2/23 thru 3/1 #mealplanning Another week spending LESS than $100! #cooking #motherhood

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
2 portions ground brisket
1 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 portions brats
2 portions Italian sausage
1 portion made-ahead spicy shredded chicken
1 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
Sausage calzones with marinara sauce
This meal only cost me $2.50 for the Organic marinara sauce I purchased as I have frozen pizza dough, sausage, and mozzerella cheese in my freezer as well as onion and garlic in my fridge. 

Brisket burgers and grilled sweet potato wedges
Have you noticed yet how many times in the last two months this meal has appeared on my menu? :) Yeah, they are that good. David smokes the patties over cherrywood for half an hour before moving them directly over the coals to give them that delicious crust all over. I'm drooling as I type this. I of course had the meat but also had the buns, pickles, and ketchup and mustard. I had to purchase sliced cheese ($0.68) and 2lbs of sweet potatoes ($1.50) to use as a side dish of grilled sweet potato wedges. I have all the seasonings and the glaze on hand. 

Tortalline with roasted red pepper Alfredo sauce
I have frozen Italian sausage tortalline in my freezer that I forgot about. I'll use the last portion of made-ahead roasted red pepper puree to make Alfredo sauce to serve over it. This meal cost me nothing this week!

Sloppy Joe's with oven-baked tator tots
Manwhich was only $0.99 this week at Safeway so, with the remaining hamburger buns I have on hand, all I had to purchase was a package of ground turkey. Ground turkey was on sale $3.50 and I had a $1.00 off Just4U coupon. I decided to purchase a package of frozen tator tots because they were on sale $1.99. 


Chicken Parmesan
I'll use the remaining Organic marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese from the calzones to make this meal. I have chicken in the freezer as well as bread crumbs, milk and eggs, and a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in the fridge. This meal cost me only the $1.49 I spent on Organic whole wheat spaghetti to serve with it. 

Turkey Goulash with steamed broccoli
When I saw the can of Organic tomato sauce and whole wheat penne pasta in the cabinet and knew I'd have half a package of ground turkey leftover from the Sloppy Joe's, I decided to make this meal. I only needed to purchase sour cream ($0.99). I have frozen broccoli that I'll steam with a little butter, salt and pepper to serve with it.

What did I purchase this week?
Picture #1 - $36.12
I had to shop on Wednesday to replenish the fresh fruit I told you I would have to buy. My kids are eating me out of house and home, y'all! Safeway had all their berries "Buy 1 Get 1 Free", organic apples were $2.19/lb, and seedless grapes were NOT on sale costing me nearly $16 for that bag. Gah!
Picture #2 - 54.47
Besides our usual milk, yogurt, deli meat, and fresh produce for the week, I had to purchase celery and lettuce ($0.99 each) for a trip to Tilden's Little Farm with our Girl Scout trip this weekend. The great deals I got through Safeway's Just4U program included:
  • Cresent rolls, $1.88 each
  • Poptarts, $1.99 each
  • La Tortilla Factory 10ct., $1.79 each
  • Honey turkey deli meat, $5.00/lb
  • Manwich, $0.99
  • 5lb bag Cuties, $5.00
So, another week of spending less than $100. I think I'm on a roll!

Next month is a 5 week month for us, David gets an extra paycheck, so, I plan to stock up a bit at Costco on meat, poultry and fish, and some pantry staples. I do plan to try and stick to $125 or less per week though!


  1. I wish the $16 for the grapes was a typo :( They were $4.99/lb!! I live in wine country for goodness sakes, how can they charge that much?!?


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