July 25, 2011

Meal Planning, Week of Coupon Expo

On Saturday of this week, I’ll be the workshop presenter for the Knoxville News-Sentinel Coupon Expo.  I will be spending a good chunk of the week getting ready for that, and you’ll see a few more easy-to-prepare meals as a result.

This meal plan is for a family of 3.  We often have at least one friend or family member over to share a meal with us during the week.  Since I factor the cost of the meal when I first prepare it, leftovers will be marked as $0.  When we dine out, it comes from a different part of the family budget and those expenses will also show $0.

Meal 1

Date Night with Hubby

Approximate cost—Tip only

Ways I saved on this meal—We have a couple of free appetizer coupons for Ruby Tuesday and will use those for our meal.  We’ll leave a tip for the server based on the amount that those would have otherwise cost.  We received the free appetizer coupons when we had some mix-ups with our meal and the manager came to our table when last at a Ruby Tuesday. 

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Meal 2

Supper at my dad’s place

Approximate cost--$0

Ways I saved on this meal—We’ll plan to eat supper at my dad’s at least one night this week.  The great thing about having him in the same city is that we are able to see him more often.  Sometimes he comes over to our place and sometimes we go to his.  Not only does it make the meals more interesting to have someone else prepare something, but it saves each of us money. 

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Meal 3

Pasta with homemade pesto

Approximate cost--$0.50 (cheese only)

Ways I saved on this meal—When I was the speaker for the Weston A. Price Foundation meeting last week, Michael and Teresa surprised me with a quart jar full of homemade pesto!!  I was thrilled.  On this night, we’ll scoop out some of it and add it to the Ronzoni pasta that I “bought” for free with coupons and Mega Event sale at Kroger a month or so ago.  The only addition will be a bit of Parmesan cheese that we have in the fridge.  I’ll probably add some of the fresh veggies from the garden as a side dish/salad.

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Meal 4

Hot Dogs with Whole Wheat Buns

Squash from the garden

Sliced tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden

Roasted green beans from the garden

Approximate cost--$3

Ways I saved on this meal—I picked up the nitrate free hot dogs at Kroger when on sale last, and I think that with the coupon they were $1.49.  The whole wheat buns are the Rudi’s organic brand that I picked up at Three Rivers Market with a $1/1 coupon, making them only $1.50 a pack.  They are THE BEST hot dog buns I’ve ever tasted.  YUM!  The rest of the food will be from the garden, making it essentially free. 

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Meal 5

Patty Melts

Leftover veggies from the garden

Veggies from the freezer

Approximate cost--$4.50

Ways I saved on this meal—I purchased organic ground beef at the grocery marked down with a coupon, making it a great deal!  I’ll fry these in a cast iron skillet with a bit of seasoning and add some cheese at the last minute to the top.  We’ll enjoy whatever veggies we have that need eating in the fridge, and if needed we’ll pull some green beans or purple hull peas from the freezer to add to the meal.

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Meal 6

Leftovers

Approximate cost--$0

Ways I saved on this meal—Cook once and eat twice.  Love that!

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Meal 7

Steak on the grill

Veggie kebobs—squash, onions, bell peppers

Deviled eggs

Approximate cost--$6

Ways I saved on this meal—As I’ve mentioned before, we purchased 1/8 of a steer with friends early in the year.  The price per pound was a little more than $3.  We watched a friend’s chickens while she was gone last week, and I still have 3 of those eggs.  I’ll make up a mini batch of deviled eggs to go with the grilled foods.

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