What does your meal planning look like?

What does your meal plans look like? I feel like I’m getting stuck on what to fix. I have the first two weeks figured out. I’m on a $100 weekly budget. Family of 3

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I do batch cooking on Sundays. Hamburger day I make taco meat for tacos and/or taco salad, spaghetti sauce, beef barley mushroom soup, maybe a pot pie with slightly thinned tomato paste, chopped onions, bag of frozen mixed vegetables in a pie crust. Optional: top pot pie with mashed potatoes, fried onions or both and grated Parmesan cheese.

Chicken day: rotisserie chicken; cut of slices for dinners and/or sandwiches, chunks for casseroles of your choice (Alfredo sauce, onions, artichokes, broccoli and/or spinach is good, chicken & rice in cheese sauce with peas, or chicken cacciatore are some ideas) or pot pie with cream of chicken/celery/mushroom soup, onions & and bag of frozen mixed vegetables in a homemade/store bought/no pie crust; dice for chicken salad, shredded for BBQ chicken sandwiches, bits for chicken soup, then boil the skin & carcass in chicken broth/bouillon for bone broth to make soup.

One of my fave recipes is to make crepes by doubling the liquid in Bisquick pancakes and cooking in a lightly oiled nonstick pan, pouring in some batter and turning the pan to coat the bottom. Turn once after bubbles form. Freeze with waxed paper in between. Cook chopped onions & celery (optional, add garlic) in butter or olive oil, make a white sauce, add salt, pepper and dried tarragon, then the add the celery and onion and shredded chicken. Take the crepes out of the freezer and nuke one at a time for about 10 seconds. It a line of the chicken mix in and roll up. Continue until mix and crepes are used. To serve put in a greased pan in the oven until heated through and crisped a bit on the outside.

I make a big pot of brown rice and put in meal sized containers to pull out of the freezer when needed. I like the little new potatoes you can get in a bag; just take out however many you need. I like to cut them n halves or fourths, coat them in olive oil & savory spices (e.g., onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, a dash of cayenne, salt & pepper) and roast or broil them in the oven. Or cut them in 4ths and roast or nuke to make potato salad with celery, celery seed, mayo and whatever else you want (frozen peas, chopped water chestnuts, chopped hard boiled eggs, tuna, fresh parsley or cilantro).

Ham: slices for dinner with pineapple or my fave sauce of dry mustard, brown sugar and sherry: heat until syrupy. Slices for lunch or breakfast ham sandwiches or with pancakes or waffles. Chopped or processed for ham salad with pickle relish and a bit of mayo for ham salad or ham croquettes, chopped/chunks in a ham casserole of your choice, diced or bits tossed in some omelettes with salsa, cheese & spinach; diced small in cornbread or corn muffins with a can of creamed corn instead of some liquid.

Use meat more like a garnish to make it go farther. Use less if you have other proteins like eggs, cheese, etc.

Pick 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta. SO much healthier and the same price or just a little more. Buy ordinary olive oil for cooking, use EVOO if you want it for taste, like in salad dressing.

Cheap & fast recipe: heat a can of Goya black bean soup in a pot, pour over 90 second pack (or homemade) basmati rice. Grate some onion & squeeze some lime juice on top. My kids even liked this, but only with Goya brand soup. There are tons of things you can make with chick peas that kids like, and beans are a cheap protein. Also tofu—just toss bits in a strong-flavored stew or blend in soups to make them creamy without the cream. Also recipes to make tofu scrambled eggs & lemon pudding (comes out better than the chocolate pudding).

Tons of dishes you can make with eggs: usual breakfast options plus soufflé, egg salad,kachapuri, oeufs en cocotte, etc. Eat more vegetarian dishes to dsave no meat.

I plan my meals for the week in a book where I write my grocery lists. Sometimes I get out the cookery books and look for ideas (I write the page number and book underneath!). We might not stick to it or swap days around but we generally manage to stick to it and save a load of money because we don’t buy stuff we don’t need. We didn’t buy green veg this week because we don’t actually need any with the meals we’ve planned. Pasta bolognaise or pasta bake, orzo with fried leek and grated cheese, chicken with mash potato and slaw, sweet and sour pork (jar of sauce) with rice, pork and pepper stew with garlic flatbread, southern coated chicken with sweet potato fries and slaw or peas, shoulder steak with rice and broad beans, chicken with onions and cherry peppers (from a jar)…

I plan my meals every Sunday, and try and use what I have on hand. I shop our local store for specials and buy the 5 for 24.99 meat.
Ideas: tacos,spaghetti,sloppy joes,hamburger vegetable soup,meatloaf,hamburg gravy over noodles,rice or mashed potatoes, lasagna,Shepard pie,pork chops,ham and scalloped potatoes,soups and stews, Alfredo,stir-fry,Breakfast for supper (eggs,bacon,pancakes,waffles, home fries) hot dogs,hamburgers,BLT’s, pizza, crispy chicken strips,roast with carrots and potatoes,fish, tuna Pattie’s,enchiladas ,creamed chipped beef over waffles,chicken and waffles,
Sides: coleslaw,applesauce,salad,french fries,Tator tots,rice,noodles,polenta,macaroni and cheese,macaroni salad,potato salad,Brocolli salad,cucumber pasta,pasta salad, baked potato,vegetables,raw vegs and dip,cottage cheese,pierogies, crockpot cheesy potatoes
Desserts: pudding,jello,cakes,cookies,brownies,apples and peanut butter,fruit enchiladas,crockpot cobblers,ice cream,etc.
I have celiac disease so I have listed things I can have. I have planned my meals….main,sides,dessert…for many years…it makes it very easy when you know what you are having and use what you have. I keep a list of what is in my freezer and cross off as I use it! I also save leftovers (there are only the 2 of us now, but I always did meal planning while raising my family) and use the small amounts of vegetables for soups and stews,but if they’re are a lot of leftovers,I make TV dinners for us and freeze them.Check out Pinterest….loads of great recipes and ideas! Depending on your child’s age, get them involved as well!