Menu Planning Monday: My Menu Plan for the week of 1/15

I’m trying to stay on track with menu planning.  Having a plan definitely makes it easier to cook!  This week is a crazy week for us because my husband’s been out of town, my dad is having surgery, and I’ve still got work and all the kids activities!  This is my “trying to keep it together” meal plan!

The plan listed here just includes our dinner menu and recipes. I have calculated some Weight Watchers points values using the e-tools Recipe Builder, and points values this week are based on the new Points Plus program! (I will update with points values on the others as we have the meals)

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that for the past two years, I have done a $40 weekly budget. With the changes to our eating habits and the end of grocery stores in our area doubling and tripling coupons, I’m still experimenting to try to figure out what a reasonable budget is.  Stay tuned!

If you’re new to menu planning or would like tips for getting started, check out this post here.  You can also view hundreds of meal plans each week at

SUNDAY – Spaghetti – Sometimes I get so wrapped up in checking out and trying new recipes that I forget that sometimes simple is better!  It never fails that I spend a lot of time on a recipe only to have my kids refuse it and then I make something simple like spaghetti and my kids can’t get enough of it!

MONDAY – Country Ham and Macaroni Casserole – This is without a doubt my kids FAVORITE recipe.  They would eat it multiple times a week if that was an option!  The best part?  You can make two at once and freeze the second one!  This was on our menu last week, but we ended up having tacos instead, so it’s back again!

Thanks to Sandy~Bettyinthekitchen ( Cooking for Your Family Board)

1 lb country ham slices or regular smoked ham in one piece (I just use whatever leftover ham we have on hand)
1 large onion, diced
1 lb elbow macaroni
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz) – I use reduced fat
1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use 98% fat free)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, melted (I don’t use this when I make it)
1 cup dry plain bread crumbs

1. Heat oven to 400º.
2. Bring 4 quarts water and ham to boiling in large pot. Once water begins to boil,
remove ham to a plate. Add onion and macaroni to pot. Return water to boiling; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Coarsely chop ham, discarding any fat and bones.
4. Drain macaroni and onion and return to pot. Add ham, cheese, sour cream and soup. Scrape into a 13x9x2 baking dish. Pour melted margarine over top. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
5. Bake in heated 400º oven 30 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Note: Prepare in two 8×8 casserole dishes, bake one and freeze one (unbaked) for another day. If freezing, top with crumbs and margarine right before baking.

WW points = 9 points per serving (with modifications above), makes 8 servings  

TUESDAY –  Sweet potato foil pack tacos ~ I found this recipe on Marci’s blog.  My family was skeptical the first time we tried these, but once they actually tasted them, they were a hit, even with my kids! (and that’s not an easy feat!)

1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
2-3 T taco seasoning
1/2 cup tomato sauce (4 ounces)
1 can black, kidney, or pinto beans, drained (I used black)
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups total)
2 T butter
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole for garnish
6 12-inch long pieces of aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Brown ground meat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and beans. Set aside.
To assemble packets, spray the foil with non-stick spray. Place 1 cup sweet potato cubes in the center of each piece. Top with a small piece of butter (about 1 tsp) and a pinch or two of salt. Sprinkle some chopped spinach over the sweet potatoes, followed by about 1/3 cup of taco meat and sprinkle of cheese. Fold the sides in, then bring the top and bottom ends of the foil together in the center and fold, sealing the packet.
Repeat with remaining ingredients, placing the packets on a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Serve with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole.  Makes 6 servings.

WEDNESDAY – Melt in your mouth meatloaf (slow cooker) – Whenever I mention this recipe, the most common response I get is something like this “Meatloaf….in the slow cooker?  Really?  I would have never thought of that!”  Yes, REALLY!  This one is super easy and totally family friendly!

THURSDAY – Black bean and chicken burritos (slow cooker) – This is another family favorite and it’s so easy to throw together in the mornings!

FRIDAY – Baked potato bar – I found instructions on Pinterest for making baked potatoes in the slow cooker, so I’m going to test it out!  My sister and her family are in town to help out after my dad’s surgery, so I was thinking this would be a quick and easy “fix” for everyone!

SATURDAY – French bread pizza – I buy a loaf of french bread at the grocery store and everyone gets to add their own toppings on their part of the pizza!

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