Meal Planning: 4/21 thru 4/27

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 so I reduced my inventory by last week's meals. I increased my inventory by the pork tenderloin we smoked last week (the package had two, we only ate one), the two meatloaves I made today to freeze, and the tortilla soup I made last week (the recipe I made was enough for two meals so we ate one and froze one).

4 portions ground turkey
1 portions pork chops
10 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 portions ground sirloin
1 portions flank steak
1 portions pork baby back ribs
2 portions made-ahead meatloaf
1 portions made-ahead chicken enchiladas original red
1 portions made-ahead chicken enchiladas Verdes
1 portions made-ahead smoked pork tenderloin
1 portions made-ahead Tortilla soup
3 portions made-ahead red pepper puree
2 portions mushroom stroganoff 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.

My last step would be to clip any coupons I could use.

Weekly Meal Plan

Chicken fajitas with chips & guacamole
Meatloaf with baked potatoes and spinach salad
Salmon burgers
Shredded Crockpot chicken sandwiches
Orange chicken with steamed broccoli over brown rice
Broiled Tilapia over spinach salad

So, how did I come up with this meal plan? 
I'm pulling a made-ahead chicken fajita portion out of the freezer to grill over the weekend and will serve fresh guacamole as avocados are on sale (I had to buy tortillas and limes for this meal, I had everything else on hand). I chose salmon burgers because I saw a recipe that looked amazing, salmon was only $3.99/lb, and this meal would give us another excuse to grill over the weekend (I needed buns, herb crackers only for this meal). When I saw potatoes on sale I immediately thought of meatloaf and I had all the ingredients on-hand so I pulled the sirloin I had in the freezer out and pre-made three loaves (from 2lbs of beef), one to eat this week and two to freeze. For an easy meal, I chose shredded Crockpot chicken sandwiches and I had all the ingredients on hand except for buns, which I was already buying for salmon burgers. Orange chicken is one of our absolute favorites meals and is a great way to eat steamed broccoli (which was on sale) and brown rice (I had on hand). I decided to buy Tilapia because it was on sale and serve it broiled over a spinach salad to use up all the Organic spinach I bought. As always we have a leftovers night.

What did I purchase this week?
I spent $171.80 and most of it was on stuff I had no intentions of purchasing as their sales prices weren't in the weekly ad including: Van's 8-grain gluten-free waffles were $3@$6, 40oz Heinz ketch-up $1.99 limit 2, Go-gurt was $1.88 limit 3, Golden Grain 100% whole wheat pastas were "Buy 1 Get 1 Free", whole wheat couscous was $8.99 (normally $11.99), sun-dried tomatoes were $1.99 (normally $4.99), living basil plants were 50% off, Sargento string cheese was "Buy 1 Get 1 Free", Safeway brand tator tots were 50% off, and grapes were "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" 2lb bags. I purchased our weekly fat-free milk, yogurt, deli ham, and fruit for the week's meals (organic strawberries, organic blueberries, organic raspberries, organic apples, pears). I also purchased asparagus, organic cherry tomatoes, corn, & organic spinach for me to eat throughout the week (as well as serve alongside dinner). I was running low on raw almonds, wheat germ, dijon mustard, and fish sauce so I purchased those things as well. With bell peppers being only $1 each I purchased 5 more this week to roast and puree.


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