I’m a planner, and I like to budget, hi I’m jen.

Dinner… I usually plan out our weekly meals, then head to the store. I try to stick to my list, and prep and use things throughout the week to save not only money, but time. I USUALLY have an idea of how to make dinner work.

There are those times when we have happy accidents. These are the thrown together, make it work meals. The stuff that when you put it on the plate, it’s coupled with a look of, I might be sorry for making this tonight. But part of the fun in cooking is the creating.

During the week I’m on deck in the kitchen. Pretty much everything is scratch made (except for pasta) just because it’s how I’ve been cooking since I’ve been out on my own.

With regard to leftovers, usually we eat those for lunch the following day. However on those weeks when things are a little more hectic, I plan ahead. Since there’s 3 of us, I make 4 portions of food for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then Thursday, we each choose which night’s leftovers we’ll have. Most of the time we all get our way.

The best part is when it’s the end of the month, and we’re trying to stay out of the grocery store and under budget. Too the PANTRY we go!

To give you an idea of what one such week looked like in thatgirljen’s kitchen and what was on our plates… take a look.

  • Monday: red lentils with chorizo over garlic tri-color orzo
  • Tuesday: meatloaf, homemade garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli
  • Wednesday: baked rosemary and lemon chicken, roasted cauliflower and lemon parmesan green beans

Luckily through the years, I’ve been more accepting with leftovers. Tuesday meatloaf was our Wednesday and Thursday lunch. We’ve even become more creative with what we do WITH those leftovers.

This was THURSDAY night’s dinner plates: we all had green beans and mini cheese puff bites (Those are delicious Brasi Bites and found in the freezer section of the grocery store, because I was LAZY!)

Josh: red lentil and orzo taco– Jen: left over boneless wings– Lizzy: left over roast chicken and cauliflower

Funny thing- we seem to always have tortillas, chips or taco shells on hand. I guess it’s part of living in Texas. Anyways, we got creative with Josh’s dinner and he used up the last 2 shells. Clearly his dinner was the best and most creative, Lizzy’s was the healthiest, with 2 veggies, and I totally lost out with leftover lunch.

Sure the photos didn’t do these plates justice. It’s really just another way we try to stay on budget, spend less and waste less.

What are some of your favorite left over meals?

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