March 15, 2011

Meal Planning, Week of St. Patrick’s Day and our anniversary

This week, my husband and I will be married for 11 years.  I count myself lucky to be his wife.  I love that man even more now than I did when we were dating, and I’m so blessed to have a life with him.

We were married the day after St. Patrick’s Day and because of that, the holiday is a special one to us.  My family is part Irish, and I like to “do up” the holiday.  We have friends who live in Ireland, and one of my favorite trips was attending their wedding.  All of this to say that if I see you on St. Patrick’s Day and you aren’t wearing green—you’re in for a pinch!  ;)

I’ve been fighting allergies or a cold or some sort of bug this week, and so I’m getting out these meal plans a little later than normal.  Remember that the meals are for a three person family, and we factor the cost of the meal when I first make it.  Leftovers, therefore, will say $0 beside them.

Monday

We have TONS of leftovers from the birthday party on Sunday.  So many leftovers that we probably could have thrown a separate party with just as many people and still have food leftover.  Alas, that is the way that it is sometimes!  I’d rather have too much food then not enough. 

Since all of the leftovers are Mexican themed, I tried to get creative.  We had egg burritos for breakfast to use some of the leftover cheese, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, and flour tortillas.  For lunch we brought a bag of leftovers to a friend’s house for a playdate.  We had taco salad then.  We brought my dad a bag of leftovers to his house so that he would enjoy them for his supper.  Last night, we ate leftover burritos, black bean salsa, and rice.

Approximate cost--$0 (leftovers)

Ways I saved on this meal—The foods were all leftovers.  I froze some of the foods that I knew we wouldn’t get to in the next couple of days to keep them from wasting.

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Tuesday

Leftovers

Approximate cost--$0

Ways I saved on this meal—I’m not feeling great today, and I’m very happy that we have plenty of food in the fridge so that mealtime won’t be a chore.

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Wednesday—repeat from last week

Since my aunt was in town, we ate at my dad’s last week instead of going out to McAlister’s.  Tonight, we’ll take advantage of a free meal.

We’ll pick up supper for free at McAlister’s tonight.  We have a couple of “supper club” punch cards that will make supper free for us, and our daughter will enjoy their “Kids Eat Free on Wednesday Nights”.  I phoned and asked if we could use them together, and they said that we could!  If I can resist getting one of their awesome teas, we’ll get water and the meal will be completely free!

Approximate cost--$0

Ways I saved on this meal—If a restaurant you frequent offers a punch card of any sort, get one.  I’ve even had other customers offer me their punches when they didn’t have a card to use, making me even closer to getting something for free.  McAlister’s has a supper club and a tea club.

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Thursday—St. Patrick’s Day

Irish stew

Irish Soda Bread 

Approximate cost--$6

Ways I saved on this meal—The beef was bought in bulk with friends from local farmers.  The price per pound came out to be right at $3.  I’ll pick up some cabbage to go along with some of the potatoes and carrots that I have at the house.  The Irish Soda bread is a cinch to make, and yum! 

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Friday

Today is our anniversary.  We decided that instead of going out to celebrate that we’d save the money for our Disney trip and have a special meal at home.  Hubby will grill one of the t-bones from our meat purchase.  I’ll make roasted sweet potatoes (Hubby’s favorite) and another side, depending on what looks good when I go to the grocery.

Approximate cost--$8-10

Ways I saved on this meal—I’ve mentioned the meat purchase and how it saved us money on the beef.  Notice that we are eating a lot more beef this week than we normally would.  We’re so excited to try everything!

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Saturday

The United Methodist Men will be hosting a tamale dinner—free and open to the public!

I’ll make my organic black bean chili.

I also signed up to make a dessert. Since we have a HUGE tub of ice cream leftover from the birthday party, I think I’ll just bring that to serve.

Approximate cost--$5

Ways I saved on this meal—The ground beef was bought in bulk with friends from local farmers.  The price per pound came out to be right at $3.  I’ll use some leftover black beans and pinto beans that are in the freezer.  The tomatoes will be some that I canned.  I’ll pick up some seasoning from the grocery and use a can of Ro*tel to add a bit of spice.  The Ro*tel was bought as part of a Mega Event earlier in the year.

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Sunday

Most likely we’ll eat leftovers today, but in case there aren’t enough we’ll have:

Chicken poppyseed casserole

Green beans (I found one more quart jar from what I had canned this summer!  Love that!)

Approximate cost--$6

Ways I saved on this meal—The chicken was bought on sale.  There was a ton of sour cream leftover from the party, and I’ll use it to make the casserole with some free after coupon and sale cream of chicken soup.  I’ll pick up some crackers for the topping at Kroger and will weigh the price of name brand with a coupon vs generic when I’m there.  I buy poppyseeds in bulk through Frontier.   The green beans were in the back of the pantry hiding, and I was tickled when I found them.

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