Two weeks ago, I admitted that I stink at meal planning and asked for help. I got great advice and ideas. I think my biggest obstacle, besides the limited space, was trying to fit what I wanted into a table format. So, I created our meal plan in a list format, letting me decide when I wanted to make certain dinners or lunches. I like having the freedom of choosing and not being stuck making something I am not in the mood for.
I already had an inventory of my food cabinet, spice cabinet, and freezer. I made a list of breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods I could make with the food I have on hand. There will be foods left over for other meals, but seven dinners is good to start with. Next time I go shopping, I will update my inventory and meal plan.
Click menu planner for word document to update on your own if you choose.
Another way I save money is by buying meat and poultry on sale and splitting them up into the amount I need for each meal. By splitting up the portions, I spread out the meat and save money. I got tired of our meatballs an so did Dinosaur, we all need a change, right? I now make meat and veggie sauce…which I will post about very soon.
4 mini bags of separated ground beef and 4 mini bags of sausage (without the casing) for my meat sauce. They taste better when they are cooked fresh. I guess it’s like a bolognaise sauce…which I LOVE.
5 mini bags of separated chicken thighs and drumsticks. I find that chicken with bones cooks better and freezes easier, I know it’s not healthy…but we are on a budget. When defrosted, it still tastes fresh and is easy to cut up. Freeze chicken breasts and chicken tenders raw and cook them fresh, since they will dry out faster. I mark how many are in each smaller bag and the price of the smaller serving.
Below are two recent recipes using my smaller portions of meat…prices for each ingredient, total meal, and price per serving are shown.