WHOOP WHOOP! It’s Meal Plan Sunday!
Sunday around the Curvy Logic household is known as Meal Plan Sunday. My husband and I both sit down and plan all our meals for the week. Having a meal plan in place for the week reduces the temptation to order take-out, keeps you on track with your meal plan and calorie goals, and helps you stay on your budget – seriously, stopping to get sausage biscuits in the morning or ordering sandwiches for lunch can take a toll on your wallet and your health!
In our household, we have a strict food budget of $70 a week ($140 biweekly) which has to include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks – and enough for seconds (and leftovers hopefully). We did our grocery shopping last week and spent a total of $135 (yay!).
When making a meal plan on a budget, the key is to plan around sale cycles and make sure you are getting multiple meals out of the protein source on sale. For example, if there is a great deal on a 3-pound chub of ground beef we make sure we plan a minimum of 3-5 meals with that chub so it can stretch. We’re also trying to cut back on our meat consumption so stretching meat helps that greatly.
Each week I look at the sales ads and then pick out key proteins on sale (chicken, meat-free substitutes like Gardein or Beyond Meat, seafood, etc.) and then brainstorm meals to make around that protein looking at the other items on sale. Even better if there are coupons available for the items.
If I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, I run to Pinterest to find easy budget-friendly meals to make around that protein. When thinking of the meals, they have to be quick, easy, and delicious (I know, I’m being so extra right?!). So last week, when we went shopping the main protein sources on sale were chicken, beef, and beans. Pasta sauce and tomatoes also had amazing sales as well as beans so we got plenty.
This week our meal plan consists of:
Oatmeal smoothies (oatmeal, chia, flax, frozen fruit, and protein powder) for a backup I have vegetarian breakfast sandwiches at work if one morning I’m not feeling a smoothie. Sometimes you just want to bite something, ya’know?
For my husband, he prefers his oatmeal in a bowl so he will be having old fashioned oatmeal.
Microwave light popcorn, Plain greek yogurt, sliced kiwi, and a 1tsp of honey (optional)
Baked Ziti with Spinach (we made this for dinner Sunday night and also made enough for 4 lunches – 2 for him, 2 for me), leftover Chili for the remaining days over baked potatoes.
- Mixed bean chili (Northern beans, black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans) – this is enough for 2 dinners, and lunches
- Baked Ziti (Sunday so that we can have lunch for Monday/Tuesday)
- Fajitas (or mini taco cups if we’re feeling energetic and extra)
- Spaghetti (weekend)
- Chicken Alfredo
All of our dinners can be made in about 30 minutes or cooked in a crockpot on low throughout the day so while one of us does our chores (takes out the trash, feed pets, walk the dog, etc.) the other one cooks. This keeps us sane and makes sure we share the household duties equally (I’m a millennial, yes traditional gender roles need not apply lol) but if one of you want to do all the cooking – more power to you!
My husband is a phenomenal cook so we bounce meal ideas off each other before we decide on the final meal plan for the week. After it’s finalized, we shop. With both of us trying to lose weight and get healthier, we keep each other on track by reminding each other that we have meals at home and the time that it would take to order take-out, we could have a delicious and nutritious on plan meal ready to go. It really does take teamwork when you’re trying to lose weight and save money.
Once our meal plan is written down and posted
on our white board (keep your meals posted so you can always refer back to them) we then start our prep. If it can be prepped ahead of time, we make sure we prep it or store it so we can quickly grab it and go. We put on a tv show (we love watching comedy specials while we prep – tonight is Jim Gaffigan <3 ) and then we divide up the duties. We chop onions, vegetables, and even precook rice in a batch so we can toss that into any recipe.
This week we didn’t have any rice to cook but we did pre-chop our vegetables for our fajitas. We’re using chicken on Tuesday so we’ll go ahead and cut our chicken in strips and marinate them (only do this a day or two in advance). That’s one of the perks of prepping early, we get to marinate our meats so they are extra flavorful! All this typically takes about an hour (two if we get lost in the tv lol) but it’s a great bonding experience and it makes sure that we’re both involved in the meal plan and prep process. We absolutely love it!
So here’s our meal plan for the week, what are you chowing on?