We have been spending way more on groceries lately than I ever thought we would, between two adults, a toddler, and a 10-month old (not to mention two cats and a dog) a lot of food gets consumed in this home. My mama always told me after I got married that it is way more cost-effective to meal plan, grocery shop, and budget meals effectively and for the last five plus years of being married and managing a household, I didn't did heed her advice. I mean, I heard her advice, but financially we were never in a situation where I cared. I didn't care about watching what I ate and my husband & I ate what we wanted. Really, massive amounts of food probably had gotten thrown out of our home over the years due to being forgotten about before it went bad. I always took throwing away food with a grain of salt. Now, throwing out food makes me sick to my stomach and I refuse to fly by the seat of my hungry pants in the kitchen anymore. My nights are busy, we need to eat healthier, and we need to eat cost-effectively. End of story.
For the last two weeks I have made an effort to plan ahead for my week night meals and buy ahead on the weekend, and it seems to have worked out! I made sure to center my plan around perishable items I already had first, then non-perishable items second, and only ended up buying a handful of things for the week.
Monday-barbequed hamburgers & cheesy cauliflower
Items purchased- hamburger buns.
I know, my plan up there says chickpea patties. Initially I had planned on the chickpea patties only because (confession) there was a single hamburger bun in the pantry with a small moldy spot on it, small enough to pick off and put back in the cupboard. I didn't want it to go to waste. But then my husband too one look at this plan and said, "where's the barbeque in all of this?" I realized we had a little ground beef in the freezer to I took it out on Sunday night and made it into patties the next day, which my husband grilled. We also had a two-week old cauliflower in the fridge that was starting to get brown in spots, so I made my mom's famous cauliflower with cheese dish while Taylor grilled the burgers. Oh. And that single bun? The mold grew all over it overnight, so it was trashed. I'll have to plan for having something else to use up those buns this next week.
Tuesday- Thai-style spicy eggplant with chicken
Items purchased- Soy sauce, chicken, and vinegar
I think this was my win of the week! A friend from work gave me basil and mini eggplants from her garden, so I tentatively set off making the one dish I tend to enjoy at Thai restaurants. For some reason, whenever I have attempted to make Thai food or eggplant dishes, they come out awful and we end up dumping it, but I religiously followed the recipe and it came out perfect! I bought a three pack of chicken breasts and pan cooked them next to my dish for protein, and saved half of the chicken for Wednesday's dish.
Wednesday- Barbequed chicken with baked potatoes & leftover cauliflower
Items purchased: chicken, from above
This was yum. I simply put some potatoes in the microwave, shredded my leftover chicken with some barbeque sauce, topped with all the fixin's, and heated up the leftover cauliflower from two nights before.
Thursday- omelets and breakfast style potatoes
Items purchased: Nothing! I had everything on hand.
As a family, we go through about 2 dozen eggs a week. I eat a hard boiled egg at work every morning and scrambled eggs are one of the few nutritious, non-dairy proteins I can get Elliott to eat without a fight. Eggs! Also, we used up that last bit of potatoes we have had in the pantry for a few weeks and a large helping of the homemade salsa I made over the weekend.
Friday- leftovers & canned soup
Items purchased: Nothing.
We didn't have too much in the way of leftovers, and I was too tired to tackle the boxed cornbread & canned Hormel chili I had on the plan. (I know.) The good thing is, those are good sit-on-the-shelf-for-months pantry items, so maybe when autumn strikes we will add it back to the menu! Canned soup for the win!
I hope to share a little more of my meal planning as time goes on here. Through it all we still have to get Elliott to eat and the baby is trying new food everyday too. Feeding a toddler is no small task, but that's another post for another day. Challenges await every day.
|Sweet P's first taste of scrambled eggs! Notice the dog helping himself.|