One Week Meal Plan

Meal planning

* What do you think is the biggest challenge to eating right?

For me, it is knowing what to fix and then of course getting all that good food purchased while on a budget.

*How do I fix that?

Why, planning our meals ahead, of course!  That’s not to say I’m always perfect planning my meals OR staying on a budget but I do know from experience that planning helps a whole whole bunch!

Planning ahead helps use up what we already have on hand.  Maybe most important is figuring out how to get nourishing meals on the table when we are so rushed from day-to-day we don’t even know what to fix much less have time to do it.  I remember trying to get food on the table with 3 kids running helter-skelter while running a business.  Let me tell you it was not easy!

*How can I afford to eat right and isn’t eating healthy terribly time-consuming?

Planning is also one of the best ways to control food costs and knowing what to cook (or warm up) is half the battle to eating healthy without over stressing.

Since the only way I know how to do meal planning; is the way I do it,that is how I will tell you.  That doesn’t mean this is the only way to do it~ it means, this is the only way I know how to do it.  Please alter my plan to work for you anyway you can.

*Make this journey your own!

The first thing I do when planning meals is to take an inventory of what I have on hand in the pantry, the fridge and in the freezer.  Anytime I can use what I already have, I feel like I am saving money ~ not to mention time ~ sometimes even prep time.

This morning this is what I found.

  • Pantry: 1 box rice noodles, 1/2 bag of wild rice, a little basmati rice, 1 cup coconut oil, 2 cups rigatoni, a bag of cornmeal, a bag of einkorn flour, lots of tomatoes & tomato sauce (I can), 4 jars of peach preserves, 1 can green beans from Mom, 2 cans tuna, 1 can sardines – ick, what was I thinking, a few russet potatoes, some red potatoes and assorted dried beans.  Of course, I have the usual assortment of dried herbs and spices, salts and peppers and honey.
  • Fridge: 1/2 leftover meatloaf, leftover veggie soup, about 1 cup of coleslaw, 3 dozen eggs, a little cottage cheese, an assortment of cheese (if we are ever out of cheese – well, let’s just say THAT would be serious, very serious!), 2 pieces of Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole, 2 bags of walnuts, 1 bag of almonds, peanut butter, maple syrup, lots of extra butter, 1 small beef stick, half a jar of homemade mayo, fermented vegetables, ketchup, mustard, some sauces, amino acids and a few straggly vegetables.
  • Freezer: 1 small pkg of chicken bones for bone broth, sun-dried tomatoes, several flavor cubes, 3 or 4 pesto cubes, 4 homemade bagels, 4 jars cultured vegetables, more peach preserves, 3 bags of leftover Christmas cookies, 1 jar of whey,  1/2 bag of hazelnuts, 1/2 bag of blueberries, 1 bag of strawberries, 1 little jar of fruitcake (I store as many things in mason jars as I can get to fit) and 1 bag Breakfast Oatmeal Cookies.

On to the planning.

OK, I can tell you right now ~ we need coconut oil.  One thing we can never run out of it coconut oil!  Fortunately, it is already on order.  Shewwww! We use that by the gallon, for skin care, deodorant, oil-pulling, in my coffee, cooking, fudge and even for appetite control!

If it wasn’t; I’d add it to my grocery list with a note to order from Radiant Life which is where I  get my coconut oil most of the time.  And I’d quick take a peek to see if I needed anything else I like to order from Radiant Life.  The list would then look something like this.

Grocery List

 AND

Since there is very little meat in the freezer – or anywhere else for that matter; I’ll be making a trip to the Farmers’ Market to pick up a supply of pasture raised beef, pork and chicken from our favorite farmers.  This happens about every 6-8 weeks and I spend about $150-200 per trip.  For some reason we don’t need to eat as much of the pasture raised meat to be satisfied as we did when we ate CAFO meats.

That list looks something like this.  Pretend “ham” is on the list.

grocery list 2

 

Dinners & Lunches: I will plan 6 or 7 main meals; from there I will revamp and repurpose ~ you’ll see what I mean as we go along.  I don’t always fix everything on my list because some days what I thought we wanted – we don’t.   I do try to use up anything that might spoil before it does!

