So, I figure this week I will put up my meal plan for the week and the links to the recipes. This should hopefully help me stay on track with my eating – and maybe I will get into a habit of this more regularly around here. I have been meal planning for a few months now and I won’t lie. At first it was soooo hard. No, like crazy hard. It was also way more expensive. I tried to rationalize why it would be more expensive to plan out than just eat out.
After a bit of research I came to a few conclusions of what I was essentially doing wrong. Yes there is a wrong way to meal plan. Am I perfect— not even close. However I do manage to get most of my shopping done for much cheaper for two weeks than eating out.
Let’s do a bit of comparison. We average about 40$ to eat out one dinner meal even at a fast food joint for the family. We would do about $20 for lunch ( for both my husband and I)
$40 x 14 days = $560; $20 x 14 = $280 all together that is a stupid amount of money to spend. I generally spend about $150.00 for two weeks of food now for the three of us. Plus, they are much healthier meals.
Here is the plan:
- Monday: Creamy Tuscan Chicken (Instant Pot) with Pasta
- Tuesday: Scalloped Potatoes and Ham (Instant Pot) and Mixed Veggies
- Wednesday: South West Pork Chops with Rice
- Thursday: Crescent Chicken Roll
- Friday: Chicken and Broccoli with Rice
- Saturday: Hawaiian Style Pork Chops ( IP) with Sweet Potatoes
- Sunday: Salisbury Steak ( IP) with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Wait this doesn’t include lunches. Nope. Lunches are leftovers if any or Turkey sandwiches, some sort of fruit or veggie, and a small dessert.
So a few tips on planning meals that I use –
- Use mostly cheaper meats such as chicken. As you can see most of my meal plan is chicken.
- Plan a couple meals with other meats, but plan like meats in the same week or close together. This allows you to buy meats in bulk and thus save money. I did this with the pork chops. Then I can buy the ‘family’ packs which save me in the long run. I will start off next week most likely with a dish that uses ground pork to pick up on the Salisbury steak.
- Try to use things already in your pantry/cupboards. The more you use what you already have, the less you have to buy.