18 Nov

meal plan graphic

So I’ve been going back and forth over this idea for a while.

The idea being that I occasionally share our dinner menu for the week with you guys. I can’t guarantee that I’ll have a meal plan posted every week because life and general laziness will surely get in the way, but I’ll do my best.

My goal with this post is to inspire those of you who find yourselves stumped from time to time with what to put on the table and to show you that you can feed your family well without going broke in the process.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to just go for it but I figure we’ll give it a try and see how it goes.

I think we can all handle something new on this blog and if not, we’ll get through it together!

A few things you should know before we start:

I usually budget around $50 per week for dinners so if you’re looking for inexpensive meals, you’ve come to the right place!

Even though my grocery budget is tight, and it can be tempting to grab a box of “Helper” or a “Cream of Something” soup, I’m not okay with all of the chemicals that go into that stuff and frankly, I don’t care for the way they taste so you won’t find any of those products included in my meal plans.

We do not eat meat every night.

I’m not brand loyal or store loyal. I go where the sales are.

I don’t like to eat the same meals all the time. I love food and I love trying new dishes so I’m always checking in with my favorite bloggers as well as Pinterest for recipe inspiration. If I’ll be using a recipe found elsewhere, I’ll post a link to the original recipe.

I always plan my meals based on what I already have in my kitchen and what’s on sale that week. Your totals will obviously differ based on how many people you’re feeding, your local ads, and which ingredients you have on hand.

I plan six meals per week. One day each week we usually eat leftovers or pick up a pizza or something.

I’m feeding two adults, one ravenous teenage boy, and a little girl every night. None of us have any dietary restrictions or food allergies.

Lastly, I don’t plan meals for certain days simply because I may not be in the mood to make or eat a particular meal when its assigned day rolls around. So rather than list meals by day, I’ll just number them.

Okay, I think that just about covers it. Ready to get into this meal planning business?

Let’s do it!

On the menu this week:

1. B.E.A.S.T.’s (bacon, egg, avocado, spinach and tomato sandwiches)

Like a B.L.T. but with much more personality. I’ve got some sweet potato fries in the freezer that will go nicely along side these sandwiches.

2. Roasted Salad – Sausage, potatoes, sweet peppers, and asparagus

roasted salad

I originally found this recipe years ago on skinnytaste.com and somewhere along the line I added roasted asparagus. Cam started calling it “roasted salad” a while back so now that’s what we all call it.

In the spring/summer I love to use copious amounts of herbs de Provence instead of rosemary.

In the fall/winter I swap the russet/red potatoes for sweet potatoes. I like to toss them with a little cinnamon and grade B maple syrup before roasting. Any potato I use always gets a 10-15 minute head start.

It’s pretty much a meal in itself so you don’t really need anything to go along with it except maybe a glass of wine. 😉

3. Spicy Pumpkin Ale Chili

So pumpkin chili is totally a thing. Who knew? It was all over my blog feed for a while so I tried out a really simple version based on several recipes I saw online. We liked it but thought it could use a little something. So the next time I made it, I added plenty of spice and booze. You’re welcome. 🙂

4. One Pot Cheesy Smoked Sausage & Pasta Skillet

finished-one-pot-spicy-cheesy-sausage-skillet-titlephoto credit

I found this recipe on Pinterest and thought it looked yummy so we’re trying it out this week. I’ll have plenty of spinach leftover from the sandwiches so I’ll use it to make a quick side salad.

5. Roast Turkey with Homemade Gravy and Potato and Caramelized Onion Tart

I have to say it. I’m not a huge fan of Sandra Lee. Maybe it’s the way she says “expresso” that grates my cheese, or how she uses simple and easy as if they’re two completely different words, or it could even be all the tablescapes, but I had the tv on Food Network one afternoon last week while I was busy doing who knows what and she was making this tart.

I was intrigued so I made it myself and I have to tell you, even thought it doesn’t look like much, it’s pretty fantastic. I added minced garlic to the cream cheese mixture but you certainly don’t have to.

6. Leftover Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie

I have a variety of frozen veggies in my freezer so we’ll pick a green one and call this meal done.

7. Leftovers

Here’s what I had to pick up during my shopping trip this week. Items not listed were already on hand.

Items purchased at Aldi:

  • orange and yellow bell peppers: $1.29
  • pie crust: $1.69
  • 1 lb bag of asparagus: $2.69
  • bagged spinach: $.99
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes: $1.69
  • 3 lb bag of russet potatoes: $2.69
  • 2 lb bag of sweet onions: $1.99
  • 2 cartons of free range organic chicken broth: $3.38
  • avocado: $.69

Total spent: $17.10

Items purchased at Publix:

  • Al Fresco Sweet Chicken Apple Sausage: $4
  • 1 lb bag of mini sweet peppers: $2.99
  • 9.77 lb turkey – $5.77
  • applewood smoked bacon: $3.99
  • smoked sausage: $3.50
  • 2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes: $1.39
  • 16 oz. small pasta: $.69
  • whole wheat bread: $1.74
  • chipotle salsa: $.69
  • canned pumpkin: $1.75
  • canned black beans: $.85
  • canned kidney beans: $.85
  • chili powder: $1.99
  • pumpkin ale: $1.99

Total spent: $32.19

Total spent this week: $49.29

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