4/27 thru 5/3 #mealplanning with bronchitis. I probably should've worn a mask to Safeway. #cooking #motherhood #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.

2 portions ground turkey breast
4 portions ground beef
4 portions ground pork
3 portions pork tenderloin
10 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 portions chicken drumsticks
1 portion Salmon
5 portions Brats
1 portions made-ahead enchiladas Verde
1 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
I came down with bronchitis on Thursday night and Emily ended up with strep throat on Saturday so, with all the illness, I knew this coming week's menu had to be simple, easy, and include a whole lot of leftovers so as to not overwhelm David. Yes, I still did the meal planning AND shopping... who else is going to do it?!? I probably should have ordered it all online and had it delivered but I'm too much of a control freak to trust someone else to pick out my produce. I didn't die and it's done now.

Grilled chicken Ceasar salad
4lb bags of frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts were on sale for only $1.89/lb (I bought 2!) so I bought them and had David grill a whole bag (9 breasts) over the weekend to use not only in his lunch for the week, but for dinners through the week including this one. I have all the ingredients on hand for the dressing except anchovy paste ($2.99), and organic Romaine hearts (on sale $1.99).

Leftovers x3
Soup, sandwiches, grilled chicken with vegetables, chicken sandwiches, chicken wraps... whatever David can make while I'm laid up in bed and he's home with both kids.

Pad Thai
You can make this meal with anything, even without meat! I saw ground pork on a "BOGO" (buy one get one free) sale so I bought it ($4.99), plus the brown rice noodles I love ($2.99), and green onions ($0.99). I have cilantro in my garden (yippee!) and all the ingredients for the sauce plus the roasted peanut topping on hand. I'll use half the package of pork in this meal and use the other half in tacos later in the week.

Brats with oven-baked french fries
A super easy week night meal David can make, again if I'm still ill. Just4U was offering 2lbs of their brats for only $5 so I purchased a pack along with some french hoagie rolls ($1.99) and will serve them up with oven-baked french fries I have in my freezer. 

Crispy tacos with chips and queso
Just4U had 15ct taco shells for only $1.49 (limit 2) so I stocked up and added this meal to this week's menu. I'll use up the other half of the package of ground pork to brown with onion I have leftover from last week and garlic I have on hand. I'll shred up the remaining Romaine lettuce to serve on top along with some shredded cheese, taco sauce, and organic cherry tomatoes (all things I have on hand). Just4U was offering Tostito's chips "BOGO" plus a free jar of Tostito's salsa and Velveeta was on sale for only $5 so, I purchased the chips, salsa and cheese as well as 2 jars of Rotel (on sale $0.99) and will make some skillet queso to serve with my tacos.

What did I purchase this week?
Because I'm so sick and Emily's sick and David is barely treading water trying to play SuperDad to us all, I raced over to Safeway to get everything we needed this week, regardless of if I could've gotten it cheaper somewhere else. Some times easy is best!

I purchased Kraft EasyMac (on sale $0.88) and Organic chocolate milk (my sick daughter's request) for $3.49 -yikes- , soup from the Safeway deli (2@$4, my request), and butter for $3.99 -ugh- because I ran out. I also purchased corn and flour tortillas and Toaster Strudel because we were out.

The best deals included:
  • whole pork tenderloin, $1.99/lb
  • Farmer John's bacon, BOGO
  • O Organic flaxseed waffles, 2@$5
  • Tillamook yogurt, BOGO plus $0.55 off every 3 (I bought 12)
  • FREE Dave's gourmet butternut squash sauce
  • FREE Barilla marinara sauce
  • FREE Tostito's salsa when you buy 2 Tostito's tortilla chips (which were 2@$5)
  • Dorito's, BOGO
  • Strawberries, 2@$3
  • Blackberries, $1.99 


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