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9 Feb

meal plan 2-8-15

You’ll notice that this meal plan is a little different from the rest.

It doesn’t contain a list of ingredients that I needed from various stores or how much I spent.

If it’s okay with you, I’m going to skip that part from here on out.

From now on, I’ll just be sharing our meal plan from time to time to hopefully inspire some dinner ideas at your house.

I think that this is one of those times where keeping things simple is best.

So without any further adieu, here’s what we’ll be having for dinner this week:

 

1. Cheeseburger Soup – Hearty and delicious. Also makes plenty of leftovers so we’ll have this soup with a simple salad two nights in a row.

cheeseburger soupphoto credit

 

2. This pasta – I make a similar version of this dish but with cream or half and half instead of cream cheese. Can’t wait to try this version.

Creamy-Tomato-Spinach-Pasta-panphoto credit

 

3. Meatballs – With mashed potatoes and broccoli. Easy comfort food.

4. Taco salad – Cam’s favorite. I use tortilla chips instead of taco shells.

5. Pizza – I’ve got kids, they like pizza. What can you do?

6. Leftovers

 

That’s our plan this week. I hope you’ve gotten some ideas for your own meal plan and if not, check out previous meal plans for more inspiration.

 

 

 

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15 Dec

 

For anyone who visits this blog solely for the meal plans, I haven’t forgotten about you!

Last weekend was just too busy with my brother’s wedding happening to get any blogging done but I’m back this week with a few simple and delicious dinner ideas for you.

Hopefully you will find something here that inspires your meal planning.

Lots of ingredients are pulling double duty this week. That’s one of the ways I save money and make sure nothing goes to waste.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

 

1. Taco Pizza Rolls – I can’t wait to try these because I’m always looking for new ways to get guacamole into my mouth. There can never be too much guacamole! Also it’s tacos and pizza. I have a feeling these will be a big deal around here. I’m going to smash some black beans to add to the dough too before I roll it up.

 

Photo Credit

2. Moving Day Pizza – I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this one! I’m going to top flattened bread dough (already in my freezer and makes great pizza!) with some of the ingredients from my Moving Day Pasta (onion, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, and feta cheese) top with mozzarella and call it dinner!

3. Tortellini Soup – I’ve tried this one and it’s delicious. It also makes quite a bit so it’s perfect if you need to feed a crowd or if you want lots of leftovers, like me! Since it contains kale and tomatoes it’s basically a salad. All you need is a loaf of crusty bread to go with it. I do like to add diced tomatoes to my soup but you certainly don’t have to.

tuscan-tortellini-soupPhoto Credit

4. Chicken in a Creamy Parmesan and Sundried Tomato Sauce – Over pasta. ‘Nuff said.

Chicken in a Creamy Parmesan and Sundried Tomato Sauce 800 5212Photo Credit

5. Stuffed French Bread – My husband’s favorite food is sandwiches so he gets really excited when I make sandwiches for dinner. This is one of his favorites and I have to say, it’s one of mine too. It’s delicious! Just remember to double up on the napkins for this one! It’s messy but it’s so worth it. We’ll just have chips on the side.

My version is a little different from the original recipe. I like to simmer a sliced onion and a sliced green bell pepper in beer and a little Worcestershire sauce until the liquid has evaporated and the veggies are super soft. Then I add the cooked ground beef back in, add a few dollops of sour cream and stir to combine. I also use provolone and mozzarella because that’s what I usually have. I don’t use celery or the extra milk and I used Cuban bread the last time I made it because I’m a rebel!

stuffed-french-bread-main-682x1024Photo Credit

 

6. Leftovers

7. Leftovers – Again? I know. I only planned five meals this week because between the chicken and the soup, we’ll have plenty left over. We’ll have a little extra filling from the stuffed french bread sandwiches too so I may put that over rice or just make more sandwiches.

 

Here’s what I had to grab from the store this week. Items not listed were already on hand.

Publix

  • 1.25 lb ground beef to be split into two dinners (taco pizza & stuffed french bread) $5.58
  • shredded lettuce $1.99
  • tomato $.80
  • green bell pepper $1.29
  • sun-dried tomatoes $2.50
  • marinated artichokes $1.69
  • kalamata olives $3.89
  • chicken broth: $1.30
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese $1.75
  • sour cream: $.99
  • 1 lb kale: 1.99
  • 1 pint half & half: $1.89
  • frozen tortellini: $3.29
  • parmesan cheese wedge: $4.58
  • bucatini pasta: $1.69
  • Cuban bread: $2.59

Total: $37.81

Wal-Mart

  • *white wine: $2.97
  • 2 lbs chicken: $6.99

Total: $9.96

Total spent this week: $47.77

 

Yes, this wine is really cheap but it’s actually pretty good. I’m not a wine drinker so this bottle will be used for cooking and the hubs will drink the rest.

