Meal Planning: 3/3 thru 3/9

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 didn't eat the Mustard chicken from last week's meal plan because David worked late so I'll put it on this week's meal plan.

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

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. I'm actually really well stocked at this point so I chose to only stock up on boneless, skinless chicken breasts and not to take advantage of some of the other deals in this week's ad. They were offering Mini Wheats cereal for $1.99 and a selection of chips, cookies, crackers, ground turkey breast, english muffins, and bacon "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" all of which I would normally purchase, I just don't have the freezer or pantry space. It's a nice problem to have! ;) The best deal this week is that you receive a $10 coupon to use towards your next purchase if you spend $75 (excludes alcohol and liquid dairy products). When I was being rung up, once my total hit $80, I cashed out, received my $10 coupon and put it towards the remaining groceries. My remaining groceries were right at $76 so I earned another $10 coupon I can use next week!

My last step would be to clip any coupons I could use. This week there were none of any value to me.

Weekly Meal Plan

Chicken fajitas
Cocoa-rubbed steaks with baked potatoes and grilled asparagus**
Lasagna with a salad
Chicken with mustard sauce and a salad**
Chicken enchiladas Verdes
Shrimp scampi with roasted asparagus & tomatoes over linguini

**I'll be adding these recipes to my blog soon!

So, how did I come up with this meal plan? 
The fresh produce ingredients for my chicken fajita marinade were all on sale this week: cilantro ($0.75), limes (3@$1), oranges ($0.99/lb) so I purchased triple the amount so I could have two portions to freeze for later use. David specifically requested Cocoa-rubbed steaks (recipe is from a recent magazine) a few weeks back which I agreed to this week as a value pack of bone-in New York strip steaks were only $5.49/lb; a 2lb bag of organic russet potatoes was on sale $3.99 and I still have leftover asparagus from last week so both will be side dishes. Lasagna was chosen because I had the noodles, pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese on-hand and only needed to purchase Italian sausage (which was on sale $3.99), ricotta cheese, and Parmigiano-reggiano (which was on my list anyway as we were out). The purchase of these pricier ingredients was justified by the fact that this recipe makes enough to eat one and freeze two later, though I chose to eat one this week and freeze a larger one for later as we have company coming in this month. I have leftover Romaine hearts from last week for an easy salad side dish. Enchiladas Verdes, a made-ahead meal from my freezer is on the meal plan this week for one of our busier nights and I scored avacados at $0.77ea for a quick side dish of chips & guacamole. And lastly, I decided on shrimp scampi as I have shrimp in the freezer, linguini in the pantry, and all the ingredients except white wine for the scampi sauce (chicken stock, butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice); I'll roast the remaining asparagus (from last week) and tomatoes (I purchased today) and add that to the dish. The tomatoes I purchased for the shrimp scampi dish are being used up in our fajitas tonight and in my lunch salads this week.
What did I purchase this week?
I spent $156.77 this week. Other than the items I mentioned above, I needed to purchase our weekly milk, eggs, fresh fruit (organic raspberries, organic blueberries, and organic strawberries were all $3.99ea.), Go-gurt (for Emily's lunch), and tortillas (for fajitas and quesadillas for Emily for dinner). I also purchased items we were out of and/or on sale at too good of a low price to pass on that I would need in the future including: Safeway's brand of Rotel as it was only $0.99 (compared to $2.19), two more jars of Muir Glen organic tomato basil pasta sauce (normally $5.99, on sale 2@$6), grainy mustard, chipotle peppers in adobo (normally $1.99, on sale $0.79), Panda Express orange sauce (normally $4.29, on sale $2.99), and Velveeta cheese (normally $9.99, on sale $7.99 and won't expire before we can use it up). I also purchased Friday's mini cheeseburgers and artisan chicken taquitos for Emily's dinner and weekend snacking/lunches.

Check out these and all my recipes on the right-hand side of this page under From My Kitchen! 


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