4/13 thru 4/19 #mealplanning is best when well-thought and well-planned. That means shopping at two stores some times and always knowing what's the "best" price for an item you need! #motherhood #cooking #kids

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.

4 portions ground turkey breast
2 portions ground beef
8 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 portions chicken drumsticks
1 portion Salmon
1 portions made-ahead enchiladas Verde
2 portions made-ahead meatloaf
1 portions made-ahead lasagna

"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
Buttermilk "fried" chicken with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli
I have buttermilk left from Easter (that's not expired) and I thought of this meal. I had to purchase corn flakes ($2), Organic Yukon Gold potatoes (Trader Joe's 3lb bag $3.99), and broccoli crowns ($0.99/lb). This meal is a favorite, I can promise you there won't be any leftovers!

Tequila-soaked grilled shrimp tacos with chips and guacamole
With warmer weather hanging around here, all I can think about is being outside. Grilling. And eating more summery foods, like shrimp tacos. OMG, these are to die for. We make them often when we can get shrimp cheap (summer time)! Jumbo shrimp were only $6.99/lb so I bought a pound plus an orange ($0.55) and 2 limes ($0.50) for the marinade. I also needed corn tortillas ($1.99), cilantro ($0.49), cherry tomatoes ($3.99), and avocados ($2.99 for 4). I have all the other ingredients for the tacos and the guacamole on hand.

Family Night Out
Meatloaf with balsamic potatoes and green beans
We didn't eat this last week (we had leftovers/cereal) so it's on the menu again this week. I'm using a pre-made meatloaf from my freezer stash for a delicious, quick weeknight meal. I'll serve it with balsamic potato salad, which I only had to buy green onion ($0.99- I only need half) and steamed green beans ($0.38).

Lettuce wraps
An easy, quick, cool meal for a warm and busy night! I have ground turkey and all the ingredients for the sauces so I just had to purchase mushrooms ($1.49 -I'll only use half in this meal), onion ($0.79/lb- I only need about 1/4 of it), green onion ($0.99- I'll use the other half from the balsamic potato salad), and Iceburg lettuce ($0.99).
Stout sausage and cheese
I found a recipe for a mac 'n cheese that called for Italian sausage ($2.49), Velveeta ($6.99), Guiness beer ($1.29), and rotini pasta ($1.99), plus a few other ingredients that I have on hand or will use up what I purchased and don't need in other recipes this week (like yellow onion and mushrooms) and I just had to try it out. If it's a keeper I'll post it for y'all to try in your own kitchens!

Buffalo chicken strip sandwiches and oven-baked tator tots
We didn't eat this last week (we had a potluck dinner I forgot about) so it's on the menu again this week. I'll oven-fry boneless, skinless chicken breast strips and then, coat them in Frank's Buffalo wing sauce that I have on hand. I'll serve them on hoagie rolls (in my freezer) with blue cheese dressing that I have on hand. Oven-baked tator tots (in my freezer) will be great to go along side them.  

What did I purchase this week?

I always shop at Trader Joe's on Thursdays while Emily is at gymnastics. After about 5 trips, I know exactly what everything costs that I like to purchase there. That's one of the many fabulous things about Trader Joe's: everything is always the same price. And it's a low one!

I spent $57.61. I was out of corn flakes, peanut butter crackers, coconut oil, ground chili paste, Dijon mustard, and cheddar cheese. For meals, snacks, and lunches this week I had to purchase one Guiness beer, organic brown rice rotini pasta ($1.99), mushrooms ($1.49), avocados (4pk for $1.99), sweet onion ($0.79/lb), bananas ($0.19/ea), Organic celery ($1.99), green onion ($0.99), organic cherry tomatoes (18oz $3.99), blackberries (18oz $3.99), and organic Yukon gold potatoes (3lb bag $3.99). Emily wanted chocolate milk and I wanted a bottle of their Mendocino Cab so I splurged a bit. :)

Then, on Friday I shopped at Safeway and spent $79.04. Grapes ($1.88/lb), green beans ($0.49/lb), broccoli crowns ($0.99/lb), and Iceburg lettuce ($0.99/ea) was cheaper than at Trader Joe's. I knew that because I looked up the prices on Safeway's Just4U mobile app and wrote them down. Then, while at Trader Joe's, I compared prices. Easy!
Things we were out of that I needed for the week's breakfasts, lunches, and snacks included:
  • frozen Organic flaxseed waffles ($2.99)
  • Organic fat-free milk ($3.99)
  • Yogurt cups ($2.59 6pk)
  • Frito's chips (BOGO!)
  • English muffins (3@$5)
  • Organic golden apples ($2.19/lb)
  • Deli ham and deli turkey ($5/lb each)
  • Tortillas ($1.99)
  • French bread (2@$4)
  • Graham crackers ($1.49)
  • Italian sausage ($2.49 when you buy 2 or more)
  • Jumbo shrimp ($6.99/lb)
I purchased ground turkey (BOGO!) as I needed one whole package for a potluck meal over the weekend. I also purchased bean dip (on sale $1.49), frozen yogurt (Just4U deal $2.99), and a roll of cinnamon rolls (Just4U deal $2.99) at Emily's request.


  1. I LOVE this. As a fellow meal-planning-lover, I find it fascinating to hear how others go about it. You clearly have it down to a science. Impressed! :)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts