August 21, 2011

Meal Planning, Week of My Birthday!

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.

Birthday Meals (Two meals)

Hubby and daughter are taking me out to eat and my family is taking me out another night.  Happy Birthday to me!

Approximate cost—$0 (Part of my birthday present)

Ways I saved on this meal—I’ll have some special meals this week with family, and I’m blessed to have people around me who want to celebrate.  I’ll also be taking advantage of as many of the other birthday freebies that I signed up for (Baskin Robbins, for example).

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Meal 3

Baked Chicken with Herbs

Green Beans from the freezer

Corn on the cob

Roasted tomatoes

Approximate cost--$6.50

Ways I saved on this meal—The herbs are from our garden, making them essentially free.  The green beans are leftovers that I froze earlier in the summer.  My green beans in the home garden have not produced but a few handfuls of beans.  A friend of mine said she was having a similar problem.  Anyone else out there noticing this?  The organic chicken was bought with a coupon.   I bought the Green Giant corn on the cob with a coupon and sale at Kroger.  Since I’ll have the oven already heated up, and I still have plenty of tomatoes, I thought I’d roast a few.  The pop of color and dreamy flavor will add a little oomph to the meal.

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Meal 4

Chicken, tomato, and basil pasta

Approximate cost--$.50

Ways I saved on this meal—Leftover chicken means that I only have to use the oven one time for multiple meals.  In the summer, that is a definite plus!  The garden is starting to produce less and less, but the cherry tomatoes and basil are still looking good.  Since the are essentially free, I’ll load them up in the pasta.  The pasta is some of the Ronzoni that I picked up free after coupon and Mega Event at Kroger a while back.  The sauce will be a simple oil and lemon juice mix with seasoning.  Since we use a lot of olive oil, I usually buy it at Sam’s to make it less expensive.   The lemon juice is some that I bought on sale (unfortunately not fresh lemons).  If you do have fresh lemons, you can use some of the zest in this dish as well for a really nice touch.  Oh, and I’ll probably add some garlic that we grew this year to the pasta, too. 

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Meal 5

If I have enough chicken leftover, I’ll make a small batch of chicken salad.  If not, I’ll make this tuna salad recipe.

Chicken Salad with cranberries and pecans or Tuna Salad

Cheese and crackers

Mandarin Oranges

Carrot sticks

Approximate cost--$5

Ways I saved on this meal—Since we can usually get three meals out of one large chicken, I am guessing that we’ll have chicken salad on this night.  I will use celery, onion, cranberries, pecans and pickles for the salad.  For Hubby and daughter, I’ll add some mayo, and since I’m trying to cut some calories, I’ll have mine without.  I still have some Laughing Cow cheese that I scored last week at Kroger for less than a dollar after coupon, and I’ll pair it with some whole wheat crackers I bought on sale.  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.  The carrot sticks are from the garden.

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Meal 6

Breakfast for Supper

Shirred eggs

Berries and yogurt

Zucchini Bread or Toast

Slices of tomato

Approximate cost--$4

Ways I saved on this meal—The tomato will be from the garden.  The berries were some that we picked and froze this summer.  I bought the yogurt at Three Rivers when they were having their sale on refrigerated items before they moved stores.  Shirred eggs with a little milk, cheese, and herbs sounded like a nice treat.  I haven’t made them in ages, and it will be something different.  The eggs were some that a neighbor gave to me as thanks for giving her some watermelon.  I’ll pull some zucchini bread from the freezer and give the family and option of that or toast with homemade jam. 

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Meal 7

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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