Planning Meals Ahead Saves on Time and Saves on Budget

The way prices are going up these days clients often ask how to get more out of what they buy at the grocery store. I always reply plan ahead, make a menu and then build your grocery list from there.
How do you plan a menu? I always start with my protein and build from there, so I will decide on one or two proteins for the week buy extra or a bigger roast and go from there. Add two sides. In our home we always have two veggies or one veggie and a high fiber low carb starch i.e.; black or wild rice, quinoa and or a baked sweet potato or regular potato.
When I say buy extra, I mean if you are planning on having chicken breast buy and extra pack or a family pack, this way what you have left over from one meal will give you lunch tomorrow or you can split the package and have chicken breast on Monday cooked one way and marinate the rest for Wednesday or if pork roast is on sale get the larger roast cut in half make a roast one night then cut it up on in cubes and make Kabobs on another night. Buying extra and planning ahead saves you from having to buy more protein and as we all know that is the most expensive part of the meal, if you are a family of four or more it makes that grocery bill a lot larger.
So here you go now that you have two proteins and you have extra, so now we need to figure out how you like to eat them. You can make chicken one night roasted; with the left overs make Chicken tacos. Now with the sides; if we are doing a roasted chicken we can make a Quinoa pilaf with peas, summer squash or black or wild rice with grilled veggies on the side make a large toss salad and you are good to go.
Shopping for your menu, what I always suggest is build your shopping list by the day, i.e.: Monday is Roasted Chicken Breast with Black Rice Risotto with green beans and maybe a small Salad. My grocery list will mimic what is on the menu, if you have a well-stocked pantry you won’t need to buy everything on the menu. I always keep rice; chicken stock (organic low sodium) and things of that nature in the pantry, if they’re on sale buy a couple so when you need them you have it. If you are looking to buy fresh veggies the day you are shopping if they don’t look so hot leave them there and grab a bag of frozen. Did you know that frozen veggies are most often fresher then the veggies in the produce dept. because they pick them at their freshest then they flash freeze them and bag them? Most fresh veggies if it is not in season are shipped unripen to ripen on the truck by the time it get to us. My motto always eats veggies that are in season at the time of cooking the meal.
Shopping is finished now we need to put everything away this is something I always do for my clients as well as my own family, clean and prep all of your veggies and salad fixings as soon as you get home. Wash and clean the green beans put them in a freezer bag saying dinner Monday night you can also marinate the protein and bag it as well (always put it in a bowl in a bag in the frig so if the bag leaks you don’t have a big mess to clean up). Salad you can buy the pre bagged; I don’t but if you do I always recommend that you rinse dry and bag it. Now you have less to do on the night of that meal. We all work and have busy schedules be it a child’s sports or dance a meeting the less we have to do to get dinner on the table the more likely we are to cook the meal and not make a pit stop at our local fast food joint. This way we eat healthier we can control our fats and sodium in-take we are teaching our children healthy eating habits. Most importantly it brings us back to the table to eat as a family.

About culinaryfusion

Certified Health Coach a real Foodie at heart, Menu planners, Kitchen Counselor, Gluten Free,Bringing families back to the kitchen table one recipe at a time. Health Coach guiding clients with a gentle hand to reach optimum health, fast safe and simple.
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3 Responses to Planning Meals Ahead Saves on Time and Saves on Budget

  1. Excellent post today! I really enjoyed it. I enjoy making great food for my family and friends when they come over for entertainment. Food can also be entertaining in itself. Thanks again for sharing this.

    A Delicious Coffee Roll Recipe

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