February 28, 2011

Meal Planning Monday

My internet service has been off and on most of the day due to the rainstorms in our area, and my postings will be a little sporadic as a result.

Monday

Tonight we’ll enjoy eggs and rice with leftover peas, a few carrots and celery.

Approximate cost--$1

Ways I saved on this meal—I made some brown rice to go with the last bit of duck gumbo that a friend shared with me.  To make things easier tonight, I made extra rice.  Making rice from scratch as opposed to boil in bag or minute rice saves a lot of money over the course of a year.  Using leftovers and the last of the carrots and celery that need using prevents waste.  The eggs also need to be used up before they go bad.  With the beginning of the month almost here, I plan to buy some eggs at Three Rivers Market, as they had a really good price on cage free TN Valley eggs when I was there last.

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Tuesday

Taco Night—Tacos and Pinto Beans

Approximate cost--$2.80

Ways I saved on this meal—The pinto beans were in the freezer and were some that my uncle had given me dry last year=free.  I told you all how I think my dad was worried about us since we were doing the February Eat from the Pantry Challenge.  When we went over to see him on Saturday after the coupon fair, he gave me a box of taco shells with seasoning, a cluster of tomatoes, a head of lettuce and a bag of cilantro.  I have explained to him that we have money to eat, but somehow I think it made him feel better to give us food.  Too cute!  We’ll use a pound of natural ground beef that I bought with manager mark down at Kroger.

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Wednesday

Tonight I’ll be preparing the meal for the children’s program at church. 

We are having our monthly birthday celebration and having “party food”—pizza rolls, pears, carrot sticks, pretzels, and cupcakes.

Approximate cost--$0, from church budget

Ways I saved on this meal—I am using the 40ct/2 coupons matched with the $1 box price for Totino’s rolls at Kroger this week.  The pears were some I had stocked when canned fruit was inexpensive.  One church member gave us a coupon for free carrot sticks.  The pretzels are store brand to save money.  I’ll be making the cupcakes at home since our daughter’s birthday is March 8th.  I plan to use a boxed cake mix and make cream cheese frosting from scratch.

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Thursday

Salmon patties, Stuffing from a box, Peas, Wedge Salad

Approximate cost--$2.50

Ways I saved on this meal—If the lettuce is still good from what my dad gave me, I’ll use the rest of it to make a Wedge Salad (fancy way of saying that I’m making the easiest salad on earth, a hunk of lettuce with a bit of dressing on top).  The salmon is canned and I never got around to using it in February.  I bought it on sale at Walgreens late last year.  I’ll use a bit of bread crumbs, some onion from the garden, carrots, and celery bound with a little egg and baked.  I’ll make the dill sauce by using lemon juice, mayo and dried dill with any chives I can find popping up in the garden and maybe a few capers.  The stuffing was from an Angel Food box I bought in November for Thanksgiving that we never used.  The peas were free with coupon and sale at Kroger in January.

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Friday

Dove marinated with Italian Seasoning

Any leftover stuffing and peas

Fruit salad

Approximate cost--$2

Ways I saved on this meal—The dove is the last of what my dad and husband took last fall, and frankly, I’ll be glad to see it out of the freezer.  Other than the cost of hunting, which I wouldn’t dare factor into the grocery budget (if you have a hunter in your family, you get the joke), the meat was free.  The Italian seasoning will consist of vinegar, EVOO, and herbs from the garden and freezer.  The leftovers are “free”.  The fruit salad will be made with some of the frozen berries from last summer and home canned fruit.

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Saturday

I plan to make lamb stew and Irish Soda Bread and have our dad over to eat. 

I’ll put out a few of the homemade relishes for a little appetizer. 

Approximate cost--$12

Ways I saved on this meal—This portion of lamb is much bigger than we usually eat, hence the cost being so much higher than normal.  We’ll most likely have leftovers for another night, and our dog will enjoy any of the large bones leftover.  Friends of ours went in on a lamb purchase with us last year.  We bought half of the lamb and have been enjoying it every week or so.  I’ll add carrots, onions, celery and potatoes to the stew.  We had one more potato box that we hadn’t dug yet, or as I like to reframe it, we stored them outside for the winter.  We’ll use some of the potatoes from it to reduce cost. 

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Sunday

Chili from the freezer

Approximate cost--$0

Ways I saved on this meal—Leftovers are factored as “free” in our budget since it is easier to count the cost when making the entire dish.  The chili is some that I’ve needed to eat for a while now, but I need to clean it out of the freezer to make room for 1/8 of a steer we are buying with some friends. 

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