October 18, 2013

Week 41 - What Happens When Life Gets in the Way of Grocery Shopping

Printable Version of Meal Plan

We were away last weekend for Thanksgiving and arrived home Monday with no grocery stores open.  I was prepared for this and was able to put to the test one of the make ahead slow cooker recipes I had in the freezer.  I am now a believer!  But then it turned out I couldn't get out Tuesday night either so I took another look at our supplies and got us through another day.  Wednesday night Marin went to my parents house for a sleepover and Dave and I found ourselves with an unplanned date night... so again, no groceries.  By this point I felt it was a personal challenge to NOT get groceries for a full week.

This was manageable given that last week I had over planned a bit and had some leftovers.  So I actually started the week with enough milk and some fruit and vegetables.  I did make a trip to a pharmacy on Monday evening and picked up a loaf of bread ($2.50) and mid-week at Costco we picked up a couple of other items for about $18.00.  So $22.50 was my total spent on grocery items for the week!!  Hurrah!  This was also possible in large part to my freezer re-org.  This may sound a little dramatic (or maybe a lot) but having clean, organized freezers has changed my life....ok, maybe not my life but at least the way I meal plan. 

Here's what we managed to find to eat....

Breakfast - We mainly alternated between toast and cereal but I did squeeze in an overnight oatmeal - I can't help myself.

Corn Chowder (Mama Loves Food) with Tea Biscuits (100 Days of Real Food) - I prepared these last week to take with us for the weekend so we were cleaning up on this.

Lentils & Rice (Chef Michael Smith) - This recipe takes only a few ingredients that I almost always have on hand.  It also takes only about 5 minutes of prep time to make two days worth of lunches.  A great recipe to have in your back pocket.

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken (Kojo Design) - This was prepped and frozen a few weeks ago with this very day in mind.  I knew I would need to have something that didn't require a trip to grocery store for the Tuesday after the long weekend.  Oddly none of us were over the moon about this one the night of but I finished up the leftovers a couple of days later and loved it!  I'd almost recommend making it a day in advance because it seems to take that long for the flavors to really blend.  I served it with couscous though which Marin did love.

Greek Nachos from Palladium Family Restaurant - I'm throwing this out there for anyone from the HRM area.  If you love Greek food they serve some of the best in the city in my opinion.  Maybe not the most romantic setting for a date night but we loooove the food.

Stir-Fried Beef w/ Roasted Vegetables - this was totally one of those meals that was thrown together with whatever odds and ends I could find.  We had cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, beets and onion - which are all vegetables I love roasted.  Then I stir fried some strips of beef I had frozen with a bit of an Asian twist - sesame oil, ginger, soya sauce and honey.  It was actually pretty good.

Squash Soup with Grilled Cheese - I thawed some squash soup and served it with grill cheese.  A fun idea would be to cut the grilled cheese into bite size squares for homemade "Croutons". 

Personal Pizzas - I had whole wheat pizza crusts in the freezer, just enough cheese and toppings to manage a pizza!  Another pizza Friday.

Homemade Chicken Fingers (Rachel Ray) w/ Roasted Potato Coins - I stock up on boneless skinless chicken breasts whenever they go on sale so I had some on hand.  On Friday's I like to do "convenience" food and while these chicken fingers aren't out of a box they don't take much effort either.  I like to mix the breadcrumbs with grated Parmesan cheese.  For the potato coins I simply microwave the potatoes and then slice them into rounds about a 1/4" thick.  Brush both sides with oil and bake at 450 until nice and crispy.  We still had carrots and celery to have on the side too!

Smoothie - Marin's smoothie love continues - this week was Strawberry & Banana (both from the freezer), Kiwi & Kale (both leftover from last week and in need of being used up), coconut water and honey.  One of our best yet!

Your kids don't like eating greens?  Maybe they'll drink them!

Parmesan Popcorn -- Remember last week I said I wanted to try a new popcorn recipe?  Well I found a winner.  Baking the popcorn gave it a nice crunch.  I packed the leftovers as a lunch snack and it was still crunchy the next day.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins - I had four of these gems from last week stashed away in the freezer.

So not too bad for only $20 in groceries!  I didn't even have to break out the KD.  But now I really, truly am out of food!

What are your go-to meals when life gets in the way of grocery shopping?


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