Leftovers will be used for lunch and any meals not used this week will go on next weeks menu.   Often one week’s menus will last 2 weeks – I love those times :)

  • Roast Chicken, I’ll serve this with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli with butter.  The leftovers will make the Chicken Stir Fry & the Chicken Salad.  The carcass will make wonderful chicken broth that I will use for Veggie Soup and some of the broth will go into the freezer. I’ll try to have a couple of days in between each so we aren’t eating chicken every night & lunch in a row.  On my grocery list I’ll put chicken and broccoli.
  • Celery Chicken Stir Fry w/Peanut Sauce   This will use some of my leftover roast chicken and those straggly vegetables;  there is already peanut butter in the fridge.  I’ll serve the Celery Chicken Stir Fry w/Peanut Sauce  over the basmati rice.  The only things to add to the grocery list are:  an orange (but I’ll probably pick up several) and some ginger.  I’m skipping the dry-roast peanuts on the stir fry this time – I’m economizing; so I won’t need them.
  • Chicken Salad,  I will use my Homemade Ham Salad recipe substituting the last of the leftover chicken for the ham. Serve this with the left over Veggie Soup.  No additional entries to the grocery list needed here.
  • Ham & Red Potatoes served with Mom’s green beans, add Ham to the grocery list.  There should be plenty left for soup and sandwiches.
  • Ham & Bean Soup served with cornbread (I’ll try to get my cornbread recipe on here later, even though it isn’t as good as my mom’s).
  • Eggplant & Spinach Lasagna, salad with Flavored Oil and lime juice for the dressing.  Depending on our mood; I might add a little homemade mayonnaise or yogurt to make it creamier.  Eggplant and spinach go on the list.

That gives us 6 full meals and plenty of soup, leftovers and sandwiches for the week.  We usually have one or two meals out or with friends so for this week, just know they happen.

Breakfasts:

  • Most of our breakfasts consist of an assortment of fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs and either potatoes or leftover vegetables, so they are usually covered without adding anything to the grocery list.
  • Peanut Butter toast – This is another staple so it is covered already also.
  •  Breakfast Oatmeal Cookies for another”rush out the door in a flurry” day.  Or these may be used as treats anytime we want them.  I pack little baggies of these for Don’s lunches too.
  • French Toast Casserole w/powdered sugar,  the only thing to add to the grocery list is pecans since I will be making my own powdered sugar by putting organic sugar in the food processor and processing until it is a texture I like.
  • The leftover Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole will make a great “grab & go” breakfast for those mornings we don’t have time to make anything.  Nothing to add to the grocery list here either.
  • I know this is gross but we eat fermented vegetables every morning along with yogurt or cottage cheese so cottage cheese needs to go on the grocery list.  We have plenty of yogurt and cheese so I won’t need to send Don for raw milk.

Treats & Snacks: 

  • Cheese & Beef Stick Platter w/Crackers,  This will take care of the leftover bagels, they’ll be split toasted and topped with spices for serving with the cheese & beef stick from the fridge.  Nothing to add to grocery list here.
  • Fruitcake & coffee
  • Chocolate Bites
  • I’ll probably make something sweet as the mood hits me but I have flour and sweeteners so that is covered.
  • Leftovers

 

The grocery list:   Our weekly grocery list is usually pretty small because I make or purchase most of our groceries on 4 – 8 week cycles.

Meat – I’ll stock up at Walnut Hills Farm but all we’ll use this week is:

  • Chicken
  • Ham

Dairy: I usually make our yogurt and cheese every 4-6 weeks but we’re OK this week except for:

  • sour cream
  • cottage cheese

If you don’t have a farmer or a farmer’s market, just add these items to the printable shopping list below. And don’t forget to add any of the ingredients that were in my household if you don’t already have them in your refrigerator, pantry or freezer.  Of course, if you have some of the items on the grocery list; you won’t need to buy them again. :)

Our local grocery store list:

Produce:

  • lettuces
  • cucumbers
  • broccoli
  • celery – another thing I can’t risk running out of, great vehicle for dips nut butters :)
  • assorted greens, probably kale and swiss chard
  • oranges
  • bananas

Breads/Seeds/Grains:

  • sunflower seeds
  • pecans
  • craisins

Miscellaneous

  •  sandwich bags  (we can’t quite give up our plastic wraps)
  • dishwasher liquid (sorry, I know I should make my own)

This is how my final list looks:

grocery list 3

 

Hope that helps with your planning!

See my printable shopping list below.

Ciao Bella!  

Print Print Recipe

Ingredients:

Our local grocery store list:

Produce:

  • lettuces
  • cucumbers
  • broccoli
  • celery - another thing I can't risk running out of, great vehicle for dips nut butters :)
  • assorted greens, probably kale and swiss chard
  • oranges
  • bananas
  • ___________________________
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________

Breads/Seeds/Grains:

  • sunflower seeds
  • pecans
  • craisins
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________

Miscellaneous

  •  sandwich bags  (we can't quite give up our plastic wraps)
  • dishwasher liquid (sorry, I know I should make my own)
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________

Meat & Dairy

  • sour cream
  • cottage cheese
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________
  • _____________________________

 

Directions:

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