3/15 thru 3/21 #mealplanning for a nearly #glutenfree family on about $100 per week. #Family #cooking #kids #parenting

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
1 portions stew meat
3 portions ground turkey
10 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 portions pre-formed turkey patties for burgers
2 portions made-ahead brisket chili
3 portions Brats

2 portions pork shoulder (1 portion for Staff Appreciation lunch!)

"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. 

BBQ chicken pizza
This meal will be gluten-free for me as I will simply melt come cheddar over my grilled chicken breast and top with sliced green onion, crumbled bacon, and fresh pineapple. YUM!! I'll have steamed veggies from my freezer on the side. For David, I'll roll out some of the pizza dough I have in my freezer, slather on some BBQ sauce and top with the same ingredients, all of which I have on hand leftover from last week. Easy! And this meal cost me nothing this week. :)

Chili over polenta and a side salad
For an easy, hearty, weeknight meal, I plan to thaw one portion of my made-ahead brisket chili and serve it over freshly prepared cheesy polenta. I'm drooling just typing this as it's just that good! I purchased Romaine hearts (2@$5) to make the side salad, I have all the other ingredients on hand.

Crispy turkey tacos with Spanish rice and chips with queso
I'll use half a package of ground turkey, browning it with minced sweet onion and fresh garlic, and stuff it inside crispy corn taco shells {gluten-free}. Then, I'll top them with taco sauce, shredded Romaine lettuce, Mexican-style shredded cheese and chopped organic tomatoes (purchased today at $1.99/lb). I have Rotel and Velveeta, fresh limes, ground cumin, and leftover cilantro to make queso and a bag of tortilla chips for an easy side. If I can find the time, I'll also make Spanish rice with the brown rice, sweet onion, garlic, tomato paste, broth, and ground dried oregano I have on hand.


Crockpot shredded BBQ chicken sliders with oven-baked fries
David absolutely loves this meal especially when I make the brioche miniature burger buns from scratch. I have all the ingredients on hand for the home-made sauce the chicken cooks in all day but was running low on boneless, skinless chicken breasts so, I purchased 4, 4lb bags at only $1.99/lb today to use for the upcoming Staff Appreciation luncheon and to refill my freezer stash! I have dill pickle ovals and frozen fries in my freezer for a quick side dish of oven-baked fries.

Turkey Mac (my version of Hamburger Helper!) and a side salad
Who doesn't like Hamburger Helper? One pan, 20 minutes and dinner is DONE. It's just not so healthy! I make my own version (with just three ingredients!) of Cheeseburger Helper with gluten-free quinoa elbow noodles. I'll use the rest of the Romaine lettuce and the home-made herb viniagrette dressing in a side salad for this meal. So, this meal also didn't cost me a thing this week - I could've left out the salad and used frozen veggies.

Orange chicken with snow peas over brown rice
We love this meal so much, it's only the recent warm weather that's kept it off the menu! I'll saute fresh snow peas ($2.99) in addition to the chicken and serve the whole thing over steamed brown rice. Delicious and so easy!

What did I purchase?

I spent just over $110.00 today at Safeway to take advantage of some great deals and restock my freezer including:

  • 4, 4lb bags of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, $1.99/lb
  • Cuties, $5.99
  • Milk, $4.59 - that's 3 weeks in a row of it being $1.50 higher than usual
  • 2, organic Flaxseed frozen waffles - our favorite that finally came back to Safeway - on sale only $2.69/ea
  • Oscar Meyer bacon, $3.99 on Just4U special - we eat a TON of bacon for breakfast and in meals
  • 2, French bread loaves, on clearance $1.67 - David loves garlic bread with pasta & soup
  • Banana Boat sunscreen for kids, $10.99 {ouch!} - spending the weekend at our beach and we'll need it
  • Half & Half, $3.49 on Just4U
  • Green Giant Steamers frozen vegetables, 3@$5
  • Bananas, $0.59/lb
  • French toast bread, $2.00 - the kids LOVE french toast and the gluten-free bread was a total flop!
  • 5, Tillamook greek yogurt, $5@$5 plus $1.00 off 5 Just4U
  • 2, Dreyer's ice cream, $2.88/ea
  • Pears, $0.99/lb
  • Honeycrisp apples, $2.99/lb
  • Romaine hearts, $2.50
  • Organic tomato, $1.99/lb
  • Seedless red grapes, $1.88/lb
  • Snow peas, $2.99


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