This week I had a fairly easy time meal planning since I have those extras from my grandparents care package in the pantry!
Monday – Chicken and Pasta Salad
Tuesday – Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday – Smothered Burritos
Thursday - Pizza Lasagna Rolls – ever since I blogged about them last week I have wanted them!
Friday – Birthday Dinner – I am going to decide Friday what sounds good
Saturday – Teriyaki Noodle Stir Fry
Sunday – Not sure yet waiting for the ad to come out tomorrow
Almost every meal I cook I intend to get multiple servings from it, it is a great way for me to save both time and money.
My main priority is usually dinner and then at least one portable serving for Mr. H to take to work or school. That means most of our meals have a minimum of three servings if not four.
When Mr. H is working a night shift I usually do the set up above. I do my dinner portion and then his portion for work the next day straight into a container and then any remaining into another container for my lunch.
This way I not only ensure Mr. H’s has a good portion for his meal but that I make my portion a reasonable size as well.
Here are a few tips I have found to help keep costs down for us and ensure leftovers:
1. Rice for solo nights, Pasta for together nights – If I maker rice when home alone I only need to make one cup and I will have enough for dinner and leftovers, if I make rice when Mr. H is home I have to make 1 1/2 cups to ensure dinner and leftovers so I usually plan rice dinner for nights he is working. Pasta on the other hand is cheaper and in a recipe like pasta salad will give me four servings vs the two the rice will pricewise.
2. Chicken for solo nights, Mince for together nights – Same as with rice and pasta for a solo night I can get away with one chicken breast vs two on a together night whereas a pound of mince will give me four servings.
3. Potatoes are versatile – Growing up I only had potatoes baked or mashed, in Sweden though they are very cheap (like $0.50/lb) so I started using them more and more. These are two of my favorites Mince and Potato Gratin and Sam Crow Casserole.
4. Utilize lunchmeats – We like to have some sort of protein in each meal and I have found things from the deli counter like ham and pepperoni are great and often cheaper than a pork loin or chicken! This also goes for bacon as well like in my Cottage Mac n’ Cheese, the bacon gives it that little extra but you could swap it out for some salami or even pastrami!
5. Cabbage and Carrots – Anytime I make a stir fry I add cabbage, thinly sliced in the food processor and cooked down it adds bulk but absorbs the stir fry flavors. I also will lightly fry it and add it to mash that I put over pies as once again it adds bulk to fill you up and is cheap. Now carrots you can shred and all to all sorts of things which will once again add bulk and vitamins, woohoo vitamins! I usually add them to my sloppy joes and spaghetti sauce as well as stir frys.
6. Beans – It took Mr. H a bit but we now have beans at least two times a week, as they once again add bulk and good nutrient to meals with being really cheap. I would say just about any Mexican themed meal we have has beans and I just find other places to add them in. My two favorites to use are kidney and black beans, kidney beans work really well with potatoes and in stews and soups and black beans work great with Mexican food.
Hope you liked these tips and let me know if you have any!