5/10 thru 5/16 #mealplanning when it's HOT and you don't feel like #cooking #motherhood #kids #glutenfree

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
4 portions ground turkey
1 portions stew meat
5 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 portions ribs
3 portions pre-formed turkey patties for burgers
4 portions pre-formed chicken patties for burgers
3 portions frozen breaded chicken breast pieces
2 portions made-ahead brisket chili
3 portions made-ahead meatballs
3 portions Brats

2 portions Italian sausage
1 portion made-ahead lasagna
1 portions made-ahead spinach stuffed shells
2 portions made-ahead enchiladas Verdes
1 portion made-ahead smoked pork tenderloin

"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.

Apricot-glazed smoked chicken breasts with gluten-free mac 'n cheese
In an attempt to stay outside, where it's cooler on these near 90 degree days AND to spoil me rotten over a long, Mother's Day weekend, David will be grilled up a ton of food for us to eat and for me to use in future meals. Starting with this meal. I purchased boneless, skinless chicken breasts today ($1.89/lb) and David will smoke them before slathering them with a mixture of apricot preserves (1/4C) and BBQ sauce (2T). YUM! I'm making gluten-free mac 'n cheese with the white cheddar and fontina I purchased today ($5 each).

Baby back ribs, Balsamic potato salad, roasted corn on the cob and Hawaiian sweet rolls
On Sunday, David smoked an entire rack of baby back ribs from our freezer plus corn on the cob (5@$1). I was salivating for those 5 hours from the glorious smells. :) I made my very easy, super delicious Balsamic potato salad and warmed up a package of sweet rolls ($1.99) to go with it all. There were leftovers for David to have for lunch this week. He's a happy guy!

Lasagna with garlic bread
To avoid literally slaving over a hot stove top, I'm pulling a lasagna and frozen garlic bread from my freezer to toss in the oven for an hour this week. We have great ventilation so cooking in the oven isn't even noticeable on really hot days. Thank goodness because we don't have A/C!


Shrimp Pad Thai
To add more fish/shellfish to my diet and to take advantage of the jumbo raw shrimp for $8.99/lb deal at Safeway, I'm changing up this classic to add shrimp that I'll quickly saute in a really hot pan for about 5 minutes. I stocked up on Pad Thai noodles ($1.79) and also purchased green onion and cilantro (mix & match, 2@$1) to complete this meal.

BBQ chicken pizza
I made home-made pizza dough while it was cool this weekend that I'll roll out, top with BBQ sauce, some of the chicken David smoked, crumbled bacon (3@$10), and the leftover green onion and cilantro I purchased. I also purchased a fresh pineapple ($1.99) to top the pizza with as well as to give the kids for snack this week.

Buffalo chicken salad/sandwiches

David requested this meal so I'll warm the frozen chicken chunks in the oven, toss them in Buffalo sauce I have in my fridge and top them with the blue cheese I purchased today ($4.59). I'll eat mine like a salad with leftover Romaine from last week while David has his on a hoagie roll (2@$4).

What did I purchase this week?

I spent $129.45 this week at Safeway and scored BIG TIME!

The greatest deals included:
  • Quaker granola bars, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Jell-O - Buy 1 Get 1 Free plus $0.55 off two
  • Tostito's tortilla chips, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • 97% lean ground sirloin, 40% off because it expires in 3 days (I'll freeze it)
  • 18ct eggs, $2.99
  • Go-Gurt, $1.88 plus $1.00 off two or more
  • Organic gala apples, $1.49/lb
  • Jumbo shrimp, $8.99/lb
  • Mangos, 2@$1.00
  • Nature's Own bacon, 3@$10


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