January 10, 2011

Meal Planning, Week of 1/10/11

Last week’s meal plan didn’t work out as I had expected.  One night we received an impromptu invitation for dinner with friends, and I saved the pot of beans that I had made for the next night.  The dove didn’t defrost in time for us to use it on Saturday so we ate a simple, hodgepodge meal of leftovers.  On another night, we were still full from a large lunch with family and opted for what we call a “snack supper”. 

Is it like that with your family?  I have a plan set for how I think it will go, and it ends up completely different.  Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not complaining at all.  We spent less money for the meals we ate, and you’ll see some of the meals mentioned last week returning to the schedule, making my job a little easier this week.

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


Grilled Dove wrapped in bacon $1

Green beans 50cts

Leftover Brown Rice $0

Birds Eye Frozen Peas $0

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.  The frozen pea were free after a coupon and sale at Kroger a few weeks ago.

Approximate cost: $1.50



One Skillet Dinner $4

Fruit salad $2

Ways I saved on this meal—I caught some marked down organic beef at the grocery last week and froze it.  I’ll use some of the black beans that I made and froze last week, and some rice that I “bought” for a dime after coupons.  Most of the fruit is from the berries that we have in the freezer.

Approximate cost: $6



Tater Tot Nachos


Ways I saved on this meal—A friend and I will be making supper for the children’s program at church on this night.  According to her kids who have raved to me on numerous occasions, she “makes the best nachos in the whole wide world!”  I can’t wait to try them out!

Approximate cost: $0 (From church budget)



I didn’t make this meal last week, so I’ll try to do so tonight instead.

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



Arroz con pollo 50cts

Leftover black beans from the freezer $0

Ways I saved on this meal— The chicken was free at Earth Fare last week. I mentioned the deal on rice above.  The organic veggies were on sale.  The peas are some that I caught free after coupon and sale from Birds Eye at Kroger.

Approximate cost: $7



One of my cousins from Memphis will be in town for the long weekend.  We’ll most likely be cooking dinner at another cousin’s house here in town.  (I told you I had one of those Big Fat Greek Wedding kind of families, didn’t I?)  Since I have no earthly idea what to expect from the menu, I’m going to suggest that I bring a few appetizers and dessert. 

Hummus with veggies $1

Sautéed pears with vanilla ice cream $0

Relish tray $0

Spiced Pecans $3.50

Ways I saved on this meal—Since I made a red velvet cake for Christmas, we didn’t eat the ice cream that I had “bought” for free at Earth Fare.  We’ll enjoy it on this night with some pears that I canned this summer.  The pears were some that a friend gave me from the tree in her yard.  The hummus was free at Earth Fare last week.  The relishes were ones that I canned at home from our garden.  I’ll use a half of a pound of pecans bought from a farmer in GA to make the spiced pecans (add a little butter and Tony’s and cook them in a 250 degree oven, stirring about every 15 minutes for about an hour). 

Approximate cost: $3.50



We didn’t make this meal last weekend and will try and make it today instead.

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


  1. Leftovers - nothing wrong with left overs EVER.. in fact, sometimes they taste better than the first mealed they served!

    Dove? Hmm.. never had that.. sounds interesting.. I'm sure it tastes like "Chicken" or is it moister?

    Nice week of cost savings! I am happy about the $29.61 I saved at Shop-Rite this past Saturday!

    Have a great week!

  2. I agree with you about the leftovers, Leslie! I don't mind them one bit, especially since it means a little less work and less waste.

    Dove is a lot like chicken, though with more flavor. Game meats traditionally are drier so the bacon helps to solve that problem.

    Congrats on your savings! Isn't it a thrill to save money?!

  3. I'll have to try Dove.. I'll ask my daughter about finding me some..She's a chef and loves quail too! Yes, it's absolutely a thrill saving money.. In fact, now I can't wait to get in my car after grocery shopping to look at the register receipt to see how much I saved.. Oh the little things that make me happy!