Tips and links to resources and blogs to help you save time and money.
Tip Number 1- get the most bang for your buck – know your nutrients
Here is a really interesting site that gives a good list of the 100 most healthy foods. They only included foods that are nutrient dense, affordable and easily available. The site really stresses whole foods and organics, which is great – but even if you aren’t going that route these are good foods to base your grocery shopping around. Print out the list and take it shopping with you.
They also include the history of each food -which can be surprising!
Tip Number 2- plan ahead, take advantage of sales
5 Day Dinner Deal
This meal plan provides a work weeks worth of easy dinners for a single parent with one or two children, with leftovers for lunch, completely customizable to your taste and what’s on sale.. For larger families, stretch the protein with additional vegetables/grain/potatoes.
If the thought of the same protein all week is too much, freeze some to use the next week and alternate. After a few weeks there should be a good variety.
If you buy large bags – the potatoes, grains and frozen vegetables should last for a few weeks worth of meals. Or get smaller bags for more variety. Buy what’s on sale that you’ll eat. Fresh vegetables are great, of course.
Listed below is the basic meal plan. Follow the same pattern in following weeks with ham, pork loin, roast, etc. , replacing basics as you run out. Pre- chopped garlic, onions, bell peppers, salsa etc. come frozen/ jarred and make a big difference in taste.
One Roasted Chicken.
Potatoes – get a 5 -10 lb. bag, they will last a long time
1 bag stew veggies ( or onion, carrot, celery)
2 bags different types mixed veggies
1 or two bags/boxes grains ( rice, quinoa)
1 box pasta
Box chicken broth
1 large bagged salad with dressing
1 pkg. dinner rolls
Salt/ Pepper/ Butter/ spices
Plan 1 – less work upfront
Night 1 – Chicken, salad, rolls.
Shred remaining chicken, divide into four bags.
Each morning in crockpot, or at night on stove:
Mix one bag chicken, a vegetable mix and a grain or pasta and seasonings – stir fry/ bake/ slow- cook. Pack leftovers for next day’s lunch. Add salad and rolls as desired.
Slightly harder version – but lasts through weekend.
Night one – chicken , salad, rolls
Shred about half the meat left on chicken, divide between 3 bags. Place two in freezer, one in fridge.
Put remaining whole chicken in crockpot ( or large pot ) , throw in two quartered potatoes, some of the stew veggies, splash of chicken broth, seasonings. Turn crock pot on low in morning before work.
Night two- chicken stew, rolls
Pack a portion for lunch.
Use a fork to get remainder of meat off chicken. Throw chicken carcass away.
Add rice , some frozen veggies and chicken broth to make soup. Cook on high for two hours to make sure rice cooks. Put in fridge.
Put 1 bag shredded chicken on top of salad add a little chopped fruit, nuts and/or fresh vegetables if you have it. Rolls
Put chicken soup in crockpot on low in morning
Chicken Soup with rolls.
Pack extra for lunch
Take one bag chicken , place in pan, stir fry with veggies. Make rice to go with, if you want.
Take remaining bag chicken , cook pasta, add most of chicken, butter and some veggies.
Use remaining chicken, microwave a potato, smash it up, fry chicken and potato with oil, onion.