$5.00 Dinner

I was cooking dinner tonight and thought I might share the benefits of meal planning….

For tonight, I had planned Shake-N-Bake pork chops, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.  Initially I just planned the meat and went to the grocery store to find my two veggie sides.

1. Pork chops

– I got these on a buy one-get one for $8.00 for both…so $4.00

– The Shake-n-Bake is about $2.00 a box for two meals….so $1.00

2.  Sweet potatoes

– Those were about $0.75 each, so $1.50.  When I started preparing dinner, I realized I had all the ingredients for sweet potato casserole. So I splurged and made that instead of just sweet potatoes.  All the ingredients were probably $1.50 if  I broke it up.   This is the best sweet potato casserole recipe ever, so easy too!! http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/10/soul-sweet-taters-step-by-step-recipe/

3. Broccoli

– I got this for $2.00  a bundle at Publix on Sunday.  Steamed with lemon butter on top.

SOOOO….the grand total for this planned, home cooked meal was…

$4.00 + $1.00+ $1.50+ $2.00= $8.50 plus $1.50 for the stuff for the sweet potato casserole…..$10!!!

This meal is enough for 4 large servings, so it was enough for Dan and I to have dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow.  NOT TOO SHABBY!!

And….very healthy!!



Fish Dishes

I’m really trying to make an effort to incorporate fish into our family meals more often.  I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, so I’ve always been around fish dishes, but I really don’t think about them when meal planning.  For the month of June, I planned fish on Sunday nights.  Fish is one of those meals that is really nice for a sit down dinner, but cooks really fast, which is great.   I’ll definitely blog when I make these to let you know how they were!

Here are the recipes I plan to try this month.

1. Giada’s Broiled Tilapia with Mustard-Chive Sauce:


She made this with a carrot and yam puree, which looked delicious, healthy and easy.  I think that will be one of my veggie sides when I make this fish!



2. Grilled Salmon with Peach Salsa





3. Pecan crusted grouper



Healthy Meal Planning

Several people have asked me about my monthly meal planning, so I thought it would be a good idea to share my meal plan for June on the blog.

Since January, I have been meal planning for the month and it’s one of the best things I’ve done. This has saved me so much time and money!    It’s a big priority for me to cook for my family and eat at home.  As a working mom, we’d be eating out every night without this done up front. Along with the savings, it also important to me that the meals are healthy.  I want Sarah to eat and taste lots of different things that aren’t covered in cheese, sauces,  bread/pasta or processed canned products.  Now, don’t get me wrong, we do eat those things, but only occasionally.

As I’ve said before, I don’t meal plan for leftovers, because we eat those for lunch.  Also, in the summer, we are usually at the lake on the weekends, so I don’t meal plan for Saturdays.  Friday is our night out, so that night is out also for no meal needed.  So if you follow this, you’ll have to adjust the meals for your family.  Just to give you an idea…in May…I bought everything I need for the month other than weekly produce and spent $276.  For the WHOLE month!!  Y’all this will save your wallet and your waist line 🙂

Hope you find this helpful!! 🙂 Happy, healthy meal planning!

Each week we have fish, chicken, and some kind of red meat (steak, ground beef, etc).   For the other meal, I throw in pork, spaghetti…etc.

So for June the list of the sixteen planned meals are:

  1. Grilled chicken with two vegetable sides (see below)- 4 times
  2. Roasted shrimp with white beans and one vegetable side http://cristinaferrarecooks.com/2012/05/roasted-shrimp-with-white-beans/
  3. Steak and two vegetable sides- 2 times
  4. Grilled or baked fish with two vegetable sides – 3 times
  5. Spinach and feta quiche http://www.duchessoffork.com/2012/02/spinach-feta-quiche/
  6. Hawaiian short ribs with rice and one vegetable side http://www.marthastewart.com/863079/hawaiian-style-short-ribs?czone=f&center=854190&gallery=274310&slide=863079
  7. Spinach salad
  8. Crockpot roast with carrots, onion and potatoes
  9. Spaghetti
  10. Grilled cheese (for a night I’ll be gone, but Dan will be home)

Vegetable sides:

As I’ve said, I don’t buy processed foods like macaroni and cheese, pastas, etc except when I’m in a bind or need a quick meal.  I also try to stay away from regular baking potatoes.  Those are heavy and seem to me a lot like bread….Usually I go to the store or farmers market and just look to see what produce looks good.  Here’s my go-to list of vegetable sides.

  1. Steamed or roasted broccoli
  2. Steamed haricot verde (sometimes I do this with mushrooms) http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2009/01/recipe-for-roasted-green-beans-with.html
  3. Roasted squash, zucchini and cherry tomatoes http://deliciousshots.blogspot.com.br/2012/07/summer-roasted-vegetables.html
  4. Roasted brussel sprouts
  5. Baked or roasted sweet potatoes http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2009/03/roasted-sweet-potatoes.html
  6. Roasted carrots http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/01/honey-roasted-carrots.html
  7. Boiled or grilled corn/corn on the cob http://www.marthastewart.com/352689/grilled-corn-cob?czone=f&center=276948&gallery=274928&slide=35268
  8. Mushrooms and leaks http://www.marthastewart.com/315341/grilled-mushrooms-and-leeks?czone=f&center=276948&gallery=274928&slide=31534
  9. Edamame and chickpea salad http://www.fitsugar.com/Vegetarian-Vegan-Protein-Snacks-After-Workout-16519560?slide=2
  10. Garden salad
  11. Roasted or grilled asparagus http://www.marthastewart.com/313604/garlicky-roasted-asparagus?czone=f&center=276948&gallery=274928&slide=313604
  12. Grilled eggplant http://www.marthastewart.com/317065/hoisin-glazed-eggplant?czone=f&center=276948&gallery=274928&slide=317065
  13. Sauteed spinach http://www.marthastewart.com/274928/quick-vegetable-side-dish-recipes/@center/276948/dinner-tonight#338294
  14. Roasted cauliflower http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/balsamic_parmesan_roasted_cauliflower.html
  15. Black beans http://www.marthastewart.com/314007/black-beans-with-lime?czone=f&center=276948&gallery=274928&slide=314007
  16. White beans http://mywholefoodlife.com/2012/10/08/super-easy-bean-salad-2/
  17. Vegetable skewers http://www.ahintofhoney.com/2011/06/grilled-sweet-potato-and-vegetable.html