December 13, 2011

Meal Planning, Getting back in the swing of meal planning

“As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.” Buddy Hackett

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.

Since I’ve been on a blogging hiatus, I’ve not been meal planning as diligently.  As a result, we’ve made a few more trips to restaurants than we normally would have.  Isn’t it funny how we all know that suppertime comes around every day at about the same time, and yet, we’re surprised by it if we don’t have a plan???  Here’s to hoping that getting back on track will help!

Kid Konnection Meal

One night a week, we help with the children’s program at church.

We are going super easy on this night because we’ll be taking the kids to perform at a local assisted living facility.  We’ll make some nachos. 

I’ve had a little “come to Jesus” with myself, as we would say in the South, about the foods we’ve been giving to the kiddos.  This is the last meal of the year, and part of my New Year’s resolution is to pay special attention to the nutritional quality of the foods.  I’ll hope to write more about that plan of action next year.

Approximate cost—$0, from church budget

Ways I saved on this meal—The chips were leftover from a church function.  The jalapenos were some that I canned.  The cheese and sour cream were donated.  ~~~~~

Meal 2

Roasted Chicken
Roasted Summer Squash
Steamed Broccoli
Garlicky Kale
Dilled Red Potatoes

Approximate cost--$5

Ways I saved on this meal—I paid 99cts/lb for regular chicken.  They didn’t have the type of organic chicken that I like at the store, and so I settled.  The squash and broccoli were some that my dad had bought too much of, and he passed it on to me.  I had roasted some squash in the oven before, and I decided that it would be a good way to use the full capacity of the oven once it was heated.  When I was in the garden last, I saw dill popping up everywhere, and when I saw red potatoes marked down at Kroger, I knew what I would be making tonight.  I had some Tuscan kale that survived the summer, and I decided to pick it.  You can see below what I did with most of it.  I had some leftover, and since I’m the only person in the house who really loves it, I did a quick pan sear in olive oil with a couple of cloves of garlic just for me. 

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Meal 3

Potato and Kale Soup

Approximate cost—$2

Ways I saved on this meal—I used one of the chicken breasts from the previous meal to make chicken broth for the base of the soup.  I used some onions I had frozen earlier in the year, organic celery and carrots from the store, and the kale from the garden.  The potatoes were some that I caught as part of a 4 day sale at Kroger.  I bought Cruze Dairy Farm milk at Three Rivers Market, and for organically grown milk, it is a great price at $6 per gallon.  I finished the soup with a bit of butter I had caught on sale at Kroger a few weeks back.  We’ll have soup with crackers (also bought on sale) tonight, and I’ll share the rest with a friend of mine who just had a baby. 

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Meal 4

Daddy makes pizza
Crudités
Apple Slices

Approximate cost—$6

Ways I saved on this meal—I caught a great deal on frozen pizza a few weeks ago and bought a few extras.  This is an easy meal for Hubby to make, as I know that at least one night this week I’ll be at a late meeting. The veggies were all on sale when purchased, and the apples were $1/lb.

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Meal 5

Breakfast for Supper

Eggs and Rice
Fruit Salad
Toast Points and Homemade Jam

Approximate cost--$3

Ways I saved on this meal—I usually plan at least 1 breakfast for supper meal per week.  These are usually fast meals for busy nights, and they cost less because they usually rely on eggs as the source of protein.  The eggs for the base of the meal were given to me by a friend who has chickens.  The veggies will be from the garden and what we’ve preserved in the freezer.  The organic brown rice was some that I made up earlier in the week.  It takes so long to cook that whenever I make it I always cook extra to have for other meals.  It was bought in bulk and on sale at Three Rivers Market a few months ago.  I’ll use some of the summer berries we froze earlier this year with a bit of peaches I canned and some bananas and apples to make the salad.  My price point for whole wheat bread is $2 or under.  With a great coupon, I scored it for less than that and froze a few loaves. 

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Meal 6

Tuna Fish Salad
Crackers
Leftover Soup (most likely some from the freezer)

Approximate cost--$3

Ways I saved on this meal—My price point for tuna is 69cts or less a can, and when I see it at this price, I try to buy a few extras.  I add carrots (sale), celery (sale), green onions (from the garden), apples (sale), mayo (great sale at Kroger a half a year ago, bought extras), Tony’s, and eggs (free from a friend) to my tuna fish salad. The crackers are generic ones from Kroger that were also on sale.

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Meal 7

Supper at church.  The youth are having a fundraiser before the Christmas program.

Approximate cost--$0, from a different part of the budget

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