Monday, May 7, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

    I'm finally back to meal planning!  It's been awhile since I've posted our meals because of the intense morning sickness and lack of interest before that.  Right now, it's not an option not to because we're on a strict budget and are trying to save as much as we can (and the reason for that is enough to fill another blog post, and I will one day soon).

     Here's a list of our homemade meals and snacks this week, because meal planning saves me a ton of money, time, energy and it's way healthier.

    Since I stay at home most of the time, I normally only eat 1-3 meals out per week, but since we're on a saving spree, I'm really trying to keep it at once per week (our weekly night out as a family).  Joel eats out a bit more than me since he works outside of the home and he's not a fan of packing or leftovers (he is much pickier than Jack believe it or not) so without careful planning on my part, it's easy for him to spend too much on food else-where.

     I also try to cook at least one meal per day with Jack.  I grew up hating the idea of cooking.  I don't know why I resisted so much (we ate a lot of fast food, frozen food and burnt food that first year of marriage)... but I try to include Jack every-time because right now it's fun for him and I want him to love to cook and know how.  And he eats 99% of whatever he helps me make (so that helps curve the picky eating habits).  It's also another moment I get to share with him that doesn't involve cars, dinosaurs or play dough :)

     Several of these meals will have massive leftovers or can be made twice with the amount of the ingredients I'll have, so this week will very likely carry us over into the next week saving us some money too.

1) cucumber cream cheese sammies  w/ watermelon
2) whole wheat chicken fettuccine alfredo & veggies x2
3) Italian sausages, sauerkraut & potatoes
4) banana pancakes & eggs (mmm brinner)
5) homemade broccoli & cheese soup & cornbread (this recipe makes massive soup)

low-fat chocolate chip zucchini bread

Choco-Cherry Bomb- an amazing smoothie with organic soy milk, spinach, frozen cherries and raw cocoa... even Jack loves it and we make it almost daily to get those extra greens in our diet.

Our Grocery List:
(I include everything on my list that I plan to pick up even the non-food related items, several items we already have in our pantry/ refrigerator)
The pricing listed next to the item is also my estimated guess, I'm usually pretty close!
brown sugar $3
baking soda $3
eggs $2
chocolate chips $6
maple syrup $4
1-1/2 cups zucchini $3
2 loafs whole wheat bread $4
2 boxes of cereal $6
large watermelon $4
veggie tray $6
tomato soup $2
white vinegar $3
bananas $4
body wash $4
kid's body wash $6
prescription $10
spinach $3
1 bag frozen cherries $4
organic soy milk $3
2 boxes mac & cheese $2
laundry soap $5  (because we're running a bit low on my homemade blend and may run out within the next week or two)
trash bags $6
butter $3
2x cucumbers $3

Estimated amount that will be spent: $99, but $79 after the refund below.
*I have $20 worth of items to return at walmart, so that will help save me some money there before I head off to Krogers.

Actual amount spent:
Walmart- $0, after using the $26 refund (it was more than I had remembered)
Krogers- $83.02
But I also threw an $8 cheese shredder into the cart (I forgot I needed one for the zucchini recipe), two boxes of granola bars, and two packs of activia yoghurt.
All things I would have bought originally, but forgot to put on my list before-hand so I don't feel guilty :)

All in all, I feel good about today.  My projected amount I wanted to spent for the total day was $79 and my actual costs ended up being $83.02.

Do you meal plan?  What are some of your favorite, cheap meals?


  1. I wish I was more organised and planned my meals. I might try and do it next week, I have no doubt it would work out cheaper.

  2. I wish I could meal plan, but Bud and Gavin are so picky I would be the only eating what I planned! I also find it difficult with Bud working nights. Are these the meals you guys eat for lunch when Joel is home or is this what you and Jack have for dinner? We usually just have a "fend for yourself" eating routine since everyone seems to be on a different schedule!!

  3. awesome, awesome meal plan and savings!'ve got it together, girl :)
    i so need to take some tips from you. steve and i get on these kicks where we will do so well with cooking and then all of the sudden, it's take-out central for a week.
    i'm thinking that this new lil' love inside of me will change a lot of that...i actually really want to learn to cook and get my butt to the grocery store more.
    ahhh, cucumber sandwiches with watermelon, banana pancakes, homemade soup n' cornbread...i'm coming to your place!!

    thank you so much for your comment the other night, olivia. it was so made me start to cry. thank you for understanding and being a wonderful support <3
    means a lot.

    wishing you and your boys a beautiful thursday!!


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