3/1 thru 3/7 #mealplanning Gluten-free never tasted so good! #cooking #kids

Brand new to Meal Planning?

Start by reading all about Meal Planning (Link at the topin order to familiarize yourself with the steps! There, you will find also find a link to a detailed example from start to finish of my own weekly meal planning where I walk you through step-by-step. I perform the same steps every week as I have outlined below.

Are you following me along in my gluten-free healthy lifestyle journey? If not, I encourage you to read it HERE as it will effect my meal planning, though not by much surprisingly. :)

I'm still cooking my family's favorite meals, I'm simply substituting gluten-free and/or healthier options in place of those wheat products that contain gluten. I've been reading the book Wheat Belly along with assessing my own health and have decided that a gluten-free life is really what's best for me and my family. I'm doing my best to get my whole family involved though I'm practically dragging my garlic-bread-loving husband along at this point. haha!
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.


1 portions ground sirloin
2 portions pork tenderloin
2 portions flank steak
1 portions stew meat
6 portions ground turkey
11 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 portions pre-formed turkey patties for burgers
2 portions made-ahead brisket chili
3 portions Brats

1 portions Italian sausage

"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 and 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. I also jot down the price of things I plan to buy that I can frequently find cheaper at my local farmer's market (Dan's) or at Trader Joe's. On shopping day, I stop at Dan's first and buy whatever is cheaper than Safeway; next, I stop at Trader Joe's; and then, I purchase everything left on my list at Safeway. 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

Going gluten-free isn't for everyone and like I've said before, I'm not going to force my husband or child to give up their favorite, familiar foods; however, I am swapping out as much as I can for gluten-free alternatives. 

Flank steak sandwiches with fresh herb spread
David requested this meal - it's a favorite - so I purchased frozen garlic bread (2@$4) so he could have a grilled steak sandwich while I ate mine with a knife and fork. I also purchased a bag of Arugula ($2.49), capers ($2.19), parsley ($0.49), and a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ($16.99/lb) to make the fresh herb spread. I made oven-baked tater tots for David and I had roasted cauliflower. This meal made enough for leftovers for another meal later in the week.

Italian sausage spaghetti over quinoa pasta
Switching Italian dried pastas for corn, brown rice, or quinoa pastas is the easiest substitution to make when going gluten-free and that's something we've done. I made my sauce from scratch with onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes ($1.67 at Safeway!), browned Italian sausage, fresh basil ($3.99), and some of the parsley I purchased for the steak sandwiches.

TexMex Potato soup
With all the rain and colder weather coming this week, I decided a soup was a must-have! I purchased a 3lb bag of organic potatoes ($4.99), cilantro ($0.49), and a can of creamed corn ($0.77) and plan to use up some of the onion I purchased ($0.69/lb) as well as some of the parsley.


Girl's Night In
Sliced Italian meats, pan-fried polenta topped with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, gluten-free crackers topped with Jarlsburg and apricots plus fruit and wine. Girl's Night In never sounded so good and I'm really looking forward to it on Friday this week. 

Crispy tacos and chips with guacamole
Taco shells, taco sauce, onions, garlic, and chips jumped out at me this week so, tacos it is! I'll brown an entire package of ground turkey and top the tacos with cheese in my fridge, cut up grapes tomatoes ($3.99), and shredded organic Romaine lettuce ($1.99). I purchased avocados (2@$1) and will use up the rest of the onion and cilantro in guacamole. We'll only use half the turkey in this meal but I'll use the rest in taco salad and nachos for lunch during the week.

Steak salad with bacon, tomatoes, blue cheese, and herb vinaigrette
The leftover steak from the sandwiches will be turned into a delicious salad with this meal. I'll toss the leftover Romaine with my herb vinaigrette, layer on thinly sliced steak and top it with crumbled bacon, blue cheese, and the rest of the grape tomatoes. I may even use dried cherries, hard boiled egg, and slivered almonds ($4.99) - like a Cobb Salad! Yum :)

What did I purchase this week?

I spent $211.40 on so many yummy things.

It's the first week of a new month so I went a little crazy with all that cash burning a hole in my pocket. :)

I stopped at Trader Joe's first and purchased:
  • Frozen mac 'n cheese - kids favorite right now
  • White balsamic vinegar and rice wine vinegar - I'm out of both!
  • Cooked beets
  • Gluten-free brownie mix and gluten-free crackers for Girl's Night In
  • Udi's gluten-free bread - testing french toast with this 
  • Capers
  • Frozen hashbrowns for breakfasts
  • Pre-cut mango and pineapple because it was cheaper than whole and LESS WORK!
  • Arugula, snap peas, bananas, cauliflower, pink lady apples, grape tomatoes, power salad mix, organic celery, mandarins, Romaine
  • Rockets - like goldfish crackers
  • Pappardelli pasta and vegetable pasta - the kids favorite
  • Apple sicks
 Then, at Safeway I purchased:
  • Goat cheese, Jarlsburg, Parmagiano-Reggiano 
  • Half 'n half and Orange Juice
  • 2 boxes Crispix gluten-free cereal
  • 3 Totino's pizzas
  • Deli ham and proscuitto
  • 4 crushed tomatoes, 4 diced tomatoes and 2 chipotles in adobo
  • Pears, seedless grapes, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries, cilantro, parsley, avocados
I'll have to be careful in my shopping throughout the month to not go over our $500 budget! 


  1. #1- I SO wish we had a Trader Joe's! They're building one 45 minutes from us but I know it will be packed at all times so like Whole Foods, I'll never make it down there. I have a friend from WA and she goes on and on about TJ.

    #2- Girl's Night In sounds so fun! What a yummy menu. Have fun!

    1. I was lost before I found Trader Joe's, Aja. It really is worth it because their prices and quality are just so great. They have THE BEST dried fruits, nut selection, spices, and organic produce for a fraction of Whole Foods!

      It's been so long since I've hosted a night in, I'm furiously cleaning every day this week. ha!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts