Saturday, May 16, 2015

Meal plans from the ads

This is an attempt to show my thought process in making meal plans on the cheap.    That is, you use what's on sale and rotate meats to take advantage of bulk and special pricing .

Example.   In the last weeks I got

  • pork loin roast 1/2 for 1.88 ( about five pounds ) 
  • Chicken for .88 ( it's .88 at SAFEWAYS this week too.   ) (5 lbs) 
  • Fred Meyers has good hamburger for 3.99.  ( 5 lbs) 
That's 15 pounds of meat for an average of 2.25 a pound.   14 meals for an average of 2.25 a meal.   
Add a starch and a vegetable or fruit or both and you are still under five dollars a meal for the proverbial family  of four.    

These figures are based on a snap allotment of three hundred dollars a month.    It's real easy to spend more if your situation and budget permits.   It makes more sense to me to show examples off bottom line amounts and let people use their discretion if they have more to spend.    

This is an example of buying the loss leaders and precooking or dividing in meal portions to save, time and money.   It's probably,no secret that if you put a whole roast in front of a young man, he would choose to eat the whole roast and ignore the veggies.   Portion controlling the meat allows children to eat the rest of the meal and have a  be well balanced diet.    It's also,no secret that we eat far to much meat in this  country and that might not be as healthy as we would like.   

I use a matrix for meal plans.  It makes it quick and easy and balances our proteins .  Your matrix may be different.   
  • 2 beef
  • 2 chicken or pork 
  •  2 vegetarian 
  • 1 fish or shellfish
I can usually get eggs for a dollar or a dollar and a quarter at Fred Meyers.   I stock up.  Most of the time there is a month out on the pull dates.    This  makes for enough to have breakfast for dinner one night a week.    French toast,scrambled   eggs, chocolate waffles and yogurt parfaits are a welcome surprise every once In a while.   Desert for dinner, the kids love it.   Younger parfaits are layering in a glass: plain or vanilla yogurt , blueberries, and granola.  Yogurt is .38 at ALBERTSONS?

From five pounds of ground beef you can make, taco meat, crumbles for pasta sauce, and a two pound meat loaf.   My mother used to make meatloaf , baked potatoes ( a buck at Fred Meyers ) and squash.   All in the oven.   Oven roasted veggies would also be good.  (

Mac and cheese is always a winner here.   Cheese was two dollars a pound at Fred Meyers last week. I can always get grated cheese for 2.30 or so at business Costco.    There is a recipe for quick white sauce in a previous blog.   Add frozen veggies or green beans  to the meal and you are set.  A fruit desert adds to the nutrition.

I made a fish packet dinner last week.  Layer on parchment in individual portions, fresh spinach, white fish, white beans, a green veggie ( asparagus was really cheap at the fresh food market , or you can use fresh green beans ) drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly.   Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes on a baking sheet with sides.    Easy and no clean up.   Be careful opening the packets, there may be steam!

From the chicken that is .88 a pound .
I'm making chicken soup as I'm writing this.   I will make a loaf of parm bread on the bread baker or make a loaf of brown and serve sourdough.  ( .95 at Costco) or bake cheese biscuits.

Chicken pot pie is another favorite. I have a coupon from QFC for free frozen veggies and a pound of Hebrew national franks.
The holiday weekend is always a good time to stock up on low priced picnic food providing it is a good price.   I got catsup for .75 at the dollar  store for a name brand.

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