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 Menu Planning 
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Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:59 am
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Location: Friendswood, TX
Post Menu Planning
In my part of the world, Wednesday is the day of the week grocery stores advertise what is on sale for the next week. This advertisement comes in the form of a color insert in the newspaper and a pdf file posted to their web site.

For me, this is where I begin planning my menu for the next week. Both of the stores I frequent allow me to generate and print a shopping list online.

I plan for 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners each week. I take breakfast and lunch to work almost every day and East Texas has to eat, too. Please note this menu and shopping lists are tailored to the contents of my pantry, freezer and refrigerator. They are also uniquely tailored to our Weight Watcher lifestyle so some of you could realize even more savings. No coupons, sigh, can be used.

This morning, I checked the web site of Store A and found the following items I am interested in purchasing from there:

Wheat bread - 87 cents - weather is warming - time for sandwiches for lunch
1/2 lb deli turkey lunch meat - get 1/4 lb cheese and sandwich bags free
Cantaloupe - fresh - $1.00/ea
Pineapple - fresh - $1.97 ea
Whole chicken - $0.77 lb
Top Sirloin Steaks - $3.97 lb
Chicken sausages - get 2 lbs brown rice free (rice goes in my stash)
Boneless/skinless chicken breasts - $1.98/lb
Baby blend salads - 2 for $5
Red potatoes - $0.88/lb
Frozen steamable spinach - $1.00/ea
Boxed speciality potatoes - $1.00/ea (goes in my stash - this is au gratin potatoes, etc. by Betty Crocker)
Canned organic refried beans - $1.00/ea (goes in my stash)

The rest is air freshener, doggie treats, laundry detergent, toilet paper and paper towels.

Grocery Store B:
Coke - 4 12 pks for $11
Kellogg's cereal - $1.98
Cheese - cheddar - bar - $1.88
Yogurt - $0.44/ea - buying 5
Cool whip - $0.89 - buying 2
Frozen vegetables - $0.99 - buying 6
Weight Watchers frozen ice cream treats - $2.99 - buying 2

The cool whip, frozen vegetables and WW also results in an automatic $5.00 off at checkout. :banana

That is all I'm buying this week except for some milk.

Draft Menu:

Sunday
Breakfast - Cereal w/milk, Coffee and leftover watermelon from this week

Lunch - Chicken w/rice, Salad, Frozen vegetable, Either fresh green beans or carrots - whichever is fresh from my garden, Apple cake - I froze half an apple cake from last Sunday's dessert

Supper/Dinner - leftovers from lunch because I only cook 1 meal on Sunday

Monday
Breakfast - Yogurt & V8 vegetable juice (from pantry)
Lunch - leftover frozen Boca dirty rice, salad, salad dressing, fresh pineapple
Dinner - veggie stir fry (using frozen and leftover fresh vegetables from Sunday) chow mein noodles (from pantry), fresh pineapple

Tuesday -
Breakfast - Yogurt & V8 vegetable juice (from pantry)
Lunch - turkey sandwich, lettuce, cheese, 3 bean salad (I already have), cantaloupe
Dinner - chicken sausage, brown rice, salad, salad dressing, WW frozen ice cream treat

Wednesday -
Breakfast - Yogurt & V8 vegetable juice (from pantry)
Lunch - turkey sandwich, lettuce, cheese, 3 bean salad (I already have), cantaloupe
Dinner - grilled sirloin steak, salad, butter and parsley new potatoes, WW frozen ice cream treat

Thursday -
Breakfast - Yogurt & V8 vegetable juice (from pantry)
Lunch - Frozen WW dinner (I already have), canned or frozen vegetable (I already have); canned fruit (I already have)
Dinner - Steak salad w/leftover sirloin steak, salad dressing, crackers & margarine, WW frozen ice cream treat

Friday -
Breakfast - Yogurt & V8 vegetable juice (from pantry)
Lunch - purchased sushi, canned fruit from home
Dinner - Subway, baked chips

Saturday
Breakfast - Cereal w/milk, coffee
Lunch - Clean out the fridge
Dinner - Chicken fajitas with grilled onions and peppers (already have the veggies), spanish rice, refried beans, chocolate pudding w/cool whip - already have the pudding

And there you have it!

