Meal Planning: 3/24 thru 3/30

Brand new to Meal Planning?

Start by reading all about Meal Planning (scroll down to "A Day in My Life" on the right-hand side of this page and click Meal Planning: How To Get Started or just click here) in order to familiarize yourself with the steps! There, you will find a link to a detailed example of my own weekly meal planning where I walk you through step-by-step.

The first thing I do on Saturday mornings is to look back over the week to see if we did indeed eat everything on my meal plan and adjust my inventory, reducing it by what we ate and increasing it by anything I purchased and/or made-ahead. We ate everything we planned for so I reduced my inventory by last week's meal plan. I also increased my inventory by the ground turkey I purchased today (4 portions), one portion of meatballs I made-ahead last week, and by two portions of chicken enchiladas Verdes I made-ahead last week, reflected below.

8 portions ground turkey
1 portions porkchops
4 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 portions ground sirloin
1 portions flank steak
1 portions pork baby back ribs
1 portions made-ahead lasagna
1 portions made-ahead chicken enchiladas original red
2 portions made-ahead chicken enchiladas Verdes
1 portions made-ahead cheesy turkey bake
2 portions made-ahead marinated chicken fajitas
1 portions made-ahead tomato-basil spaghetti sauce
1 portions made-ahead turkey meatballs

Then, I shopped my pantry, freezer and fridge for ingredients to come up with some meals, looking at our family calendar to ensure I wasn't planning on something we had recently eaten. I scanned the weekly ad to see what was on sale that might complement and/or substitute for what I had come up with and of course, how to stretch ingredients over enough meals to use them up.

My last step would be to clip any coupons I could use. I had one for Grands biscuits at only $0.99 (limit 4).

Weekly Meal Plan
Spinach, sausage & provolone calzones

Goulash with a spinach salad
Crispy beef tacos
Spicy pulled chicken over baked potatoes with a spinach salad
Lettuce wraps
Family dinner out

So, how did I come up with this meal plan?

Reading through the Better Homes & Gardens Comfort Foods special issue sparked a craving for home-made calzones and because bread flour was on sale $3.99 (instead of $6.49) I decided to purchase a bag, make a double batch of home-made pizza dough, and have calzones one night this week. Organic baby spinach was on sale $3.99 (regularly $5.99) so a filling of sausage, spinach & provolone is what I chose to make. We'll use up the rest of the baby spinach in side salads later in the week. Goulash is something Emily loves and I already had pasta, crushed tomatoes, sour cream, ground beef and all the spices on-hand so the addition of this meal cost nothing this week. Another meal that cost nothing this week is crispy beef tacos as I have taco shells, taco sauce, seasonings, ground beef, onion, and shredded cheese on-hand. I chose lettuce wraps this week as organic iceberg lettuce is on sale $0.99 (normally $2.99), mushrooms were on sale (2@$5), and a can of water chesnuts only cost $1.19. I have all the other ingredients to add to ground turkey breast to make this meal. Organic russet potatoes on sale sparked a meal of spicy pulled chicken over baked potatoes. My spicy pulled chicken will use up the remaining onion and I have the sauces and seasonings on-hand to make this meal. A leftover night is always on the menu as well as a family meal out to eat as my mom will be in town Friday morning.

What did I purchase this week?
I spent a measly $79.02 today and I almost can't believe I got away with spending so little, I love when weeks work out like this. Produce purchased this week included: bananas, oranges (on sale $0.99/lb), grapes, Organic strawberries (on sale $3.99ea), Organic blueberries (on sale $2.99ea), and Organic raspberries (on sale $2.99ea) for this week's breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. And like I do every week, I purchased skim milk, yogurt, and deli ham. Because it's pouring all weekend, we won't be grilled anything thus, we have no grilled chicken for lunches so, I purchased a loaf of bread and extra deli ham to for David and I to eat for lunch. We were out of applesauce pouches, bread flour, English muffins, Carnation instant breakfast powder, and honey so I bought those and I bought two packages of ground turkey as they were on sale "buy 1 get 1 free".


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