that I need to create 20 meals pretty frugally as well as pay the bills, keep gas in the cars, ect with the same amount of money we typically go 12-14 days with.  I'll be completely honest ...  Healthy goes completely out the door and instead I worry about getting cheap foods that can fill everyone up. LOL

You'll notice that there's many dinners where rice is on the menu.. That's almost always  my go-to staple for long stretches - a bag of rice will feed an army I tell ya.  Also, meals with "salsa and chips" means that I'm buying a huge package of corn small tortillas (which I can get 40 for about 2 bucks), slicing them into triangles and baking them in the oven.

Our breakfasts and lunches tend to be a bit more on the cheap side as well - I'll be making lots of oatmeal, hot rice cereal (told you that rice goes a long way), porridge, and bannocks for breakfast for example.  Lunches will consist of things like omelets,  mac and cheese, homemade "lunchables" and canned pasta.  (Sorry kids, no clams this pay check lol)

We are having one splurge and going out to eat tonight to Red Robin.  This month is my birthday and so we get a free burger LOL     There are a few "copycat" recipes on my list such as the McRib sandwiches and Jack in the Box Tacos - these are homemade versions of these fast food items.  For example, the McRib is just cheap Banquet frozen pork riblets on a french style roll with extra BBQ sauce, onions and pickles.

Friday (1/12) - Red Robin - YUM!!

Saturday (1/13) - Skillet Pineapple BBQ chicken with Rice and Steamed Broccoli

Sunday (1/14) - Cheddar Cheese Soup with Pretzel Bread

Monday (1/15) -  Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells 

Tuesday (1/16) - Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy, Refried Beans and Rice, Chips and Salsa

Wednesday (1/17)  - Pancit Bihon with Lumpia

Thursday (1/18)  McRib Sandwiches with French Fries and Salad

Friday (1/19)  - Greek Marinaded Chicken with Lemon Couscous Salad

Saturday (1/20) - Burgers with Mac and Cheese

Sunday (1/21) - Broccoli Cheddar Chicken with Green Beans, Fried Apples and Outback Rolls

Monday (1/22) - Grilled Cheese with Tomato/Basil soup

Tuesday (1/23) - Picadillo with Flour Tortillas

Wednesday (1/24) -  Chili Dogs with Potato Salad and Chips

Thursday (1/25) -  Baked potatoes with BBQ pulled pork and Field Peas

Friday  (1/26) - Pork Ramen with Egg Roll

Saturday (1/27) - Meatball Sandwiches with Tots and Salad

Sunday (1/28) - Oven "Fried" chicken strips with sauce, potato salad, steamed broccoli and Texas toast. 

Monday (1/29) - Chickpea Tikka Masala with Rice

Tuesday (1/30) - Jack in the Box Style Tacos with Steamed broccoli, chips and Salsa

Wednesday (1/31) - Orange Chicken with Rice and green beans

Well at least at the end of the 20 days, we'll still have eaten well ;) 


  1. I think you planned out some really yummy and nutritious meals for your family. I have a bag of pull pork in the freezer I made a while back during a bulk meal prep. I think we'll have to have some pull pork baked potatoes for one of our dinners real soon. Thanks for sharing your meal plans :)

    1. PUlled pork on baked potatoes is one of our favorites, a bit of cheddar and a few jalapenos and I can pretend I'm in Texas at my favorite BBQ joint :)



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