December 6, 2010

Meal Planning, Week of 12/6-12/12

The meal plan below is for Hubby, me, and our daughter with an occasional guest or family member joining us. Hubby’s work times are changing a bit this week so what is planned for the menu may not happen.  We’ll call it a work in progress.  ;)

Ever have weeks like those?  Not sure how to plan because of changes in schedules, more activities, or busier times?  I’ve learned that having some easy meals in my meal plan helps to make sure that we aren’t running to a restaurant instead of eating at home.  

NOTE—I often make enough food to freeze or have for another meal.  Because of this, leftovers are counted as $0 on the menu.  If we go to a restaurant, it counts in a different part of our family budget.

Monday

I have a United Methodist Women’s meeting tonight, and I think that some of the gals are bringing party food.  I’ll bring tea, hot pepper jelly and cream cheese with crackers, and a platter of sandwiches (tuna fish that was leftover from Sunday, PBJ, and turkey). 

Ways I saved on this meal—bread bought as part of Mega Event with coupon, tea bought on sale with coupon, jelly and pepper jelly are homemade.  Cream cheese was free after coupon and sale.  I opted to bring something that was substantial enough where people could use it as a snack supper if they so choose.  Since I’m not sure if others are bringing food or not, at the very least daughter and I will be able to eat this food as part of our supper.

Approximate cost: $5

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Tuesday

Chili from the freezer

Sour cream on top

Ways I saved on this meal—When I make chili, soup or beans, I cook them in a huge stockpot.  Having leftovers in the freezer that I can pull out for a super simple supper is thrifty AND easy peasy. 

Approximate cost: 25cts

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Wednesday

I’ll be making the meal for the children at church tonight with a friend.  We’re going to make quesadillas with sour cream and salsa on the side, black beans, and saffron rice. 

Approximate cost: $0 (from the church budget)

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Thursday

Chicken drumsticks roasted in the oven $2

Corn 50cts

Green beans 50cts

Dressed salad greens from the garden $0

Blueberries from the freezer for dessert $2

Ways I saved on this meal—organic chicken drumsticks were marked down and bought with a coupon, making them super cheap.  Canned corn bought on sale.  Green beans were canned at home this summer.  I bought them in bulk from a farmer (no spray) further reducing our cost.  Salad greens are free from the garden.  Blueberries were picked this summer at a local farm.

Approximate cost: $5

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Friday

Since I didn’t end up making this meal last week, I’ll try again for this week with a few small changes

Venison tenderloin

I’m going to try cooking it with rosemary and some of the cranberry mustard I made. I hope it turns out good!

Cost of mustard approx 50cts

Summer squash from the freezer $0

Okra and tomatoes from the freezer $0

Organic Red Lentils $1

Ways I saved on this meal— Red lentils were bought when they were on sale at Three Rivers Market.  The cranberry mustard was homemade and much cheaper than buying a fancy mustard at the store.  The garden continues to feed us as we are eating summer squash and okra and tomatoes from it tonight.  Game meat is about as free range as it gets.  Not everyone likes the taste of venison, but we do.  My sister and I bartered for the venison earlier in the year because they are able to hunt more often than we and had extras.

Approximate cost: $1.50

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Saturday

Our daughter is having a friend over for a sleepover.  We’ll probably keep the food pretty kid friendly tonight as a result.  I’ll check with her mom to see what foods she really likes, but at least at this point the tentative plan is:

Pasta and sauce with cheese $1.50

Carrot and celery sticks and dip 50cts

Apple slices $1

Popcorn for the movie and homemade white hot chocolate $2

Ways I saved on this meal—Pasta was free after coupon and sale, sauce was bought on sale as part of a RR deal at Wags this week, dip was a quarter after sale at Wags a few weeks ago, popcorn is super cheap when it is homemade, homemade hot chocolate is ten times better than the powdered stuff and not at all hard.  Since our daughter is sensitive to milk and dark chocolate, we stick with white chocolate morsels in milk with a bit of vanilla heated on the stove. 

Approximate cost: $4-5

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Sunday

Baked potatoes with all the fixings $2-3

Soup from the freezer

Ways I saved on this meal—Baked potatoes are perfect on cold days.  They are inexpensive and high in potassium.  We will have some leftover bacon from breakfast to go along with green onions from the garden, sour cream bought on sale, and butter bought on sale with coupon.  We have some locally made salsa bought from Three Rivers Market that we’ll also have on the side.  The soup was made right after Thanksgiving and popped in the freezer.

Approximate cost: $2-3

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