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need help meal planning!!!

Posted by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM
  • 17 Replies
I need some decently affordable meal ideas. I feel like im eating the same handful of meals every month. I want healthy and easy to make. Any ideas ladies?
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by on Jan. 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Cafe Steph
by Group Admin on Jan. 10, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Hi! You might also want to ask about this on these groups, too:


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lilmama8408
by Silver Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 8:50 AM
Chili
Baked chicken with sides
Grilled chicken with sides
Potato soup
Lasagna
Spaghetti
Chicken noodle soup
Sheppards pie
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CorpCityGrl
by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:09 AM

I usually sit down and plan meals for at least a week and I don't cook everyday, but make enough for leftovers and stuff that I can re-purpose.  I also have a tendency to plan meals based on what is on sale because it's an easy way to save money.  If you are a member of some place like Costco or BJ's or Sam's Club, it makes it easy to plan meals in advance and save money since you are buying in bulk.  I also like to make a lot and freeze for later so that I always have meals ready to go in the freezer to pull out.

Here are a few things I make that:

Chili - I always make tons of and serve some and freeze some.  When we have leftovers, I toss it in with some pasta and some shredded cheese and it becomes a whole other meal.

Roasted Chicken (I don't always make it, because you can buy it in the supermarket already made for less money) - I use it for everything from salads to burritos to pastas

Pasta - it's a staple in the house because it's easy and affordable and quick and versatile. 

Stir fries - both beef and chicken stir fry are really, really easy to make and quick and you can add any veggies you want and just serve up with some quick cooking rice

Quesadillas - again, quick and easy to make and versatile.  I throw in leftovers into quesadillas.

Stews - this is something I make tons of and serve some and freeze some

Stuffed chicken breasts - I take a boneless chicken breast, filet it to open it up and stuff it usually with some sauteed spinach with feta thrown in and fold up and bake.  Sometimes I wrap it all in phyllo dough or puff pastry and bake.  These taste great, but also freeze really well once they are cooked.


LoreleiSieja
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:30 AM

When you go shopping, try to buy whatever is on sale, then make your menus around that. 

It helps to really STOCK UP on sale items.  Try keeping your cupboard and freezer crammed full! Do not cram your refridgerator because those things will spoil before you get around to eating them.

If money is already tight, try stocking up like this: figure out as many menus as you can using what you already have on hand.  Add only a few things to fill out the menus.  Then buy those things, but you SHOULD have some grocery money left.  If not, then you are not budgeting enough money for groceries.  So, take the rest of your grocery money, and spend all of it on whatever is cheap, on sale, and stock up.  Do this every paycheck.  Eventually, you will have well stocked cupboards! 

I never buy chicken breasts at their full price of $3.89 in my area.  Yesterday, boneless skinless chicken breasts went on sale for $1.69 a pound.  I bought four jumbo packages.  Then, of course, I had to repackage them when I got home - putting three or four in freezer wrap, and putting them in the freezer.  I have enough chicken to have it twice a week for two months.  It will go on sale again before I run out.  I write on the freezer wrap the date I bought it, so I use up the chicken that has been in the freezer the longest.  

Keep basics on hand: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda, rice, noodles, etc.  You can use these things to make a lot of meals, and they don't spoil.  They seldom go on sale, but are not that expensive to begin with (except for sugar).  

When I make menues, I keep it very simple.  Like, I might put "venison" for dinner on Monday (hubby's a hunter), and chicken on Tuesday, Pasta something on Wednesday, soup and sandwiches on Thursday, fish on Friday, Stew on Saturday, and roast on Sunday.  Then I know what I have to defrost in the morning... but as the day goes on, I can make my menu more details. Okay, the venison steaks are thawing.  I'll probalby have some mashed potatoes with them, a lettuce salad, and a peach cobbler for dessert... because those are the things I have on hand. 

