It’s Meal Plan Monday again! This weekend after cleaning out my refrigerator I realized that I need to make a more concentrated effort to use up leftovers and eliminate wasted food. Most likely I will try to use the leftover food to lunches throughout the week.
Here is the Meal Plan Menu for this week:
1. Tortellini Soup, Sourdough Bread and Grass-Fed Butter
2. Breakfast for Dinner
3. Rack of Lamb & Veggies
4. Turkey Tacos & Black Beans
5. Lentil Soup & Twice Baked Potatoes
6. Pot Roast, Sourdough Bread and Grass-Fed Butter
Anyone who does regular grocery shopping is sure to notice how much grocery prices have increased in the last few years. A family of 4 can spend more than $500 a month on grocery shopping, which I happen to think is a lot! With the cost of food going up I have been trying to do whatever I can to help lower our monthly grocery bill. This post will share with you some of the tips and tricks I have learned to help lower how much we spend on food every month while also creating healthy options to eating.
- Plan Ahead
Planning out meals helps to make sure you have everything on hand to cook and makes sure you don’t go overboard at the store buying things you don’t need. When I go shopping without a list I find myself making a lot more impulse buys, and then when its time to make meals I have crucial ingredients missing which means another trip to the store. By following a meal plan I feel much more organized, have everything on hand to make yummy healthy meals and save time and money! I also offer a weekly meal plan service for $5 a week (or $15 a month) which includes a weekly menu of easy, heathy recipes, grocery list and even a double meal recipe to freeze and leftover suggestions. For more information on participating in my weekly meal plan service you can email me at Victoria@yogimami.com
|Homemade lasagna with leftover ground turkey meat|
- Get Creative with Leftovers
When I make my 2 week menu plan I try to think of what I can do with leftover food so that it don’t get trashed. My husband is not a fan of leftovers so I have to try to make it into something different from what we had the day before. This includes leftover turkey meat made into a meat sauce for spaghetti, or leftover pork roast as pulled pork sandwiches. Its a great way to make a super easy meal because the meat is usually already cooked that you can throw something together in no time.
- Make Your Own
For those of you who have been following you know I have been making my own EVERYTHING lately. At least that is how it seems to me. Broths, butter, yogurt, mustard, mayonnaise, salsa, granola, salad dressings and pretty much all breakfasts, lunch and dinners. When you make it yourself you have the added benefit of controlling what you ingest and keeping yucky ingredients at bay. And honestly, it takes a little time, but it is all typically very easy! Also, the sooner you start the easier it gets. You can spend a few hours on a weekend preparing and putting together for foods and condiments that will last you several weeks.
- Use Your Freezer
When I make soups or stews I tend to make larger batches which I can then put in the freezer and save for another meal. This is awesome for those nights where we don’t want to go out or order take out, but really really don’t want to cook. I can defrost a batch of Chicken Tortialla Soup or Chili, warm it up on the stove and still have a home cooked meal with very little effort! Its a great way to store leftovers to have on hand when you get sick and want to still eat something healthy without having to cook or resorting to unhealthy canned soups. It’s also perfect to pull out if you are going to be out for the night and need a meal for a babysitter to warm up.
- Cut Meat Portions in Half
After watching documentaries like Forks over Knives and reading books such as the China Study I learned the benefits of eating more plant protein over animal protein. I am a typical meat and potatoes girl so I could never become vegetarian or vegan, I just know that about myself. But I am able to recognize that too much meat is not a good thing so I cut our meat portions in half and just added extra sides. I will usually have 2-3 different sides with a meal, with the majority of them being some sort of healthy grain or veggies.
- Add More Veggies
Because we were eating less meat we were doubling up on the veggies. I would make something like chicken stuffed with kale, red peppers and some cheese served over garlic quinoa and have a kale salad with cranberries, almonds and lemon tahini dressing. Boosting your intake of fruits and veggies helps to fulfill your nutrition intake while leaving your body satisfied. Fruits and veggies cost less than
- Buy What’s in Season and Local
When I make my list I usually just put Fruit or Veggies, meaning that I will buy whatever is in season and on special. From there I am able to get great produce for a good price and then decide the rest of my meals from there. I love shopping at my local Coop or Farmer’s Market because you can get beautiful produce that didn’t sit in a truck for days or weeks to get delivered which means its a lot fresher and contains more nutrients. Compare a $1.99 bag of lettuce at the commercial grocery store that has been sprayed with chemicals to make it appear fresher for longer to a self selected mix of lettuces (the same amount) for $1.
- Grow Your Own!
I am so envious of people who have these beautiful, bountiful gardens. We do not have much space but I have been growing some things on our patio and making use of some window ledges. I grow most of my own herbs, some greens and have even grown some things out of kitchen scraps. I try to grow what we use a lot of like Kale, chives, garlic, beets, carrots, cilantro, chard and potatoes. Our bounties are small, but I like to try to make the most out of what I can such as making a pesto with carrot greens. I use my garlic scapes chopped to season butter and other dishes practically for free and even beet greens and kale as a sauteed side or a salad. Sprouting is another option to incorporate live food into your diet and its so easy to do yourself for just pennies compared to $5 at the the stores.
I would love to hear about any ideas or suggestions you have to live healthy on a budget?
Disclaimer: Please note: I am not a medical professional. Please use your careful discernment and double check with your naturopath or doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.