food prep day – Saturday, Jan 14

I don’t make it a secret that I am a loyal Wal-Mart shopper. I get the “big corporation, shop local” agenda, but the truth is, I don’t think the local grocer would come pay my bills if I were to spend more shopping with them and put my family in financial distress. I am frugal and simple, so I shop where my dollar stretches the most. And the thought of saving time doing it all in the same place is more than appealing.

However, I am also open-minded and love trying new things.

This week, I decided to get the Sunday paper, check out coupons, and shop at the local grocer who doubles coupons for food, then hit the dollar store for household necessities.

Food prep day starts by deciding what the dinner menu for the family will be. I flip through my recipe book, inventory cabinets, then write on my menu board. Then I decide which proteins  and starches I want to make for myself and again, inventory cabinets and freezer against my list.

Once you get this system down, it’s so easy and again, saves SO much time during the week. And I did this on Friday night, while watching a movie with the Adorables…

Long story short, I found that even with the coupons, I spent less by buying off brands and I didn’t end up using any coupons at all.

Homeland had fresh chicken on sale for $1.99/lb, which was less than the bag of frozen I typically buy, so I will definitely be watching for that special again. One interesting note I should add is that I bought minced garlic in a jar at Homeland for $3.50 and later found the same product at the dollar store $2 cheaper! Lesson learned, hit the dollar store first.

We started with crockpot chicken that can cook on high while I am prepping everything else. I sauteed minced garlic with olive oil, mixed it with these and some zesty Italian dressing, then poured it over the chicken and left it to do it’s thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up was turkey burgers. Lean ground turkey seasoned with liquid smoke, chopped bell peppers and onions, baked in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes. These were paired with black beans and tomatos, which were simmering on the back burner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this is where a shout out to my lovely Aunt Susie comes in, for giving me these portion size spoons which I LOVE! This spoon is the perfect serving size for starch and measuring it against my cups, it’s right! Angels were singing, I swear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this week I had a lovely assistant. My girls love to cook with me, but this type of cooking is pretty intense and she stuck with me the entire time and made things move SO much faster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we did the same garlic mixture as the crockpot for another round of chicken to be used in spinach lasagna rollups, which has been on my agenda to make for a few weeks. I browned the chicken, and Avery did the rest. She was really proud of herself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We sauteed sweet potatoes in olive oil, as a side for the rollups, and also to be used later in an egg white breakfast casserole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet potatoe breakfast casserole. YUM-ME

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we tried a Pinterest idea…whole eggs, baked in a muffin tin to make “McDonald’s type” eggs on their breakfast sandwiches. They were so cute and came out perfect. Spray a muffin tin, drop an egg in, bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Put on half a whole wheat grain english muffin for grab and go breakfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not least, some Jamie Eason protein muffins. I bought orange extract (flavor without the calories), used apricot baby food and the result was…delicious! What I love about these muffins is they are CHEAP to make and you can change the flavor every week by just adding different flavors!

 

 

 

 

 

I spent about $120 this week counting food and household items (toilet paper, paper towels, etc. etc. etc.) The good news is, next week will be a cheap one since I stocked up on $1.99 chicken and froze it. And our week? Filled with delicious, nutritious meals with very little prep, leaving more time for fun!

I will post recipes this week and thanks for reading 🙂

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