New Year- New Plan

Our Christmas break was wonderful! Long days of sleeping in, lounging with coffee and fun with friends and family.

It was a little difficult to get up Monday morning and return to work…not only for me,  but for the little ones that I teach too.

We made it to Friday even though it was a lot of indoor recess. Thankfully, my sweet students had lots of funny moments to keep me going through the week.

On Friday, when everyone’s patience was coming to an end, I had to take some time to talk about friendships, treating others kindly and respectfully and sharing feelings in a clear way.

After my discussion everyone was quiet for a moment. A little girl in my second row put her hand up.

“Yes?” I said.

“Mrs. Skinner” she said thoughtfully, “You are kind of like a kid therapist.”

Yep…kind of.

Thanks for noticing all the hard work I do. Now let’s go to the gym…I’ll teach you badminton.

I still meal plan every week, but a Christmas gift that Andrew and I got has changed my meal planning ways.

I have to admit, I only bought the meat that we needed each week for our meals. I know that is not the most economical way of doing things, but I HATE repacking meat when I buy it in club packs. And then after I fought with the repacking, I would take it out of the freezer to use, only to find it freezer burned.

Well this little food saver is supposed to make it far easier to repackage, and cut out the freezer burn entirely.

So I sat down and decided I would make a MONTHLY meal plan. I didn’t want to go load up on things I could vacuum seal and then not know what to do with it all.

So here is what I came up with:

From this I figured out I needed

  • 8 servings salmon
  • 1 club pack of ground beef
  • 1 club pack of ground pork
  • 1 club pack of chicken thighs

Now to get repacking!

The chicken thighs were easy. I just split it up into amounts that we would use and vacuum sealed away. It took minutes. Next I split the ground beef into 3 parts. 2 packages of just ground beef, and then I made a double recipe of mozzarella stuffed meatballs and sealed those.

Lastly, I made an entire club pack of ground pork into Asian flavored meatballs. I use these in stir fry bowls and to make my wontons for soup. Before I sealed my meatballs, I did freeze them on a cookie sheet so they would retain their shape…and it was a good idea because that machine sucks all the air out! It would have just been a pile of mush.

The salmon was already frozen so no need to deal with it at all.

I couldn’t believe the difference in price for our club pack meat! I knew I would save SOME money, but I literally saved HALF!

And, my meal planning/grocery shopping lists are ready for a whole month…what will I do with all my free time?

Here are the recipes that I will be making over the next month. I hope you find a few new (or old) favorites to add to your meal plans.

Split Pea Soup


Lemon Rosemary Lentil Stew

This Slow Cooker Lemon Rosemary Lentil Soup is one of the easiest soups to ever come out of your kitchen. Fresh vegetables, lemon and rosemary become an amazingly hearty soup with minimal effort. Carrots, onion, yellow bell pepper and red lentils are flavored with garlic and a dash of cayenne pepper and slow cooked until tender.

Crockpot Bolognese

Crockpot Bolognese

Heavenly Salmon Salad

Heavenly Salmon Salad

Coconut Curry Noodle Bowl

Coconut Curry Noodle Bowls

Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

Juicy pork Teriyaki Meatball Bowls seasoned with ginger and garlic coated in a sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce served over fluffy rice.

French Dip Cupcakes

French Dip Cupcakes

Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup

Loaded Broccoli, Cheese and Potato Soup - so full of flavor and so many delicious ingredients. This soup will keep you warm and full any time of year! { }

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Mexican Red Lentil Stew

Mexican Red Lentil Stew -




Weekly Meal Plan February 1-5

A little boy in my class came running up to me first thing yesterday morning with a big smile on his face.

“Mrs. Skinner, do you and Mr. Skinner like Starbucks?”

“Yes we do, why?” I asked curiously.

Beaming he handed me this:

DSC_3154 a

“It’s a free coffee Mrs. Skinner, you and Mr. Skinner can each have one.”

“Oh thank you so much” I gushed.

I couldn’t break it to him that it wasn’t really a free coffee…he was so proud and excited to give it me.

Sometimes kids are so sweet…

As I was looking at recipes this week and putting together our meal plan, I saw a distinctly Asian flare to my choices…I hope you like it too!

MondayLettuce Wraps
TuesdayChickpea Salad Sandwiches
WednesdayTeriyaki Meatball Stirfry
ThursdayKorean Beef and Rice
FridayFrozen Pizza

Grocery List:

  • ground turkey
  • red pepper x 2
  • green onion
  • onion
  • minced garlic
  • hoisin sauce
  • soy sauce
  • ground ginger
  • rice
  • iceberg lettuce
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • celery
  • pickles
  • mayonnaise
  • mustard
  • dill
  • lemon juice
  • bread
  • ground pork
  • egg
  • breadcrumbs
  • brown sugar
  • sesame oil
  • rice wine vinegar
  • stir fry veggies (I went for frozen ones since fresh veg is so expensive right now)
  • red pepper flakes
  • ground beef


We haven’t had lettuce wraps in a while, and I was completely prepared to change the recipe if the price of lettuce had skyrocketed (like all the other produce out there). Luckily, iceberg lettuce was still reasonably priced at $1.98!



Our meatless meal this week is an old favorite…chickpea salad sandwiches. I will most likely serve this with some cut up veggies or maybe even a salad.

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches


I love a good, crispy meatball! These definitely do not disappoint…



To round out our Asian themed week, I wanted to try this meal. I assume the flavors will be similar to our other teriyaki, hoisin sauced meals, so hopefully we aren’t too sick of them by Thursday, Maybe to change it up, I will serve this over noodles instead of rice.

Korean Beef Bowl - Tastes just like Korean BBQ and is on your dinner table in just 15 minutes!
Courtesy of Damn Delicious