Meal Planning

You want to see your grocery budget cut way down? Plan your meals! I am a meal planner.  I always have been.  For the majority of my adult life I have had a somewhat limited food budget and planning meals is one of the best ways to save money. I usually sit down every other Sunday and work out the next two weeks. I focus on things that are on sale and build my weeks around that.  If pork is cheap this week then we would be looking at pulled pork sandwiches, carnita burritos, shredded pork sheppards pie, etc.  I personally know a lot of people who would hate that much of the same kind of food in a week but I don’t mind.  I find it so much easier to cook up two big pork roasts on Monday and use the meat throughout the week.  It saves me money and it saves me time.

But this summer I will be changing it up a bit. One of my goals is to focus on eating more fruits and vegetables and creating some lighter meals.  So I am only planning one week at a time, that way I don’t throw money away on veggies or fruits that have gone bad. One of the things I always hear is that it costs just as much to eat healthy foods as boxed foods.  I personally don’t find that to be true.  But I thought I would put it to the test with a week of healthyish meals and see if I can stay in my normal food budget.

So here is what this week looks like:

Breakfasts

Cereal

Oatmeal with fruit (2 times)

Whole wheat toast with humus, pomegranate and cashews (2 times)

Whole wheat toast with almond butter and bananas (2 times)

Lunches

Chicken Salad in a pita

Veggies with humus and fruit (2 times)

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with fruit (2 times)

Salad or Ramen (2 times)

Dinners

Creamy garlic chicken over whole wheat linguine with roasted broccoli

Drumsticks with grilled veggies

Crispy chickpea cakes with cabbage salad and fruit

Ranch chicken bake and fruit

Spring rolls with spicy peanut dipping sauce and salad

Salmon with asparagus and wild rice

Buffalo chicken wraps

I am trying some new things.  I have never been real big on breakfast but now that I am biking in the mornings I find myself starving by 10:00.  I’ve been reading a lot about power toast and figured I would give it a try.  I am also trying some new recipes and obviously some lighter options.  I always have one meat free night a week (purely for saving money) but I thought I would throw one more in there and see if Mike complains.

Here is my grocery list:

3- whole wheat bread pitas humus plain yogurt
spring roll wrappers eggs ramen cereal
2-chicken broth whole wheat linguine ranch packet pickled beets
chili sauce 3-chickpeas salmon bananas
raspberries mango kiwi blackberries
grapes oranges pomegranate colored peppers
carrots broccoli garlic red potatoes
green beans cilantro mint limes
bibb lettuce leaf lettuce iceburg lettuce avocados
tomatoes green cabbage shallots onions
asparagus dill cauliflower purple cabbage
lemons zucchini yellow squash

You will notice a lack of meat, with the exception of salmon, that is because I fill my deep freeze when I find it on sale so that I don’t have to buy it all the time. Also, the fruits I picked were chosen because they were needed in a recipe or on sale in my grocery store ads. So tonight I will set out grocery shopping and see if it really is as doable as people claim.  I’ll post again with my results and the recipes for the things we actually end up liking.  But in the mean time here are some pictures of the new foods we are going to try (I found the recipes on pinterest, no surprise there).

spring rolls

chickpea

toast

chicken

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