Monday, November 28, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

After a turkey filled weekend, we're nearly out of leftovers (thank goodness). That does mean, though, that I need to think a little harder about this week's meals.

As I plan out my weekly menu, I ask myself a few money saving questions:
What's already in the house that I can use? 
What's on sale? 
What do I have coupons for?
Which items are on sale AND have coupons?

After looking through the fridge and freezer and scanning the store ads, this is my meal plan for the coming week (five meals, not assigned to specific days - I'm too fickle for that). I've included links to any meals with online recipes.
  • Turkey Noodle Soup, French Bread - I plan to use the last of the leftover turkey and broth, as well as noodles (e-mailing No Yolks will likely get you a free bag), veggies, and bread already in the house. 
  • Balsamic Salmon, Brown Rice, and Veggies (whichever ones are left) - All ingredients are in the house. Let's hope the salmon doesn't let me down. I'm having bad flash backs of the pink goo from a few weeks ago.
  • Fried Ravioli with Pesto Cream Sauce (my own made up recipe, but something like this), Salads - The ravioli, bread crumbs, and pesto are in the house. I'll buy a bag of Dole salad, which is on sale for $2.00. I have a $0.75 coupon, making it $1.25.
  • Asian Chicken Breasts (from For the Love of Cooking - LOVE that blog!), green beans, rice - Everything should be in the house for this one.
  • Left over soup - or - Spaghetti (use homemade sauce from the freezer - I stock up on ingredients, like canned tomatoes, when prices are low) - I like to have at least one easy meal in the plan. They help me fight the urge to eat out when I really don't feel like cooking. 
Obviously, these meals only take care of dinners (and lunches for Alex - he LOVES leftovers). We're stocked up on breakfast foods, like cereal and oatmeal, but I'll need to pick up a few lunch items for Nolan and myself, as well as weekly non-perishables, like milk and produce. This is where I'll head back to my ads and coupons to do some price comparing and calculating (Kroger is looking pretty good for milk and fruit - $1 blackberries!). To save more money, you can pick up specific items at different stores offering the best price, instead of doing one big trip to a single grocery store (I know, not convenient for everyone).

Reader Response: Do you create a weekly meal plan for your family? Share it in the comments section! Feel free to link any online recipes.

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