March 8, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

This is the party planning edition.  Whenever I am planning a party, I try to start shopping for the event about a month in advance.  I make my list and start buying foods when I catch them on sale or have a great coupon or both! 

Our daughter wants a princess party for her birthday.  I’ve struggled with this one, as we have really tried to steer away from commercialism.  While we haven’t been “anti” any one toy, we have tried to opt for more natural toys that inspire more creative play whenever possible.  She’s getting into the dress up phase of life and enjoys all of the magical qualities that the princess theme has to offer.  We will be having a princess party and she will be wearing a Disney princess dress, but we’re not playing up the Disney princesses at the party, or at least that is the plan.  Did the English majors in the audience love that run on sentence or what? 

The decor—There will be plenty of boys invited to the party so the theme is really princesses and knights.  They will dress up accordingly for the party if they so choose.  Whenever we host a party, we try to make it as low waste as possible.  Therefore we’ll have some pretty glass plates, real silverware, and glass punch cups to use.  Since the church already has plastic tablecloths, I’ll borrow those and clean them so that they can be used at another event.  I’ll use our silver platters for the food to make it feel extra special for all involved.  I’ll have some extra paper cups (already purchased from an event a while back) and paper napkins as needed. 

Hubby plans to make a “castle” out of a refrigerator box for the kids to play in during the party.  When I was a kiddo, my grandfather, a master carpenter, would bring home refrigerator boxes.  Even though he probably only made a few cuts, the “houses” he made always seemed to so elaborate and special to us.  We played and played in them until they would fall apart.  The best part about it is that the cardboard can be recycled after we are done.

The food—We opted for finger foods for the party.  This is the plan for the food.  Additions and subtractions may be made based upon my time and energy.

  • Pink drink (Kiwi Strawberry RW Knudsen bought for 50cts each with coupon and sale at Earth Fare)
  • Cokes (Walgreens is having a great sale this week on 2 liters and I can use a $1 off manufacturers coupon that I have)
  • Tea (I almost always serve tea when we have a party.  I use about 6 of the single serving Lipton decaf tea bags and 2 of the orange spice tea bags from Stash tea.  Steep for at least 5 full minutes and add extra water until it is the strength that you like it).
  • Cake—I’ll use Betty Crocker cake mix from last week’s sale at Kroger ($1 each) and homemade buttercream frosting.  Allergen free cake from a mix via Cherrybrook Kitchen.
  • Ice cream and soy based ice cream for my sis, nephew, and a few others who have allergies.
  • Veggie platter with ranch dip (bought organic mix when I found a super duper sale) and hummus (bought a can of organic chickpeas for about a quarter last year)
  • Fruit platter
  • Sandwich platters.  I’ll use some of the Oscar Mayer deli meats, on sale this week at Walgreens matched with coupon.  I’ll also make some cream cheese and strawberry sandwiches.  (Peanut allergies among guests).
  • Popcorn (organic bulk popcorn is on sale this month at Three Rivers Market for 99cts/lb!)
  • Tortilla chips and salsa (bought the salsa as a money maker a few months back)
  • Olives—bought Lindsay olives on sale at Walgreens for 99cts each and had a $1/2 coupon
  • Cheese cubes bought with sale and coupon!

See how you can stock up when the sales are good and save some dough when entertaining?

Now for the rest of the week:

Monday—In honor of our daughter’s birthday we’ll either have pancakes a la Daddy.

Tuesday—I have a can of manwich I’ve been needing to use.  We’ll have that tonight for supper prepared with organic beef and served on hamburger buns with green beans, and mac and cheese.

Wednesday—I’ll be making supper for the children’s program at church.  Since we opted for pizza to celebrate a birthday last week, we’ll have our Mexican themed supper that we had planned last week.

Thursday—I’m hosting the stewardship committee from church at our home tonight.  I’ll be making chicken poppy seed casserole, and committee members will be bringing the rest of the meal.

Friday—Since I’ll be working on prepping for the party, we’ll have a simple meal of pinto beans and corn bread for supper tonight.

Saturday—Shrimp stir fry

Sunday—Homemade vegetable soup

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