8/2 thru 8/8 #mealplanning How to find the lowest prices? Check the ads! A little work goes a long way #cooking #motherhood

Brand new to Meal Planning and want to get started?

Start by reading all about how I go about Meal Planning each week in order to familiarize yourself with the steps! There, you will find the eight steps to meal planning - a detailed "how to" in a Step-By-Step format as well as a link to an example from start to finish of my own weekly meal planning where I walk you through it. I perform the same steps every week so these weekly posts focus more on how I chose my menu (do we have a busy week? what's in-season and inexpensive? is it too hot to boil noodles and run the oven?) and why I purchased what I did.

This week's news:
Lucky's is again the lowest price on fresh produce this week, which is 80% of my bill each week, so I shopped them first again this week. I wish they offered more variety and better quality beef, poultry and fish so I could just shop at one store each week. {Sigh} Oh well, Safeway is on my way home so, I swung by there to pick up the remaining items on my list before heading home. Do you get the weekly ad delivered in your newspaper or in a separate circular, like I do each week? Mine comes on Tuesdays as the ads all start on Wednesdays and it's nice to lay them all out (I get 4 each week) side-by-side and circle each item I plan to purchase that is the cheapest. Then, it's really easy to hold up the ads and get a good visual of which store has the most items circled.

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 to avoid wasting those ingredients.
We did eat everything we planned for so, here's my updated inventory list below less what we ate last week:


4 portions ground sirloin
4 portions ground turkey
3 portions stew meat
1 portions wings & drumsticks
8 portions boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 portions pre-formed turkey patties for burgers
2 portions pre-formed chicken patties for burgers
3 portions frozen breaded chicken breast pieces
2 portions made-ahead brisket chili
2 portions made-ahead meatballs
1 portions Italian sausage
1 portions made-ahead enchiladas Verdes

I looked through my pantry, freezer and fridge for inspiration, noting ingredients I had on hand to come up with some meals off our Master Meal List.
Simultaneously, I read the weekly ads and looked through the coupons via the iPhone apps to see what was on sale that might complement and/or substitute what I came up with. I also always try to stretch ingredients on my grocery list over enough meals to use them up to prevent waste. For example, I needed limes and cilantro for my fajita marinade but would have leftover so I added guacamole as a side dish to one meal and added a meal that would use up the remaining guacamole this week to use it all up.

Here's this week's menu and why I chose these meals:

Weekly Meal Plan

Chicken Parmesan sandwiches with oven-fries
David loves this decadent meal and asks for it regularly so, with fresh mozzarella and jarred marinara in the fridge, all I needed to purchase was a loaf of french bread ($0.99). I'll serve oven-fries with it that I have in my freezer. 

Girl's Night Out - it's Friendship Day!

Crispy turkey tacos with chips & guacamole
I have ground turkey in my freezer but only need half of it for tacos so, I immediately came up with chili as the meal to use the rest of it. I bought an onion ($0.69/lb), bulb of garlic ($0.33), napa cabbage ($0.99) - I shred it and use it instead of lettuce on tacos some times, tomatoes ($0.99/lb), avocados ($0.59/ea), and limes (5@$1). I also bought 4 bags of chips because they were 2@$6 plus when you spent $12 you got $3 off through Just4U at Safeway. 

BBQ Chicken Pizza
This is another meal we eat often because it uses up leftover grilled chicken David smokes every weekend, green onions ($0.39), leftover cilantro and lime from the guacamole, bacon (we always have in the freezer), and shredded cheese we always have in the fridge. I bought 1lb of fresh dough ($0.99) and have BBQ sauce in the pantry. 


Breakfast for Dinner
I love hashbrowns and think of them often... it's a wonder we don't have breakfast for dinner more often! ha ;) I bought the Alexia brand at Safeway today because it was on a Just4U special for only $1.50 a bag! Eggs were already on my list (18ct for $2.99) and I have bacon so we're set.

Turkey chili with cornbread
I found a packet of mild chili mix in the pantry and immediately added this meal as I needed to use up the other half of the ground turkey package. I will brown all the turkey in onion and garlic and just save half of it for this meal the night I make the tacos. That way, on this night, all I have to do is warm it up in a pan with canned organic tomato sauce (have on hand) and the mix and let it simmer for 15 minutes. I have everything I need to make cornbread muffins from scratch.
What did I purchase this week?
I spent $61.89 at Lucky and another $111.05 at Safeway on all you see above.

I find my bills during the summer are always higher because of the bountiful summer fruits my family loves. Is it the same for you?

This week I purchased:
  • Strawberries, blueberries Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Grapes, $1.49/lb
  • Nectarines/peaches/plums $1.88/lb
  • Watermelon, $0.59/lb
  • Pears $0.99/lb
  • Corn, 6@$1 - we roast it and eat it with lunch, in tacos, and in salads during the week
  • Cauliflower $0.99 - I roast this and eat it instead of fries with my chicken parmesan
  • Annie's organic mac 'n cheese 10@$10
  • Deli ham $6.99/lb
  • Pork sausage $1.99 - for breakfast tacos
  • French toast bread $0.99 - for breakfast
We were out of milk, orange juice, half & half, pickles, chili paste, parmesan cheese, and Balsamic vinegar so I purchase those as well.  


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