5/3 thru 5/9 #mealplanning for a #glutenfree healthy home that's ultra busy with after-school activities! #cooking #kids #motherhood

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
5 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
2 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.

Chicken fajitas and chips with guacamole
To make life as easy as possible on us all this week, I'm having David grill double the amount of chicken for this meal so I can use it in my Tex-Mex potato soup later in the week! I had to purchase cilantro ($0.33), oranges ($0.99/lb), and chipotles in adobo ($1.19) for the marinade plus avocados (2@$1), limes ($0.59/each) and shallot ($0.79/lb) for the guacamole. I purchased Tostito's chips (2@$5) and tortillas ($1.99), too. I will eat mine on corn tortillas that I have in my freezer to avoid the gluten in the flour tortillas. 

Crockpot shredded BBQ chicken sliders with oven-fries
Another easy way to have great weeknight meals is to use the Crockpot so, I'll toss two chicken breasts in mine with all the ingredients for a home-made BBQ sauce that I have on hand and set it to low for 6hours. I will scoop 1C over the napa cabbage I purchased today ($1.99) while David enjoys his on the leftover home-made brioche buns I made last week that I froze. I'll bake some oven fries for him as well. 

Tex-Mex potato soup
To use up the cilantro and limes I purchased plus the 2lbs of potatoes I have in my pantry, I'm making this meal on Sunday afternoon. It's completely gluten-free and so delicious! I had to also purchase a can of Rotel ($0.89), a can of creamed corn ($0.79) and a block of Monterrey jack cheese ($5.99).


Turkey Helper and a salad with herb vinaigrette

We all love this meal and it couldn't be easier, I just had to purchase a box of gluten-free quinoa elbow pasta. I also purchased a head of organic Romaine lettuce to serve in a side salad as well as for me to eat for lunch throughout the week with tuna (5@$5) or egg whites. This meal typically yields leftovers for me to have at lunch, yea! :)

Enchiladas Verdes
Another super quick weeknight solution is to pull from the freezer so, I will! Because I made these with corn tortillas, they are gluten-free as well.

Meatball subs

And the last meal I'll be making this week is another one from my freezer! I have the meatballs frozen raw so I just have to pop them in the oven for 25-30 minutes and voila! I'll toast a hoagie roll for David to eat his like a meatball sub with jarred marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. I will eat mine over 2oz of brown rice spaghetti pasta so it's gluten-free! I will also skip the cheese :)

What did I purchase this week?

After checking the Lucky's ads, I saw they didn't have a single deal better than Safeway so, I went straight to Safeway and Trader Joe's where I spent $190.08 this week.

Some of the best deals I took advantage of this week included:
  • McCormick spices, Buy 1 Get 1 Free - I stocked up on chili powder, cumin, ground mustard and lemon pepper
  • Weber's dry rubs, Buy 1 Get 1 Free - I bought 4
  • Green Giant steamers frozen vegetables, 5@$4
  • Tillamook greek yogurt, $1.00 each plus another $0.20 off each, no limit - I bought 12 as it's all we could eat before they expired
  • Maple syrup, only $10.99 - $3 less than Costco so I purchased two
  • Safeway brand powdered sugar, Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • 2lb strawberries, $4.99
Some things I purchased from Trader Joe's that we needed this week for school lunches and snacks included:
  • Tomatoless corn salsa - to top nachos and tacos with
  • Vodka cream sauce - Emily loves this over brown rice or quinoa fusili
  • Frozen gluten-free waffles
  • Cheddar rockets
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Brown rice fussili pasta and brown rice spaghetti pasta
  • Bananas, $0.19/each
  • Gala apples, $0.99/lb - I bought 8lbs to have throughout the week


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