As you know I like to plan out my meals to not only make the process of knowing what is for dinner easier, but it also helps me to stay on a budget! We already spend WAY more than I would like for our family of 7. We don’t each much “junk” food or processed foods, unfortunately those are usually the items that have coupons! I usually shop every 2 weeks (payday). Some times I try to go every week, but that doesn’t always work. In the summer months that worked out great because the extra produce I would buy I could store in the garage refrigerator, but now that it is winter the food freezes out there. Trust me, frozen romaine lettuce doesn’t make a great salad! So I have been buying more frozen fruits and vegetables since I can’t store them out there. I think fresh is always the best route, but I know that isn’t always possible due to seasons or budget. So, if you can’t buy fresh produce then opt for frozen, and lastly canned. I say to have canned as a last option only because of all the sodium that is in most canned vegetables or the sugary syrup that is added to fruits.
So how to I go about making my menu and shopping list? I start by grabbing my Weekly Menu planner sheets and my Shopping list sheets. On the weekly menu planner I write the date at the top of each day. On each day I write B, S, L, S, D, S (Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack), since I usually eat 6 small meals a day. I will check the weekly ads for the stores that I shop. Every time I go shopping I stop at these three store: Sprouts, King Soopers, and Costco. It makes for a very long day, since I usually have all 5 kids with me! At least the older 3 are great helpers and they get to learn about price comparing and using their math skills in action! I will see which produce or meat items are on sale at each store. I have found that the skinless boneless chicken breast has been cheaper at Sprouts lately…I used to always buy it at Costco. I have a habit of buying pretty much the same items every 2 weeks. So I get very familiar with the prices from each store. Just a quick reminder that for the healthiest foods, stick to foods on the perimeter of the store…items that are down the isles are usually all processed things!
When planning my meals, I turn to my favorite cookbook, the Fixate (you can order yours with the link provided) cookbook, my blog for past ideas, and pinterest! You can follow me on pinterest for ideas as well! On my weekly menu sheet I know that each day I will have a Shakeology, that is usually my morning snack. Breakfast is usually Overnight Steel Cut Oats of some sort or scrambled eggs with veggies! I try to make enough dinner to have leftovers for lunch the following day. I plan my dinners according to what is on sale. For my afternoon snack, I usually have some nuts and veggies or sorts. The last snack of the day is Greek yogurt with a chopped apple and cinnamon…most nights! It helps to keep me full during the night since I am still nursing!
So here is what is on our menu for the next 2 weeks.
Strawberry Protein Pancake Rollups with yogurt filling
Scrambled Eggs with Veggies
Coffee…if you know me I have to have my morning coffee!
Greek Yogurt with Chopped Apple
Carrots with Nuts
Cucumbers with Hummus
Leftovers from the night before, I know pretty easy! Some days I make the kids a green smoothie too.
Chicken Broccoli Bake
Pesto Baked Chicken with Gluten-free Pasta
Cafe Rio Sweet Pork with Rice (not 21 day fix approved, but I am working on adjusting it)
Butternut Squash Casserole
Un-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Chile Chicken Tortillas
Butternut Squash Soup with Grilled Chicken Breast
Creamy Chicken Salad with Rice
Caprese Chicken with Gluten-free Pasta
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