I sit down to plan my grocery shopping and meal plan for the week. You will find me sitting at the table or desk or sofa with the following: my on-going “to buy” list from the refrigerator, my weekly “to make” dry erase board from the refrigerator, sales flyers, and some sort of recipes usually. This week, I really focused in on cleaning out the “junk” in our house. We have really been slacking in eating healthy since the holidays. So yes, we are going to have a far from “optimal” meal plan for the upcoming week.
This week, we only had EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) on the list before I began planning. I know we have a whole chicken, skinless/boneless chicken breast, 2 half hams, a bag of frozen meatballs and venison burger in the freezer. We also have not had a good fish based meal recently and a can of Mackerel has been sitting the pantry. So, I wrote down chicken nuggets (made from the chicken breasts), Jambalaya (using the Mackerel), Ham, Roasted Chicken, Meatballs, and Tacos down first. This used the above items easily. I then write down any side dishes that would go with those items – typically a vegetable. At this point, I will refer to the sales flyer to see what vegetables are on sale. So this is my list of meals for the week (in case you can’t see on the picture):
- Chicken Nuggets and Cauliflower (roasted or slightly pan fried is the only way I have come to like this vege)
- Meatball Subs
- Ham & Green Beans (which will also include potatoes)
- Roasted Chicken and Potatoes (made on the grill by my awesome hubby)
- Then you see granola and waffles listed on the last day. These are just a mental note of things I want to make for breakfast.
Now, I go through my meals and add any ingredients I know we don’t have at home to my grocery list. I know that I have only $80 this week for groceries so my list was as follows:
EVOO, Strawberries (sale), Red Potatoes (sale), OJ (hubby’s one weekly requirement), Chicken Breasts (sale), Arnold B1G1 (only time I buy bread and then freeze), Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese, bananas, PB, Jelly, Tomato Sauce, celery, bell pepper, 5 oz. yellow rice mix (not healthy at all!), cauliflower, romaine lettuce, green beans, sub rolls, milk, cereal
So, the next issue that arises in conversation is where do I grocery shop? I’d love to shop at Sonnewald Natural Foods weekly, but they don’t carry everything I need at an affordable price. However, I LOVE their bulk room. This is where I buy staples such as salt, sucanat (unrefined sugar), rolled oats, brown rice, dried fruits, nuts, etc. I love Giant’s produce selection but always seem to have a larger bill when I frequent there. I’ve never gotten used to Weis’s layout and leave there mad. Wal-mart, well, I despise the store. However, I do buy a few things there when I go for diapers. So, surprisingly, for me, I prefer Nell’s Shurfine. Now, if you know you want all organic produce, go to Giant. For this week, I was more concerned with price than organic. Ultimately, this decision goes with my faith. I believe that we have to do the best we can with the resources God has given each of us. Right now, our food budget is tight and sometimes that means sacrificing my “optimal” choice in food options. I believe just eating the whole foods will be blessed. I do think you can get great deals at the local farmer’s markets too. Go there if you can work it in your schedule. I just personally have not gotten into that habit yet.
My plan is to grow as much food as possible and learn to eat with the seasons. Ideally, I would go to Sonnewald Natural Foods once a month, the grocery store for juice and milk, and have the rest in my garden or pantry of canned items or freezer frozen. I will get there. For now, I’m going to keep seeking optimal health and gradual improvement. This week we definitely sub-par, in my opinion.
My trip to Nell’s concluded with no chicken breasts (they were not the Sanderson farms I like or skinless), no strawberries (they were awful looking), and no sub rolls (I refuse to pay $4 for 6 rolls – I’ll get them at Walmart when I go for diapers). I added in a bag of Lancaster Spinach (to throw in with my eggs), a bag of organic baby carrots, and two Freschetta pizzas (best, non-organic, frozen pizza I found at a great price of $4 this week). Total bill was $71.36.
Criticize me if you wish. I’m just keeping it real and saying “this is what we did for the week and will be eating over the next week.” Oh yeah, I buy 2 dozen of eggs from a friend each week and we had quite a few apples yet from last week. Did I forget to mention anything you want to know more about? Let me know. I’m far from perfect but I’m hoping to help someone by sharing this journey. What is on your meal plan and grocery list this week?