It’s Sunday. . . and I’m posting my weekly meal plan. Something must be wrong with me!!!! 🙂 I’m struggling with the cost of our grocery budget ($1400+/monthly) which was similar to just being gluten free, so it’s not a new concern. But, couple that with hubs and the kids being hungry all the time and not feeling satisfied unless they get carbs. . . and add the pregnant mama and her food aversions to the mix, well. . . we are struggling a bit. Stacy and Matt posted a great guest post today about budget Paleo. . . a must read for those of us feeling the pinch!
Today: Grilled chicken tenders (‘ala Costco) on the BBQ. I pour half the 6 lb bag into a ziploc, top with Bragg’s seasoning blend and some lemon juice and allow to sit on the counter for a few hours until we are ready to grill. We had these last week and they were TASTY. Unfortunately. . . we are also having mashed potatoes tonight. This is because A) the kids are craving carbs after their very active days and B) we are on a pantry clean out vs. shopping phase. For good measure, we will add glazed carrots and salad greens. Dinner for 7= $12 (chicken is not organic, veggies are)
Monday: Casserole. This means- whatever meat and veggies I have on hand layered into my 11×17 Pyrex dish, probably with some rice added and some sort of sauce. I won’t really know until I throw it together tomorrow afternoon. It’s our busy night when we are eating on the run so last minute prep isn’t an option. It needs to be easy. . . it needs to be ready by 5pm without a lot of intensive work (I still have a house full of daycare kids at 5). At this point, I’m guessing rice, chicken, broccoli, carrots, & cauliflower with broth and seasoning. Estimate on budget = $15, most likely will be full organic or close.
Tuesday: Spaghetti w/ ground beef. I will brown two pounds of ground beef with veggies I put through the food processor. Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Serve over spaghetti squash or GF pasta. We are striving to limit pasta to 2x monthly. . . the last couple months of pregnancy and active kids is taking a toll on our carb counts. $15 (organic ground beef, $3.99 at Bartel’s).
Wednesday: Korean style BBQ. Thinly sliced organic ribs from Bartel’s. . . Asian salad veggies. . . oil dipping sauce. . . vinagered radish wraps. . . create you own YUM style. My kids LOVE create your own plate nights. This meal is likely going to push $20-25, but will be worth it in fun factor!
Thursday: Fish on the grill. I have a freezer full o’ fish. . . tuna, halibut, & tilapia. We don’t love fish. . . but we know it’s good for us. We will season, add lemon, and grill in foil. For good measure, I will marinate zucchini, bell peppers, & mushrooms and grill them on skewers as well. For a tasty treat. . .we might end with a sweet Quinoa dish. For us, the fish is free as it was given to us from Grandpas fishing excursion in the ocean. Veggies and Quinoa will run about $7.
Friday: Meatless because it’s still Lent. I always think soup and grilled cheese but since I’m really trying to keep my dairy free girls, well, dairy free. . . it doesn’t work so well because there isn’t a reasonable cheese substitute that’s not full o’ crap. I’m leaning toward either meatless taco soup (which means there will be some beans) or simple rice and beans w/ salsa. I have several around the world recipes recommended during Lent as we talk about impoverished peoples around the globe, but I’m loathe to make something I know my kids won’t eat. . . I detest wasting food, especially when so many are going hungry. I’m guessing the budget will be about $10 here, since I’m skipping meat. But if I come up with a baked grain free bread, that’ll add to the cost.
Saturday: We will be out of town shopping for Kelsey’s First Communion Dress. . . so it may be bun less burgers at Burgerville (they source local, higher quality meat) or enchilada’s somewhere since that’s my newest MUST HAVE ALL THE TIME food. . . oh, the joys of pregnancy cravings.
What I’m pondering: Making a whole boatload of Paleo-ish freezer meals. Especially with a baby coming, if I can get a system down now it’ll be a lifesaver. I’m searching the web and right now I’m leaning toward a few soups that have beans and/or rice added mixed in with plenty of meat/veggie dishes, I’m going to use Loving My Nests tips and some recipes to get started. I think my first go may include just doing a whole bunch of prep work- chopping produce and storing in freezer bags for easy grab and go dinners. . . ditto for meat. . . prepping more stock (which I always do when we have whole chickens). . . soaking and then freezing some beans and rice to use as needed.