#mealplanning 7/28 thru 8/3

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 did eat everything on our meal plan last week so I reduced my inventory accordingly. I also increased my inventory by the items I purchased this week.

4 portions ground turkey breast
2 portions colossal shrimp
2 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 portion made-ahead shredded chicken thighs
2 portion made-ahead chicken enchiladas Verdes
1 portion made-ahead spicy, shredded pork
2 portions salmon
1 portion lobster tails
1 portion Mahi Mahi
1 portion Halibut

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
Salmon burgers with roasted asparagus
I have a fantastic four ingredient recipe for Salmon burgers that I will be posting for you all tomorrow, I promise! This meal was added because hamburger buns were on sale $1.99 plus I had another $1.00 off Just4U coupon (I like to freeze them for later use!); salmon looked amazing AND was on sale $3.99/lb; and because we are always choosing meals we can grill outside over the weekend that can also feed me and/or the kids lunch at least once during the week. I purchased nearly 2lbs of salmon, making burgers for us all for dinner and then, a portion I marinated and had David grill for me to have over a salad twice this week.

Meatball subs with baked tator tots
The meal David could eat every night of the week! This was is easy, cheap, delicious, and freezes beautifully for future meals. I have leftover fresh thyme from last week's purchase plus all the other ingredients on hand, block mozzarella cheese on hand, and jarred pasta sauce. All I had to purchase was two slices of provolone cheese at the deli (only $0.78), whole wheat french rolls (on sale $2.99) - I also love to freeze these for future meals, and a bag of frozen tator tots (on sale $4.99 plus a Just4U $1.50 coupon). See my freezer tip for how to preserve these for use in future meals!

Grilled chicken fajitas with chips & guacamole
Rarely does a month go by that this meal isn't on our meal plan. The marinade is TO DIE FOR and super easy to make in large batches, when citrus is on sale and/or when you have citrus and cilantro surplus, to freeze for later use. I purchased only one, 4lb package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts because they weren't on a great sale ($2.99/lb); oranges (on sale $0.99/lb); limes (on sale $0.59ea plus a Just4U deal making them only $0.39ea); chipotle in adobo (on sale $2.19ea). I had leftover tortillas and cilantro from last week's purchase. I also had toppings and the other ingredients for the marinade on hand. Guacamole was added because I have red onion, cilantro, and other seasonings on hand plus the chips.

Leftovers/whatever you can find

Grilled lemon-herb shrimp over cauliflower mash and a side salad
I love Pinterest and am always testing new recipes I pin, with this one being one I pinned recently and haven't been able to stop thinking about. I have shrimp and most of the ingredients on hand. I only needed to purchase lemons (since we moved, I lost my Meyer lemon tree and it's a huge bummer to have to buy lemons, ugh!!!) and a head of cauliflower. The lemons were only $0.29ea (a Just4U deal) and the cauliflower was $1.99. Organic Romaine was $2.99ea so I bought a head to use part of in a small side salad with this meal. I make herb vinaigrette from scratch and have everything on hand for it.

Grilled chicken Ceasar Salad
This meal could NOT be simpler as I'm using some of the chicken grilled for Fajitas earlier in the week, which is what requires the most work. I have all the ingredients on hand for the dressing and only had to purchase a head of Organic Romaine lettuce.

I was surprised when David and Emily both requested breakfast for dinner for a meal this week, I am usually the only one excited about breakfast for dinner on leftover night. :) We decided on breakfast casserole for the adults and french toast for the kids. For the casserole: breakfast sausage links were on sale ($0.99ea), 18ct eggs were FREE from Just4U, a loaf of extra thick Texas toast was only $1.99, and half-n-half was only $1.00. I have cheese and all the seasonings on hand to complete this part of the meal. I will use the rest of the Texas toast and half-n-half plus some of the eggs and the cinnamon & sugar I have on hand. 
What did I purchase this week?
$305 worth of groceries for only $212. 

Yes, completely over budget ($150.00) but I'm finding an average spending of $150.00 per week might no longer be realistic with Nolan becoming a toddler and eating so much fresh, Organic produce at his three meals and two snacks a day. I think I will be adjusting my budget up to $200.00 per week. Anyhow, Safeway's Just4U program and their new app for my iPhone (were I can load coupons directly to my card so NO clipping nor searching for what's on sale!) saved me nearly $100 this week!

Who said there are never any coupons for dairy, meat & poultry, and fresh produce? They are wrong and obviously not shopping at Safeway! I got $1.00 each 6oz container of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries I purchased this week; $0.20 of each lime and $0.30 of each lemon; $0.39/lb off bananas; and $0.50 off sweet yellow onions. 
Other great savings include: 100% whole wheat bread, Buy 1 Get 1 Free; 100% whole wheat English muffins, Buy 1 Get 1 Free; Dole canned fruits, Buy 1 Get 1 Free; FREE 18ct. large Grade AA eggs; Quaker rolled oats 42oz only $1.99; raw, unsalted almonds 1lb containers 2@$10; and Lucerne brand non-fat yogurt 10@$5.50. Halibut was on sale $5.99/lb and Mahi Mahi was on sale $3.99/lb. Lobster tails were also on sale only $4.00 each.

Other items I purchased this week because we were out or getting low and they were on sale include: Organic flaxseed waffles, deli ham and turkey, hummus, tuna, sweet pickle relish, and black pepper corns.


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