1/12 thru 1/18 #mealplanning Great coupons for cereal and Organic berries!

Brand new to Meal Planning?

Start by reading all about Meal Planning (Link at the top, 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 each week is look back over the week to see if we did indeed eat everything on my meal plan (I write down each night's meal on our family calendar) and adjust my inventory, reducing it by what we ate and increasing it by anything I purchased and/or made-ahead. 99% of the time if a meal that was planned for wasn't eaten it's automatically added to the next week's plan.

2 portions ground turkey breast
1 portion ground pork
3 portions ground beef
4 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 portions salmon
1 portion made-ahead potato soup
1 portion made-ahead spicy shredded chicken
2 portions made-ahead orange chicken sauce
2 portions made-ahead roasted red pepper puree

"Portions" for my family typically mean 1/2lb to 3/4lb of meat and it feeds all four of us at one meal. To keep my freezers organized and make things easier on myself, I divide up my bulk purchases into portions and label everything before freezing it. For example: meatloaf requires 1lb of ground beef where Goulash only requires 1/2lb so, I package 1lb of ground beef and write "meatloaf" on the outside of the bag to ensure I don't accidentally thaw out an entire pound of meat for a recipe where I only need half. You could also write "1lb" on the bag.

Next, I shop my pantry, freezer and fridge for ingredients to come up with some meals off our Master Meal List. As I mentioned above, I write down each night's meal on our calendar so, I look at it first to sort of rule out meals we've recently eaten to cut down on monotony. Then, I read the weekly ad and look through the coupons and Just4U deals from Safeway via the iPhone app to see what is on sale that might complement and/or substitute for what I came up with. Lastly, I determine how I can stretch ingredients, specifically fresh produce and expensive items over enough meals to use them up to prevent waste.

Weekly Meal Plan
Enchiladas Verdes
Just4U was offering their grill packs (A whole chicken cut up) for $0.99/lb and when I saw a block of Monterrey Jack cheese in my freezer and leftover sour cream and Verdes salsa in my fridge, I thought to make this meal. I had to purchase fresh cilantro ($0.49) and corn tortillas ($1.99). I also purchased Hormel Chili- no beans and fresh limes to combine with the other ingredients I had on hand make a copycat version of Chili's queso dip to serve with chips on the side. The grill pack will be more than enough chicken to make a pan of enchiladas to eat this week and at least one more pan to freezer. I'll update my inventory next week after I've made them to reflect how much I froze.

Salmon burgers with oven-baked tator tots

I purchased 3lbs of fresh boneless, skinless salmon at Costco last week when I was stocking up on non-food items (you'll see it's been added to my inventory above). When I saw a $1.00 coupon for Nabisco's Tuscan Herb flatbread crackers and Open Nature hamburger buns only $2.00, salmon burgers came to mind to make this week. I have frozen tator tots in my freezer.

Leftovers night

Baked chicken Parmesan served over whole wheat pasta with a spinach salad
A ball of fresh mozzerella has been calling my name this week and, after I found that I had all the other ingredients (egg, milk, bread crumbs, jarred sauce, whole wheat spaghetti) on hand, I decided to make my baked chicken Parmesan. I purchased Organic baby spinach at $2.00 off that I'll use some of in a salad to go along with this meal. I have all the ingredients on hand to make my herb vinaigrette. This recipe is back on the meal plan this week because we didn't eat it last week. David had two soccer games and neither of us wanted to eat late so, we had leftovers instead.

Salisbury steak over garlicky mashed cauliflower potatoes with a spinach salad
Who didn't love Salisbury steak in a TV dinner or at Luby's as a kid? Thank you Pioneer Woman for giving us your recipe as we will be testing it out this week with some of the lean ground sirloin I purchased last week. I decided to add mushrooms to her gravy so I purchased those. I also need to purchase an onion, beef bouillon, and dry mustard. I will serve the steaks over my garlicky mashed cauliflower that I recently started making 50/50 cauliflower to potatoes. I have potatoes leftover from the 5lb bag of Russets I purchased last week. We will use up more of the baby spinach in a side salad to serve with this meal.
Crispy beef tacos and chips with guacamole
I saw a box of corn taco shells in my pantry and about a cup of cherry tomatoes on the counter and beef tacos came to mind. I can use up the onion in the meat and the rest of the cilantro and limes I purchased in some guacamole to serve with chips on the side. Avocados were $1.00 each and I have red onion and garlic on hand.

Roasted red pepper Alfredo with grilled chicken and broccoli over whole wheat pasta
David roasted the red bell peppers I purchased last week so I'm using one of the portions I froze in this dish this week. I'll use some of the chicken David will be grilling and combine it with the frozen broccoli I have on hand. For the sauce I only had to purchase cream cheese as I have Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and all the other ingredients on hand.

What did I purchase this week?
 Have I mentioned that my kids are eating me out of house and home?

I have?

Oh, sorry for the repeat but seriously, my grocery bill continues to hover around $200 each week because of the mass amounts of fresh produce and dairy products I have to keep on hand for all their meals and snacks. I spent $213.85 today!

Besides our weekly milk, yogurt, deli meats, eggs, bread, English muffins, cereal, and nuts that I tend to purchase every week, we were out of plain yogurt (for smoothies, oatmeal, and waffles), Balsamic vinegar (I make my own salad dressing), dry mustard and dried celery seed, and Ritz crackers (Emily loves having home-made Lunchables at school).

Some of the best deals this week that I took advantage of include:
  • Organic blueberries $1.99ea, no limit
  • Blackberries $2.49ea, no limit
  • 6pk Lucerne yogurt $2.49ea
  • Organic Braeburn apples $1.49/lb
  • Odwalla juices $0.89 (for 12oz) and and smoothies $2.99 (for 32oz)
  • Quaker oatmeal squares cereal $2.00
  • Cheerios multigrain cereal $2.50
  • Cherve goat cheese $2.00 off
  • Seedless green and red grapes $1.99/lb
  • McCormick spices, Buy2 Get1 Free


  1. Glad it's not just me with crazy grocery bills! I'm trying to stick to a budget that I'm pretty sure is unrealistic. We go through so much produce.


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