August 29, 2011

Meal Planning, Can you believe that September is almost here?

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

Grilled Carolina Pride Sausage on Rudi’s Hot Dog Buns

Sliced tomatoes

Grilled summer squash

Grilled green beans

Approximate cost—$4

Ways I saved on this meal—The Carolina Pride products were BOGO at Kroger last week, and I had a few 50ct/1 coupons.  This made the sausage $1. I scored a good deal on the Rudi’s Hot Dog Buns at Three Rivers Market a few weeks ago and froze them.  The vegetables are all from the garden, picked on Saturday.  Finally, I’m starting to see a few green beans on the vines!  Since I only have a couple of handfuls of them, I thought it would be fun to brush them with olive oil and grill them with the other foods.   I’ll probably add some of the squash relish that I made earlier in the summer to the hot dogs and use some of the free after coupon and sale mustard. Daughter prefers ketchup, and we have some Heinz organic I bought for a little more than a quarter with a printable coupon earlier in the summer.

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Meal 2

Red Beans and Rice with leftover sausage

Sliced tomatoes on the side

Approximate cost—$4-$5

Ways I saved on this meal—The beans were about $1/lb.  I’ll make a big pot of them and use a couple of pounds worth.  This way I can freeze them in smaller containers and use them as needed for recipes and other meals.  Rice was some that I bought at Three Rivers Market when on sale last, and I think it was a little more than $1/lb.  I really can’t remember.  When I buy bulk products like that, I try to purchase extras so that I have them on hand until the next sale.  The tomatoes are from the garden.  I’ll add some hot peppers from the garden (ours and my dad’s) and some Tabasco that was free after coupon and sale. 

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Meal 3

Supper at McAlister’s on Wednesday

Approximate cost—$0

Ways I saved on this meal—I have a $5 off coupon and a coupon for free tea (Knox County School Coupon Books expire on the 31st).  Daughter will dine for free with Hubby’s meal purchase.  For the three of us to dine out, it will probably cost under $12.  Since I have a little birthday money from a relative, we’ll stay in our family budget. 

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Meal 4

BLTs

Crudités and dip

Homemade popcorn

Approximate cost--$.50

Ways I saved on this meal—I’ll either use the bacon that I bought as part of the Carolina Pride Sale, or I’ll use some of the Benton’s bacon that I bought at the Three Rivers Market sale and froze.   I have 1 Brandywine tomato that is almost ripened, and it will be perfect for this meal.  I’ll pick up some lettuce at the store and use the Hellman’s mayo I bought on sale at Kroger with a fabulous $2 off mailer coupon!  We’ll add some crudités with the Helluva dip that I picked up for less than a quarter at Kroger last week.  I’ll pop some homemade popcorn (kernels bought on sale at Three Rivers and coconut oil was bought in bulk with friends through Mountain Rose Herbs).

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Meal 5

Tuna Salad

If I don’t use this tuna salad recipe then I’ll try and recreate the curried tuna salad that I love at the Tea at the Gallery

Corn on the cob

Mandarin Oranges

Cherry Tomatoes

Approximate cost--$5

Ways I saved on this meal— The mandarin oranges were from Kroger, and I was pleased to see them a little less than 50cts.  I bought almost 20 cans when I saw them for that price since it is hard to find the oranges in juice for less than 50cts.  Tuna was bought on sale, as were all of the ingredients.  I rarely buy anything that I don’t get some sort of discount on.  ;)  The corn on the cob is the last of the Green Giant that I bought earlier in the summer as part of a Kroger Mega Event with a coupon.  I’ll be glad to have it out of the freezer!

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Meal 6

Breakfast for Supper

Garden Omelet

Cheese Toast Points

Fruit

Approximate cost--$4-$5

Ways I saved on this meal—Eggs are a great way to get some inexpensive protein into the family, and what is simpler than an omelet to make?  Unfortunately, these are grocery store eggs that I bought last week.  Three Rivers wasn’t yet opened (where I usually prefer to buy my eggs if I can’t get them from a local farmer), and I needed them.  They weren’t even on sale!  The veggies from the garden are essentially free.  The organic cheese is some that I bought on sale with a coupon.  Fruit—the passion fruits are looking bigger, but I don’t think that they are quite ready to pick.  I’ll most likely use some of the berries from the freezer with sweetened sour cream.   The whole wheat bread for the toast points is some that I bought on sale.  If I get industrious, I’ll nix the toast points and make some cheese biscuits instead. 

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Meal 7

REPEAT FROM LAST WEEK—I never made it to this meal last week since we had leftovers a few nights. 

Cheese Quesadillas

Beans

Calabacitas

Salsa, Sour Cream, Pickled Jalapenos

Approximate cost--$6

Ways I saved on this meal—The ingredients for the calabacitas are from the garden, with the exception of the corn.  I’ll add some of the corn that I bought at Black Oak Farms a few weeks ago and froze.  Whenever I catch a deal on beans, I buy extra.  I very rarely buy beans in a can.  They are just way too easy to make yourself and cost a lot less money.  I use a traditional recipe of soaking them for almost a full day (see the book Nourishing Traditions if you want to learn more). Whenever I make a pot of them, I cook at least a full pound.  This allows me to freeze them in small containers and pull them out whenever I need some for a recipe or side dish.  I caught the tortillas on sale last week at Kroger, and the cheese was some that I bought on sale with a coupon.  The salsa is locally made and I buy it by the case at Three Rivers Market to make it a little less expensive.  It is still over $3 a jar, but it is our favorite.  The sour cream was bought on sale with a coupon.  The jalapenos are some from the garden that I pickled.  Yum!

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