#mealplanning 7/21 thru 7/27

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. Due to David working some lat nights, we did not eat everything planned so, I'm putting Sloppy Joe's and Pesto chicken calzones back on this week's menu! I used the pork shoulder purchased last week to make 2 portions of spicy, shredded pork; we ate one and froze the other, which you can see in my inventory below. Because we didn't eat the pesto chicken pizzas, the portion of made-ahead pesto has been added to my inventory as well. I also increased my inventory by the poultry I purchased this week.

6 portions ground turkey breast
1 portion boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 portions split chicken breasts, skin on, bone in
2 portions colossal shrimp
1 portion made-ahead shredded chicken thighs
2 portion made-ahead chicken enchiladas Verdes
1 portion made-ahead spicy, shredded pork
1 portion made-ahead pesto

Next, I shop 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.

Weekly Meal Plan
Hawaiian turkey burgers and sweet potato fries
For this meal, I only had to purchase a fresh pineapple (on sale $2.99ea) and a bag of frozen sweet potatoes (also on sale $2.49ea). I have buns and green onion leftover over from last week and all seasonings on hand.

Peach-BBQ glazed chicken breasts with grilled corn cakes and a salad
Split chicken breast halves were on sale (only $0.99/lb plus $0.20/lb off from Just4U making them only $0.79/lb) so I purchased a 3lb pack (four breasts) that I'll split to make two meals. I have the ingredients on hand for the glaze. I decided to make grilled corn cakes because I have so much leftover corn that we smoked last week plus leftover sour cream, bread crumbs, and fresh chives from our garden. I only had to purchase smoked fontina cheese to make this side dish. I also have leftover Spring mix for a side salad that I'll dress with a home-made herb vinaigrette that I have all the ingredients for on hand.

Turkey Mac (my version of Hamburger Helper)
My kids LOVE turkey mac and it only requires four ingredients: dried pasta (I purchased for only $1), Velveeta cheese (have on hand), ketch up (have on hand), onion and garlic (have on hand), ground turkey (in my inventory), and salt & pepper. My recipe makes enough for dinner plus leftovers for lunch and dinner for the kids later in the week. I'll use up the Spring mix and dressing to make a side salad.

Leftovers/Whatever you can find in the pantry

Sloppy Joe's
I have everything on hand for this meal and will serve it with fruit as a side.

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic
One of my most viewed, well-reviewed recipes of all time and, while a bit labor-intensive, it's one of the most delicious! I'll use the other portion of split chicken breasts I purchased this week to make this meal. I had to purchase fresh cloves of garlic (you can't use minced garlic, which I have on hand) and purchasing the already peeled Organic garlic (only $1.99) was cheaper than buying three heads of garlic! I have all the other ingredients (chicken stock, white wine, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary) on hand. I purchased a small bag of Organic Yukon gold potatoes today ($4.99ea) plus butter and will turn them into mashed potatoes to serve the chicken over the top of. 

Pesto chicken calzones
Instead of regular old pizza, I'm going to make calzones this week! It's really just taking your pizza dough and making a little pouch out of it and stuffing it with chicken (leftover from what we are grilling this weekend), pesto sauce, mozzerella cheese (purchased last week), and whatever vegetables (or not) that you like. I have yeast and bread flour on hand so this meal cost me nothing this week.

What did I purchase this week?
 $288 worth of groceries for only $172.12! Did you know Safeway has an app for your smart phone? And did you know that downloading the FREE app allows you to view the weekly ad and dowload the coupons normally found in that ad directly to your Safeway club card?!? 

Did you also know that their new Just4U program allows you to add those "coupons" to your card and then, immediately get discounts and even free groceries at the time of checkout, simply by entering the phone number connected to your Safeway club card?!?

I've used the Safeway app for two weeks now and it's really really really great! I'm so impressed! I can SEE the coupons with all the details right on my phone so I'm sure to purchase exactly what is discounted. 

Anyhow so, with all my coupons and Just4U savings on my club card, I ended up saving nearly $100.00 today on things I actually needed that my family eats. Like those eggs, they were FREE!! I saved $1.50 on the boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $1.00 on Nature's Pride bread, $0.75 on Mission tortillas, $2.00 on Jiff peanut butter, $4.49 on the Kettle chips (Just4U offered me them on a "Buy1 Get1 Free"), $0.30 off per pound of bananas, $0.29 off each lemon and $0.11 off each lime, and $3.00 off per pound of deli meats and cheeses I purchased. There were so many more deals but I only used what I had already planned on purchasing this week. In addition, I purchased milk, OJ, yogurt, and our usual Organic produce for the week (Rainier cherries, berries, grapes, pineapple, peaches, pears, celery hearts). I was nearly out of Dijon mustard, Sweet 'n Low, brown sugar, and pasta sauce so I purchased those items as well. I also purchased 7Up soda (I never buy soda because we don't drink it) to hopefully turn a pretty bad, dry red wine into Sangria! I needed the lemons, limes, and cherries for this as well.


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