Depending on the grocery trip, I may make some modifications to the plan. We don't always stick to the exact day when we cook dinner - that may shuffle around a bit.

But, if we stick to the plan... :mrgreen:

How about you?

What do you do at home to lower your food costs?

Do you menu plan or just wing it?

I will be totally honest with you and tell you I don't always do this. I try - I really do - but sometimes life gets in the way, ya know?

Those weeks I go to the grocery store with no list (well, a limited one) and no plan - bazinga! It's like WUHT? How MUCH????? :huh :shock:

I hate that! :evil

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Fri May 20, 2011 10:48 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:59 am
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Location: Friendswood, TX
Post Re: Menu Planning
Here's the plan for this week!

Canned vegetables are on sale 3 for $1.00 - into the stash
Advil on sale 50 count + 25 count free - $3.25 off coupon (in store) into the stash
Boneless skinless chicken breasts - $1.97/lb - fajita salad this week!
Fresh pineapple - $1.97 - dessert
Cantaloupe - $1.00 each - dessert/snack
Artisan Ciabatta Bread - $1.00 off w/in store coupon
Charcoal
Listerine mouthwash - get two free toothbrushes (into stash)
Braeburn apples $0.98/lb - dessert/snack
Apricots - $2.98/lb - kinda high but we love them and haven't had any for a year - dessert/snack
Cherries - $3.98/lb - same as above
Mini carrots - 2 lbs - $2.88 - snack
Organic spinach - $1.77
Buy 20 oz Jennie O ground turkey get - Baguette bread and Ragu Pasta FREE - spaghetti this week w/organic spinach salad w/fresh apricots. :mrgreen:
Diet Coke - 3 for $12.00 - into stash
G2 sport drink - buy 2 get free Tostitos tortilla chips (fat free) - into stash and snacking
Brawney Paper Towels - get free turkey bacon - weekend breakfast item
Aluminum foil $1 - into stash
Jerky treats for dogs - buy 1 get 1 free - just because I luve my doxies!
Fresh Express salad blend - get free cherry tomatoes
Skinny Cow frozen desserts - 2 for $6 - one goes in the freezer in the garage.

So this week we have:

Chicken fajita salad (I already have fajita marinade and cheese), Tostitos and fresh fruit for dessert
Spaghetti w/meat sauce, bread, spinach and apricot salad, Skinny Cow frozen dessert (ice cream sandwich)
Taco salad w/salad blend and cherry tomatoes - already have ground beef, taco seasoning and cheese, w/leftover Tostitos, fresh fruit for dessert
Bruschetta one night with cherry tomatoes and Ciabatta bread plus something else.

Looks like it will be a clean out the fridge/freezer week for breakfasts, lunches and 4 dinners.

Luckily, I have enough in my stash to accomplish this so I am not worried.

Second benefit is that I will use up some of my frozen items because today is the beginning of hurricane season and I like to have minimal amounts of frozen food from now until November 1st.

Anyone else doing this? Any tips?

Edited to add that I forgot milk, eggs, yogurt & V8 vegetable juice. :embarressed

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:17 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:59 am
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Location: Friendswood, TX
Post Re: Menu Planning
Didn't get much last week. Went to Central Market (like Whole Foods but local) and purchased a bunch of fresh produce, fruit and bread.

SCORE! I love me some 4th of July sales. :elephant :banana :brockoli

The list this week includes:

The Meal Deal - buy precooked brisket get free:
Barbecue Sauce
Whole Pinto or Black Beans - canned
Plastic Paper Plate Holders - 4
Soft drinks
Flour Tortillas
paper plates

Sooo - the brisket goes in the oven for Sunday. The rest (except the tortillas, of course) goes in the storage pantry.

