Meal Planning for Newbies {week 2 recap}

Meal Planning for Newbies week 2

In our first week recap, I went over some of the dishes I made, primarily using the recipes emailed to me through eMeals.  This week I’ll still be featuring the images of the dishes we made, but focusing on how I pick what I’m making.

The whole point for our house to meal plan is to save money.  The easiest way to save money is to shop sales.  But I am a busy mama and cannot visit EVERY grocery store to grab all the items on sale.  If I did that, I’d be spending more time &  money than it’s worth.  So each week I get all the fliers on the kitchen table and flip through each one.  What am I looking for? The biggest savings on the most costly portion of the meals – protein.

Typically the canned goods or fruits/veggies (and other staples) don’t vary drastically from store to store. Sure sometimes you’ll find those stock up deals where you buy more, you save more.  But protein deals is where it’s at.  This past week the best deals on protein were at Albertsons and it involved lots of pork.  We never used to buy pork – we were primarily a chicken & ground turkey house.  But I’ve found a few great crockpot recipes using pork and it’s slowly been incorporated into our meal rotations.  It creates a lot of meat and can easily trickle into a few nights’ meals.  That’s what you’ll find this week.

Once I find the best savings on protein, I start flipping through recipes, jot them down, then work on creating the grocery list for the week based on these meals, and the other staples we need around the house.  I know Chris was asking about the time committment.  Last night I took maybe 30 minutes (because I kept distracting myself) to look through the fliers, flip through some cookbooks, and then tackle the grocery list.  Not bad, I think.  And as to the dinner prep each night? The usual amount.  Except I’m saving the back and forth messages with Jon discussing what we should be having for dinner.

And now, for our dinners!

Meal Planning for Newbies week 2

Oven fried chicken, mashed potatoes & green beans
This dish guys. The day where nothing went so well. Wasn’t able to get to the grocery store (we were supposed to have the chicken with fresh squash & chopped baked potatoes) so I had to pull what we had here. The best instant mashed potatoes are the Idahoan packets. There’s a few varieties. Usually on sale for $1 (I stock up on them). And cuz I had a overtired toddler and a teething fussy baby – I completely forgot to take a photo till I was almost done. Oh well. That’s life!

Meal Planning for Newbies Week 2
Leftover night. Good thing too because Jon and Aubrey had to run to Sam’s Club on the way home and didn’t get here till 6:30. (We normally eat around 5:45/6). I finished up the fried chicken, Jon the taco casserole and Aubrey had chicken nuggets. We shared sides.

Meal Planning for Newbies Week 2
Another night off from cooking! We enjoyed a night out to celebrate my sister’s 30th bday. Checkout my Instagram for more photos! (Dinner was at La Velvet Margarita Cantina in Hollywood)

Meal Planning for Newbies Week 2
Sunday was supposed to be a different meal – to start the week of pork. Except I forgot to defrost it and forgot to put it in the crockpot before church. So we moved around our meal planning schedule and enjoyed chicken quesadillas tonight! Flexibility is very important! This shouldn’t be a stressful experience.

Meal Planning for Newbies Week 2


Well, Monday night I came down with a touch of the stomach flu and this meal was the first one I made since then.  Luckily Jon was able to use the crockpot pork for a few dishes in the interim.  Check below for this tasty recipe! Could be used with any type of leftover meat (Pork, Chicken, hmm maybe salmon?)

I think my next week’s leftovers will revolve more with what we have frozen in the freezer. None of the sales fliers really screamed any big sales and we have a ton of chicken!

Pesto Pasta with the Fixins:

1 box pasta (some smaller type works best. This was Gemelli)

leftover meat (however much you have, feel free to add more veggies)

Green Beans

Grape Tomatoes

Pesto Sauce


Start pasta pot with water and boil. While cooking, cut ends off green beans and cut into 2″ pieces.  Add to microwavable dish and 1/2″ water. Cook 4-6 minutes till cooked, but still crisp. Slice grape tomatoes in half long ways and set aside.  In a skillet, start heating up pesto sauce and add green beans once cooked.  Tomatoes should be added last.

Cook pasta according to directions. Reheat meat in microwave. When pasta is done, set aside 1/4 cup of pasta water, then drain.

Add skillet of pesto sauce, green beans, reheated meat, and sliced tomatoes.  Mix, serve, and top with Parmesan cheese!

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  1. says

    i NEED to get on the ball with this. I even convinced TJ to buy an extra fridge/freezer for the garage so I could make meals ahead and just pull them out during the week. Right now all that is in the spare fridge is DRINKS! Ugh! Today is a new day though and I signed up for eMEALS! 🙂

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