Sunday, October 12, 2008

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Earlier this week I decided to finally do the meal planning I had been talking about.  I went through the Kraft Foods website and picked out a bunch of meals that sounded good, then made a grocery list of what was needed to make them.  This was new for me. Usually I end up buying a lot of the same things and we get into a food rut!

For the next two weeks, I'll be making these for dinner:
  • "BLT" Pasta
  • Cheesy Chicken Tostadas
  • Crisp-and-Creamy Baked Chicken
  • Easy Bistro Chicken
  • Easy Layered Taco Pie
  • One-Pan Chicken and Potato Bake
  • Polynesian-Glazed Meatballs
  • Portabello Mushroom Sandwich
  • Quick 'n Easy Pasta
  • Shrimp, Tortellini, & Spinach
  • Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken
We also have some other quick meal things that I picked up because we have a few days where we get home late.

I went grocery shopping on Friday night and I started cooking these dinners Saturday night.  So far I've made the "BLT" Pasta and Polynesian-Glazed Meatballs.  They were both very easy to make and delicious.  They are going to be "keepers" for future meals.

The only thing I have an issue with in all this is how much food costs these days.  I spent $180.98 on two weeks worth of food (not including the mini trips I'll have to take to replace milk, bread, etc.).  We don't buy a lot of meats and use generic and/or sales whenever possible.  I admit there are a few items where I've tried the generic and didn't like it so I stick to the brand name food.  I didn't like the generic frozen chicken tenderloins so I buy Tyson. It's only about $1.00 more and the taste and texture is much better quality.  

Here is the breakdown of some of what I bought:
  • 24 of the items I bought were generic/grocery store brand
  • Only 9 items could be considered meat (including precooked meats, lunchmeat, frozen, etc.)
  • 11 items were fresh fruits and vegetables
  • I saved $22.22 in sales and "buy one, get one free" offers
  • I did buy two subs for dinner since I didn't get home from shopping until past 8PM
The only upside to all of this is that buying groceries and cooking dinner at home costs less than going out to a restaurant.  Now THAT'S expensive!

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