January 3, 2011

Meal Planning, First week of 2011

The meal plan below is for Hubby, me, and our daughter with an occasional guest or family member joining us. 

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.


Pasta with Sauce, freshly grated Parmesan cheese $1.50

5 minute bread (leftover)

Ways I saved on this meal—The bread dough was what I had leftover from making it on Christmas Day.  The 5 minute bread recipe is such a cinch to make and is delicious!  The pasta was free after a coupon and sale.  The sauce was bought with some register rewards I needed to use at Walgreens.  I used a coupon and earned a RR for the purchase of these.  The Parmesan cheese was leftover from the block I bought for the Winter Solstice Party.  Buying it as a block instead of grated saves a lot of money, and it lasts much longer!

Approximate cost: $1.50



Black beans cooked with the Christmas ham bone $2

Rice $0

Fruit salad $2

Ways I saved on this meal—I rarely buy beans in a can.  It is so much cheaper to buy them by the pound dried and to cook them yourself.  Using the ham bone from Christmas (which I froze) adds some meat and flavor to the dish.  The rice was free after coupon and sale.  The fruit from the salad comes mostly from the freezer, from berries that we froze this summer.  Some of the berries were free and some we picked at local farms.

Approximate cost: $4



PF Chang’s Frozen Entree $3.50

Rice (leftover from yesterday)

Organic Edemame 79cts

Ways I saved on this meal—The rice will be leftover from yesterday’s meal.  The Cascadian Farms veggies are on sale at Three Rivers Market this week for $1.79, and I’ll be using a $1/1 coupon.  The PF Chang’s frozen Chinese food was bought at Walgreens with a coupon and sale.

Approximate cost: $4.29



Lamb $6

Roasted Butternut Squash with Parmesan Cheese, cream and butter $1

Pickled beets and pickled green tomatoes $0

Dressed salad greens $1

Ways I saved on this meal—The lamb was bought from a local farmer.  It is difficult to estimate the cost since I buy a half of a lamb at a time, so I’ve portioned out the sizes to be about $6 each.   I’ll probably make some lamb chops with a bit of rosemary and olive oil out of the cuts we still have.  The butternut squash was free from the garden.  The Parm cheese I mentioned above is a leftover.  The organic cream was bought on sale with a coupon.  The pickled foods were home canned from the garden.  The organic salad greens will be bought at Three Rivers Market when I go there later this week.

Approximate cost: $7



Taco night $7

Black bean (leftover) $0

Spanish rice $0

Ways I saved on this meal— The tacos were bought with a sale, coupon, and catalina deal at Kroger.  The beef is from a local farmer and the bulk of the cost of this meal.  The taco seasoning was free after coupon.  The black beans are leftovers from Tuesday’s meal.  The Spanish rice was free after coupon and sale.

Approximate cost: $7



Grilled Dove wrapped in bacon $1

Green beans 50cts

Leftover Butternut Squash $0

Dressed salad greens $1

Ways I saved on this meal—Hubby and my dad attended at dove hunt at my uncle’s around Labor Day.  The doves were frozen and I need to use them to make room for other foods in the freezer.  They are surprisingly good when the breast meat is wrapped in bacon, skewered and grilled.  The bacon was bought with a coupon and sale at Walgreens about a month ago.  The green beans were ones I canned this summer and were bought at the farmers market.   

Approximate cost: $2.50



Turkey Soup $4-7

Cornbread $0

Ways I saved on this meal—I’ll be using the turkey carcass (a leftover), which I froze, to make the soup.  I’ll use whatever veggies I can that are from the freezer (from our garden this year) to lower the cost.  I usually make a very large stock pot full so that we have tons of leftovers.  The cornbread was free after coupon and sale.

Approximate cost: $4-$7

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