July 10, 2011

Meal Planning—Getting back into the swing of things

We’ve been entertaining relatives for the last couple of weeks, and I haven’t had much time to blog meal plans.  I’ve been too busy cooking the meals!  ;)  Hopefully this week things will be slowly getting back to normal.  We have a ton to do to play catch-up, but I’m hoping that this meal plan will be close to what we can expect this week.

After injuring myself with a knife, I’m not entirely sure that Hubby is going to let me in the kitchen unsupervised.  If he does, I’ll be cooking and preserving.

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

Vegetable meal

Green beans

Pasta salad

Summer squash

Braised kale

Homemade popsicles for dessert

Approximate cost--$5

Ways I saved on this meal—The squash, kale and vegetable ingredients for the pasta salad are free from the garden.  The green beans were bought at a local farmers market for less than I would have paid at the grocery.  The pasta was free with a coupon and sale at Kroger.  The olive oil that I’ll use for the pasta salad was bought in bulk.  The lemon juice and cheese that I’ll add to the salad were both on sale when I bought them at Kroger.  We made the popsicles with blueberries from our garden, bananas that were over-ripened and stuck in the freezer, some leftover goat’s milk from when my sister was here, a little leftover orange juice from when company was in town, and some organic vanilla yogurt.  Yum!

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Meal 2

Soup from the freezer

Leftover veggies

If I make it to the grocery by the time I make this meal, I’ll also make a salad. 

Approximate cost--$3

Ways I saved on this meal—Since organic lettuces are on sale at Kroger this week, I’ll try and make it to the store to pick some up.   We’re trying to scale back and eat healthier, and veggie meals help.  I found the soup in the freezer when I was making the popsicles, and in spite of the heat, I could eat soup year around.  ~~~~~

Meal 3

Pasta with homemade pesto

Leftover salad (if I made it)

Approximate cost--$8-$12—this is about what the cost of the pine nuts will be, but I’ll be making a large batch

Ways I saved on this meal—I’m hoping to have the opportunity to make pesto this week.  I’ll use the first wave of basil now that the plants are fuller, making  a large batch and freezing some of it.  Since I don’t add the cheese until we serve it, the pesto doesn’t turn brown in the freezer.  I’ll pick up some pine nuts at Three Rivers Market and use garlic from our garden and olive oil I bought in bulk.  The pasta was free after coupon and sale.

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Meal 4

Turkey bacon BLTs

Leftover veggies or salad or some from the garden

Approximate cost--$3

Ways I saved on this meal—I know that it is almost a sacrilege to make BLTs with anything but real bacon.  Yet, my dad gave me some turkey bacon he had bought for when my sister was here and didn’t use.  Rather than it go to waste, I thought this would be a slightly leaner version of BLTs.  We’ll add some veggies on the side that are either leftovers or straight from the garden.  The mayo was bought with a sale and coupon and the whole wheat bread was BOGO last week.  ~~~~~

Meal 5

Roasted chicken

Black beans from the freezer

Corn on the cob

Tomato and cucumber slices

Approximate cost--$7

Ways I saved on this meal—I bought an organic chicken that was marked down at Kroger a couple of weeks ago, and I had a coupon.  Great deal!  The corn was some that I bought at Kroger with a coupon and sale in the freezer section.  I had thought I would use it when company was in town, but we didn’t.  I’ll use it to make room in the freezer.  The beans are to be used for the same reason.  The tomatoes and cukes are from the garden.  This is a large meal, but the chicken will be used for at least two more suppers and possibly lunches.  While we are meat eaters, we don’t eat as much as most people do at a sitting. 

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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

Rice salad with chicken and veggies from the garden

Approximate cost--$5

Ways I saved on this meal—I’ll make some organic brown rice (bought in bulk at TRM when last on sale), add some shredded leftover chicken, whatever veggies are in the garden and strike my fancy, some lemon juice, olive oil, herbs and a little red wine or balsamic vinegar and season to taste.  Great hot or cold. 

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