Meal Planning: 3/31 thru 4/6

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 chicken breasts and one portion of brats I purchased this week and by one portion of made-ahead calzone I made and froze last week.

7 portions ground turkey
1 portions porkchops
8 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 portions ground sirloin
1 portions flank steak
1 portions pork baby back ribs
1 portions brats
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
1 portion made-ahead calzone

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. None this week.

Weekly Meal Plan
Chicken enchiladas Verdes
Lasagna with salad
Grilled chicken sandwiches with sweet potato fries
Orange chicken with broccoli over rice
Grilled chicken with asparagus
Sausage calzone with salad

So, how did I come up with this meal plan? 
We have family in town for a few days so I decided to give myself a break from being in the kitchen every night cooking and am thawing out several made-ahead meals from my inventory list including: enchiladas Verdes, lasagna, and the Calzone I made last week. With the gorgeous weather we've [finally] had this weekend, I put David out on the smoker to grill up chicken for lunches this week as well as two easy meals this week: grilled chicken sandwiches with a side of sweet potato fries I have in the freezer and grilled chicken with a side of asparagus. And we're having one more meal of chicken this week, at David's request, which is orange chicken with broccoli over brown rice. Super easy meals this week that only required me to purchase ingredients for salad, brown rice, broccoli, asparagus and marinade for my chicken.
What did I purchase this week?
I purposely didn't shop until Sunday this week because for every $75 you spent, you earned a $10 coupon to use on your next purchase. My cashier lets me break up my purchased into as many transactions as I want AND allows me to apply my $10 coupon earned to the next transaction. So, after the first $75 I spent, I applied my $10 coupon to my second transaction and spent just over $75 so I earned another $10 coupon to use next week!
I spent a total of $155.90 this week. Besides our weekly purchase of milk, yogurt, deli ham & cheese, and fresh fruits for our breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, I purchased tortilla chips (on sale 2@$5), Rotel (on sale $0.99ea), and ground spices (on sale Buy 2 Get 1 Free, plus $2.00 off each!). I also stocked up on boneless, skinless chicken breasts this week as they were on sale for only $1.99/lb as well as center cut bacon, string cheese, and brown rice all of which were on sale Buy 1 Get 1 Free. Salad will be a side dish this week as well as for my lunch this week because Organic baby spinach and spinach blends were on sale 2@$6. To get more whole grains into our diets, I purchased whole grain pasta, which I plan to eat with the zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, and sweet potato I purchased. We were out of chicken marinade, pudding snacks, lime juice (for margaritas!), and gum so I purchased those as well.


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