If you buy your groceries on sale, and make menus based on what you have, then you are serving the cheapest meals you can.  If you need more recipe ideas, then you can google for a "cheap chicken and rice" meal, or a "cheap tasty venison stew" meal.  

caro100
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Stir fries are easy and affordable..  You take your meat, round steak, chicken, pork,  fry your meat then take onions, garlic proccoli, peppers or cabbage,or whatever you want and start frying them, when they are about tender crisp throw in some soy or a little broth in to make a sauce then pour it over rice or neoodles for lo mein type noodle.   You can also do this ad put an Italian spin on it with Italian seasonings or spanish seasoning.    Go through the grocery ads and just get what's on sale.  Akso cooking with cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom or celery soups can make an easy meal, maybe not as calorie friendly, but tasty and filling.  Here's a quicky.   Saute an onion, cup of celery, and a couple of cups diced ham, add a can of cream of chicken and half a couple of milk rinsing out the can, add a tsp. dill weed simmer about 15 20 minutes.  Take off heat add a  half cup of sour cream or french onion dip.  Serve over rice or noodles.  We prefer the rice.

ladybugist
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:33 PM

These ladies have got you covered  with great ideas----I would just like to add one thing beans---we cook them with olive oil , salt and pepper and they are wonderful.  Our faves are cranberry beans, pinto beans, white beans and soy beans---now the soy beans we don't cook with oo we just microwave for about 5 minutes they are wonderful ,cheap and so good for you.

jillian_G1
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Have you ever tried couscous, tamboule, quinoa, its cheap and really healthy. It's a lot like rice. I fix it with sautéed veggies and mix it all together. Or as a side with veggies and meat.

recipe #1

1 cup of water

pinch of salt

2 tbsp butter

2cups of couscous

One cucumber

handful of baby carrots

One onion

1/2 cup of cabbage

1cup of aasparagus 

   Boil water, salt, and butter in saucepan. When at a boil take off heat and add couscous, cover with lid and leave for 4-5 minutes.

take veggies, cut up in chunks, and add to a different saucepan, sautée for 5-10 minutes, when add desired look.

uncover lid and take a fork and fluff couscous, then drain veggies and add the couscous. Add any seasoning after, eat and enjoy.


itsallabtthem84
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 1:48 PM
I use to meal plan but couldn't stick to it so here's a bump.
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AuntyEm774
by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 3:01 PM
Hotdish, tacos, stews and soups, chicken and veggies, etc. We eat a lot of burger dishes--mainly because it can be used in about anything and we usually have a bunch in the freezer.
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strictmomhere
by Platinum Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 3:05 PM
Great ideas:-)

Quoting CorpCityGrl:

I usually sit down and plan meals for at least a week and I don't cook everyday, but make enough for leftovers and stuff that I can re-purpose.  I also have a tendency to plan meals based on what is on sale because it's an easy way to save money.  If you are a member of some place like Costco or BJ's or Sam's Club, it makes it easy to plan meals in advance and save money since you are buying in bulk.  I also like to make a lot and freeze for later so that I always have meals ready to go in the freezer to pull out.

Here are a few things I make that:

Chili - I always make tons of and serve some and freeze some.  When we have leftovers, I toss it in with some pasta and some shredded cheese and it becomes a whole other meal.

Roasted Chicken (I don't always make it, because you can buy it in the supermarket already made for less money) - I use it for everything from salads to burritos to pastas

Pasta - it's a staple in the house because it's easy and affordable and quick and versatile. 

Stir fries - both beef and chicken stir fry are really, really easy to make and quick and you can add any veggies you want and just serve up with some quick cooking rice

Quesadillas - again, quick and easy to make and versatile.  I throw in leftovers into quesadillas.

Stews - this is something I make tons of and serve some and freeze some

Stuffed chicken breasts - I take a boneless chicken breast, filet it to open it up and stuff it usually with some sauteed spinach with feta thrown in and fold up and bake.  Sometimes I wrap it all in phyllo dough or puff pastry and bake.  These taste great, but also freeze really well once they are cooked.


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