Prime steaks - these are for Monday and are $3.00/lb OFF
Ground chuck patties - these are about $1.50/lb OFF
Whole chickens - 0.77 cents/pound - into the freezer
Peaches
Corn - last I should have to purchase since mine is nearly ready :mrgreen:
American cheese slices - 2 for $4.00
Shredded cheese - 2 for $4.00
Bacon (applegate farms - da bestest) save 0.75 cents - this is a maybe
Flowers for the 4th - $6.99/bunch :mrgreen:
Bic long handled lighters - buy one get one FREE - both into storage
Organic salad - $2.00/off
Onions - 0.88 cents/lb - because we ate ALL of ours already :gah
Watermelon - it's the Fourth!
Whole wheat bread - 0.93 cents a loaf - SCORE!!!
Pepperidge Farm deli flats - this is a maybe since I am buying the bread
Betty Crocker Cake mixes - $1.00/ea - need one for Saturday anyway
Lawry's Marinade - 5 for $5 - SCORE - I use these a LOT - into storage
Mezzetta Peppers - 4 for $5 - SCORE - ditto - into storage
Pup-Peroni Dog Treats - save $2.00 - cause I love my weinies! :heart

Sadly, no coupons to match this week. :(

How is everyone else doing?

Also, I'm looking at hotels on Priceline and Hotwire for September. Anybody ever used these?

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:58 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:54 am
Posts: 4866
Location: Canada
Post Re: Menu Planning
My brother-in-law uses priceline all the time without issues BB

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Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:31 am
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Post Re: Menu Planning
Thanks, L! I'm finding Priceline's hotel room rates are very similar to what we can get with a Senior/AARP discount.

Hotwire, however, seems to be cheaper (in some cities). I found a nice hotel in Hattiesburg, MS for $38/night. :banana :elephant :brockoli

I also am a Hilton Honors member and get points from them. BUT, and this is a huge BUT, I have to book through them (GAH) in order to earn points. I cannot earn points if I book through Priceline or Hotwire.

I also earn points through American Express but their hotel rates :roll .

I'm not trying to be Miss Cheapo here but we still spend four days on the road round trip. I'm not really interested in spending $100/night in Hattiesburg, MS, Knoxville, TN, Savannah, GA and Pensacola, FL. Puhlease!

I've found a great rate on a hotel in Alexandria, VA via Hilton Honors using the senior rate.

So this two week trip is turning out to be more complicated than I even imagined. We will drive almost 4,000 miles and I would really like to be able to afford gas and go out to eat at nice restaurants in the DC area.

We are also planning a Potomac river cruise to Mt Vernon and, hopefully, stay in a B&B at Colonial Williamsburg.

The more I can save on hotels outside the DC area the more I can do there. Thankfully so many things in DC are free! Yippeee!

I just found out that we are passing right by the grave of my great, great, great, great grandfather who served in the Revolutionary War. We also will be near the Chickamaugua battlefield and the town where my great grandfather was wounded. He also was at Chickamaugua!

How kewl is that? :cool

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:44 am
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Post Re: Menu Planning
This sounds like an epic trip..

You should start a thread and keep us posted along the way via East Texas's Ipad.....

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Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:47 am
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Post Re: Menu Planning
Well this week certainly isn't looking all that great! :shakehead

Meatless burger patties - buy one get free sweet potato fries - Meatless Monday - but - it is frozen food and it appears the coast of Africa is beginning to light up! Soooo :hmm

Bush's Best Baked or Grillin' Beans - 5 for $5 - into the pantry these babies go

Cherries - at last $2.88/lb - I've been holding out 'cause I'm NOT paying $3.00/pound. :noway

Prepared rotisserie chicken get free roasted baby red potatoes - DINNAH!

Red bell pepper - $0.88/lb - Suh WEEET!

Blueberries - maybe not at $2.48/ea

Yogurt - 4 cup packs - 5 for $5.00 - only gonna get 1 for $1 as I eat these for breakfast - hmmm - need to add the cherries or blueberries to this! :yamon

Lean Cuisine Meals - 5 for $5 - again frozen - see the meatless patties above - why do they do this to me when hurricane season is lighting up? GAH!

Dole pineapple - 5 for $5.00 - into storage and then into pineapple upside down cake for my birfday! :lol

Zipper freezer bags - 5 for $5 - into storage

Zipper storage bags - 5 for $5 - into storage

And that is IT this week. Sigh - oh well, some days are diamonds and some days are stone, right? ;)

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The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR


Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:41 am
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