Thursday, August 27, 2009

Meal Planning: It's working!

It's impossible for all four of us to go to the grocery store anymore, but we all love going together just because we can't spend enough time as a family. So, my solution, cutting down grocery shopping to one large trip every two weeks. I had meal planned in the past and used the sale ads in the Sunday paper as a guide to my meals, but I'd never really stuck to it. Now I've finally found out what is working for us. And as an added bonus, for whatever reason, it's saving us about $40 over two weeks.....down to about $70 per week. I am shopping two stores when I can....usually getting only dry goods from one of the stores so I can go during my lunch break, the other one Friday night or Saturday morning.

Our neighors brought these vegtables over on Thursday night. They knew Todd loved their yellow tomatoes so they brought tons. They also knew I made a green paper casserole and they threw in the ggplant for good wishes I guess. We'd actually never had eggplant before. And I figured I could make salsa with all those tomatoes!

This past week at work was busy, so I braved Meijers by myself with the two kiddos. Luke was in the big part of the cart with his trains and I wore Brooke in the moby wrap. After only bagging up two bags of peaches and Luke already throwing a fit, I thought for sure this trip was doomed. But somehow I was able to distract him long enough to get through the store. Here is everything we got for only $65.50 plus I got an extra $5 off coupon to use on my next shopping trip (thanks to my Entertainment book!)

Highlights include: 4 boxes of pasta for $1 each, Keebler cookies were 2 for $4 + $2.00 off 2 (Luke's potty treats!), Tropicana lemonade and tropical punch $.99 each,, peaches were $.69/lb, 2 boxes each of Wheat Thins and Triscuits were 1/2 off, Light and Fluffy noodles were $.99, Pears were $.77/lb, Cucumbers, Zucchini, and squash were all $.77/lb, 75 ft Recycled Aluminum foil was 2 for $4 + $2.00 off 2.

Then Sunday morning I hit up Krogers before the rush. I scored two loafs of Italian bread for $.69 each, 2 liters of pop were only $.79 and delicious corn for $.19/ear. I don't think there was any other godfather deals this week. Total bil was $79.20.

Later that night though our neighbors brought over even MORE produce. Here is the 6 lbs of green beans they brought and about 5 pints or so of cherry tomatoes. I didn't get pictures, but they also brought over 6 more eggplants, another bag of about 30 tomatoes, 15 assorted peppers, and about 10 more green peppers!

So total for both shopping trips and all the free produce from our neighbors was $154.70.

So, two weeks worth of meals from this?

Hamburgers with grilled broccoli and grilled foil packet potatoes
Ham and cheese quiche
Goldren pork chops with green beans in bacon and corn
BLTs with corn on the cob and chips and salsa
Marinated flank steak with griled zucchini and potatoes
Summer Sausage pasta
Soft tacos with mexican rice
Fried perch with baked beans, beer battered onion rings, and macaroni salad for 8
Stromboli pizza packets
Salsa chicken with mexican rice
Ratatouille with homeade garlic bread
Cheese tortolini with sundried tomatoes and grilled chicken
Marinated gilled chicken with arkansas green beans

Lunches included pasta salad, salads, leftovers, sandwiches, and peanut butter and jelly with granola bars, wheat thins, triscuits and cheese

Breakfast incuded pop tarts, cereal, orange rolls, yogurt, smoothies, bagels and cream cheese, and Christmas breaffast casserole this coming Sunday.

Snacks for Luke include hummas with pita chips and baby carrots, turkey dogs served with pretzel sticks, celery with peanut butter and raisins, pretzel sticks with rolled up ham and cheese, grape and pear kabobs with yogurt dipping sauce, applesauce, dried banana chips, peanuts with banana cheerios and :ahm: 8 lb bag of M&Ms for bribary purposes. Granted, the bag of M&Ms will last about 6 months, but I thought it was funny they came in bags that big! Haha!

And a few extras we got from these shopping trips: frozen pears and frozen peaches for Brooke's baby food I'll make this winter, microwave pickels, salsa (enough to fill 6 canning jars, 4 of which we gave away since I don't have canning supplies yet), oatmeal chip lactation cookies, sundried tomatoes couple pounds of frozen tomatoes I'll make into marinara sauce or salsa later, and a couple lbs of trimmed and blanched green bean.

We literally have more than enough food to eat for the next two weeks and for less than $80/wk. It's not the healthiest food in the world, but trust me, this is much of an improvement over what we used to eat and we're working on it.

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