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Great Plans Create Great Meals

Posted By Jessica Fisher On July 19, 2009 @ 11:29 pm In Meal Planning | 7 Comments

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Well, sometimes, anyway. I mentioned last week that I was participating in All You’s Grocery Challenge [4]. The competition is one-fourth of the way complete. The mission? Feed your family for $25/person/week in creative and healthy ways. That means I have $175 for my food budget, including eating out. (Babies under one year of age don’t count.) This is about what we normally spend, barring extravagant restaurant splurges. So, staying under budget shouldn’t be too difficult, provided that I can avoid the aforementioned extravagant restaurant splurges.

The rules say that contestants will be judged 50% on staying under budget, 25% on creativity and 25% on health. Since I know I am under budget, I’ve been a little more critical about the last two categories. It’s not like I don’t want to be creative and healthy in our food choices on a regular basis, but a little outside motivation never hurt, now did it? I’ve been trying to vary what we eat, how it’s served, and trying to up our intake of fruits and veggies. Oh! To get 8 a day [5] into my husband each child!

Last week I made a plan and included back-up plans [6]. Rather than assigning each meal plan to a certain day, I just kept a list on the fridge of my 10-12 ideas for each meal of the day. This proved to be extremely helpful. I could be a little more spontaneous and go with the mood — or what was actually thawed. We ended up eating really well and didn’t eat out once! My husband has cheerfully gone along with my scheming and faithfully ate his lunch of leftovers every day instead of succombing to Mr. Taco.

FishPapa took the FBA [7] to the beach on Saturday morning, and they did get donuts on the way, but that $7 was the only money we spent outside of the grocery store. Pretty good for us.

Here’s my plan for this week, making use of my stockpile and this load of groceries [8] that I bought last week.

[9]

Breakfasts – served with fresh fruit
scones [10]
cereal
pancakes
waffles [11]
eggs and toast
cinnamon rolls
muffins [12]
smoothies [13]

Lunches – served with fresh veggies and dip
ham sandwiches
grilled cheese sandwiches
snacky lunch [14]
pasta salad [15]
PB&J
quesadillas
leftovers

Snacks and Desserts
banana bread [16]
toast
apples and PB
fruit salad
cheese and crackers

[17]

Dinners – served with a salad or steamed veggies
hot dogs and sausages (on homemade buns!) and potatoes
beans and rice [18]
grilled chicken [19] and rice pilaf
roast chicken and potatoes
homemade pizza [20]
chili [21]
pasta with red sauce and sausage
queso fundido [22]

Want more meal planning inspiration, check out real life menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie. [23]


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[3] Image: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SmOz7IZhxbI/AAAAAAAAFp4/2dAm8rETIdI/s1600-h/Blog+006.JPG

[4] All You’s Grocery Challenge: http://www.allyou.com/general/grocerychallenge/?xid=homepage-GroceryChallenge-175x90

[5] 8 a day: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/02/8-great-ways-to-get-8-day.html

[6] included back-up plans: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/07/on-meal-planning-mission.html

[7] FBA: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/07/three-cheers-for-fba.html

[8] this load of groceries: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/07/grocery-geek-presents-surprising-deals.html

[9] Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SmOz6w8AGhI/AAAAAAAAFpw/ta9uSSiVsII/s1600-h/Blog+Food+010.JPG

[10] scones: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/07/chocolate-strawberry-scones.html

[11] waffles: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/11/waffles.html

[12] muffins: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/maple-banana-oat-muffins-with-streusel.html

[13] smoothies: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/05/berry-me-please.html

[14] snacky lunch: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/06/snacky-lunch-its-whats-on-menu.html

[15] pasta salad: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/04/diy-pasta-salad.html

[16] banana bread: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/05/chocolate-chip-banana-bread.html

[17] Image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SmOz7xZrwBI/AAAAAAAAFqA/L6EjF4wziA4/s1600-h/Blog+056.JPG

[18] beans and rice: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/06/rice-and-beans-beans-and-rice.html

[19] grilled chicken: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/06/ultimate-recipe-swap-camp-food.html

[20] homemade pizza: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/04/pizza-or-calzone-dough.html

[21] chili: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/chihuahua-chili.html

[22] queso fundido: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/05/queso-fundido.html

[23] I’m an Organizing Junkie.: http://orgjunkie.com/category/menu-plan-monday

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