Meal Planning and Meatloaf

Hi everyone! I decided to take a few days off from writing, but I’m back! And I have lots of updates on my meal planning adventures.

Friday was my grocery list prep day, I started off by typing up a list based on the items that were shown in the list already created by the Mealboard app. From there I took inventory of items I already had at home and added items that were not already on my list.

I have decided that I will do most of my shopping at Costco since you can buy lots of items in bulk at very good prices. I will be doing the rest of my shopping at Sobey’s (a local grocery store), they usually have good deals every week AND I can collect Air Miles to help pay for our honeymoon next year.

So I got my hands on a flyer from Sobey’s (you can view their weekly flyers online but I’m hands on and wanted an actually copy to look through), and circled all the items that were on sale to make sure I didn’t miss any good deals. For example this week they had a great special on boneless skinless chicken breasts (a staple in my meal plan) so it was less expensive to buy them from Sobey’s and not from Costco. This is when planning comes in handy, some items will be much cheaper when you buy in bulk. But let’s be honest, we’ve all bought something from Costco thinking “this is such a great deal, I’m totally going to eat 48 cantaloupes!”, and by the end of the first week you can’t even stand to look at a cantaloupe let alone eat one. You end up throwing out a bunch uneaten fruit and a valuable lesson is learned. So just take the time to plan out which items you need in a large quantities and how you can store or freeze these items so they will last for a longer period of time. Also if you plan on freezing lots of things, make sure to add freezer bags to your list! Luckily I had a bunch left over but I will be adding these very important items to my next list, I like to use the large and small bags.

Saturday was our shopping day, my fiancΓ© decided he would come along and help πŸ™‚ We headed out to Costco first, I was armed with my trusty list and an empty cart. We hit the fruit and veggies section and loaded up, then moved on to the cold food section, they have great prices on butter and eggs! We then headed over to the grocery isles, the entire time I was keeping track of things on my list to make sure I didn’t forget anything. We saved time by not going into sections of the store that did not sell food items. Costco on a Saturday is insanity plus they always have deals on impulse items, it’s very easy to stray from the plan when everyone is going crazy over 100 batteries for 19.99$! So out of sight out of mind does help in this case and we were out of there in less time then it took to find a parking spot.

We went to Sobey’s next, I made sure to pick up the sale items I had seen in the flyer first and then went back around for the rest of the things on the list. While we were in line at the checkout I went over my meal plan again on my iPhone to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. The hole idea behind all of this planning is to avoid useless trips to the grocery store! So make sure when you’re done and ready to leave that you have all the items you came for πŸ˜‰

Once we got home I unpacked all the groceries and laid them out on the table. After a few hours of planning and an afternoon of shopping, we have enough groceries for (hopefully) one month, and the approximate cost is about 350$. Hooray for saving money and time! Here is a picture of our goodies.

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Next came the prepping step, since we had gotten LOTS of fruits and veggies from Costco I wanted to prep them and freeze them for future use. I used this website as a freezing guideline http://www.simpleorganizedliving.com/2011/02/10/freezable-foods/. It has lots of great information and really came in handy since I had only frozen meats and leftovers in the past. I started with out the large bags of pre cut and pre washed broccoli and mushrooms. Since they were already prepped I just threw them into some small freezer bags. I then washed and prepped asparagus and bell peppers and made smoothy packets with berries and cut up bananas. These are great when you are in rush in the morning but want something good and healthy. I also froze bread, tortillas and the chicken breasts and other meats that I had picked up, don’t forget to write the name of the item you’re freezing and the date on each bag (I use a Sharpie, works great). When you’re digging through the freezer for something it will be a lot easier if everything is labeled, and if you’re like me and you have a tiny freezer you’ll be glade you did this! Here’s my freezer all stocked up.

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So now we are ready for a full month of meals! In 2 weeks I may need to buy milk and bread, I’m not a fan of freezing milk and I have absolutely no space left in my freezer for another loaf of bread. So I’m not opposed to picking up a few items in 2 weeks time. I’m planning on adding a white board on the fridge so that I can write down things as we run out, this should make it easier when it comes time to make my next grocery list.

Tonight is the first day of the meal plan and that means its meatloaf night! So I’m going to share my recipe, actually my fiancΓ©’s grandmothers recipe for yummy, simple and super moist meatloaf πŸ™‚

Nana’s Meatloaf

– 1 lbs of extra lean ground beef
– 1 medium onion chopped
– 1 can tomato soup
– 1 egg beaten
– 1/2 sleeve soda crackers crushed
– salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350, prepare baking dish with butter or olive oil so the meatloaf won’t stick to the sides. I use a normal sized loaf pan. Mix all the ingredients together, don’t be afraid to use your hands! Once everything is mixed and well blended together pour it into the pan and bake uncovered for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The top will come out nice and crispy and the middle will be moist and delicious.

Voila! The best and most simple meatloaf, enjoy πŸ™‚

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