 

 

30 Nov

meal plan 11-30-14

 

If you’re in need of some simple and inexpensive dinner ideas for next week, you’ve come to the right place!

I actually left this week’s meal planning up to my husband and daughter because I had so many errands to run over the last few days.

I think they did a great job.

Here’s what we’ll be having, in no particular order of course.

 

1. Tacos – Tacos are Camryn’s favorite dinner so I think this one may have been her idea. She’ll take the leftovers to school for lunch with tortilla chips instead of taco shells. I already had plenty of cheese and several tomatoes that needed to be used up so this one was a great idea.

2. My Veggie Soup – This soup has lots of veggies in it. It’s also really easy to make. Like, ridiculously easy. I’ll post the recipe later this week. We’ll probably have grilled cheese sandwiches on the side. Yum! The leftovers will probably go along with Cam to school for lunch the next day.

3. Oven Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies

oven fried chickenphoto credit

I’m looking forward to trying a new recipe for oven fried chicken this week. Since I’ll have plenty of  green beans, corn, carrots, and peas left in the freezer that didn’t go into my veggie soup, I’ll just serve those remaining veggies with this meal.

4. Spaghetti – I use my mom’s sauce recipe which is fantastic. It also makes a ton so I usually freeze half to use another time. It’s one of those recipes with no measurements. You just keep adding things until it tastes right. One day I’ll get around to posting it here because it really is delicious.

5. Leftovers

6. Wedding Rehearsal Dinner – My brother is getting married next weekend and my parents are hosting the rehearsal dinner. I think we’re having BBQ so I’m pretty excited about that.

7. Wedding Buffet! – Another night that I don’t have to cook or reheat leftovers and there’s an open bar and free cake!? Yes please.

 

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

 

Aldi

  • 2 bell peppers (orange & yellow): $1.29
  • celery: $1.29
  • organic free range chicken broth: $1.69
  • canellini beans: .69
  • organic diced tomatoes: $1.49
  • frozen corn: .89
  • frozen peas: .89

Total: $8.23

Publix

  • 4 russet potatoes: $2.69
  • bagged shredded lettuce: $1.99
  • spaghetti rigati: $1.39
  • tomato paste: .60
  • tomato sauce: .40
  • taco shells: $1.89
  • frozen green beans: $1.39
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts: $6.79
  • 2 lbs ground beef: $9.08
  • 1 lb Italian sausage: $4.99
  • organic carrots: $1.29
  • Worcestershire sauce: $1.69

Total: $34.19

Total spent this week: $42.42

23 Nov

meal plan graphic 11/23/14

 

Hello Friends!

Are you ready for another week of dinner ideas?

I sure hope so because I’ve got our meal plan all ready to share with you.

I hope it gives you some ideas for the upcoming week.

 

1. Dinner Out – There is a place about a block away from us that makes great burgers and shakes. My son has been asking to go for a while and since both kids had great progress reports, we figure they deserve it.

2. White Chicken Chili – I’ve had this recipe pinned for a while but never got around to trying it out. It’s been pretty cold here in the evenings (okay… it’s cold for us Floridians) so I think a big bowl of this chili will be perfect.

white chicken chiliphoto credit

 

3. Pizza – Easy peasy

4. Black Bean and Sweet Potato Flautas – I love sweet potatoes in enchiladas, burritos, tacos, you name it! And I love flautas so I’m really looking forward to trying these out. Cam and I will make a big bowl of guacamole for dipping and maybe a side of cilantro lime rice.

sweet potato black bean baked flautas 450 watermarkphoto credit

 

5. Thanksgiving – My favorite meal of the year! We’ll be having turkey with all the trimmings and celebrating my mom’s birthday over at my parents house. My dad always does all of the cooking and every year we end up taking home lots of leftovers so I didn’t need to plan any dinners for the rest of the week.

6. Thanksgiving Leftovers

7.  Thanksgiving Leftovers – Yep, you guessed it. And no, I don’t try to recycle them into something new and make a brand new meal out of them. I love them just as they are. In fact, I usually eat them for lunch and dinner until we run out. I’m not the only one who does this, right?

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