February 10, 2020

Meal Planning 202

I'm calling this 202 because 101 would probably be all the other meal-plan posts I've written in the last 10 years.

202 is an advanced level because it involves a toddler and a desire to stay under a budget, utilizing our pantry and freezer, and dinners that can be done in 30 minutes or less.

A few things:

+I don't like it, but I do 99% of our shopping at Walmart. They have the most reliable and best-priced produce here, so that's what always wins for me. I haven't been to the commissary since that post I did last spring but, generally, the commissary always has the best produce. I hated Walmart in Colorado. Walmart in Laramie was great. It all depends.
The local grocery store chain here is way too expensive, especially regarding produce, which is odd to me.
Aldi and TJ's don't have the selection I want.

+And, finally, I shop at Walmart because I can get the dogs their canned food there (We mix it into their dry food we order from chewy.com every two months...this is a practice Scott began in 2017 in Laramie and I do not recommend starting it because you won't ever be able to stop. They're too spoiled now.)  Walmart is the only store that sells the brand we buy.

+I also get protein shakes, soap, toothpaste, paper products, cleaning products, medicine, etc....ALLLLL of that gets wrapped into the grocery bill. So our grocery bill is closer to $200 every week but that's, like, everything.

+Sometimes I go to Costco, but maybe just every other month. I have a short list of things I like to buy there when I can, just for the purpose of stocking up (k-cups, chicken, guacamole, salmon, dog bones).

+When it comes to meal-planning, I don't generally plan breakfast or dinner. Breakfast is always a combination of eggs, toast, oatmeal, yogurt, and fruit.

+Lunch lasts anywhere from 10am-3pm, depending on what we're doing; he's a snacker, much like me. Crackers, guacamole, grapes, cucumbers, hummus, green smoothies, and/or leftovers. Sometimes he'll do a little bit of a peanut butter sandwich. Rarely do I make anything other than that.

I keep the breakfast and lunch foods on hand every week and then I plan for dinner.

+This is a real week, except that I forgot Monday, so I added in Saturday as a bonus. Usually Scott either isn't here on the weekends or we're at a grandparent's house. So weekends are a free-for-all for me and Wells when it comes to dinner or someone else is doing the cooking.

Sheet pan nachos and a salad. These had shredded salsa chicken on them.

Israeli couscous with veggies and parmesan. Plus a piece of salmon for Scott (and I think Wells had a bit of that too). I need to update my couscous recipe. I've taken it to the next level lately by using bone broth instead of water. It's much like a risotto. I do make this at least once a month.

BLTs, except I make them with just bacon, tomato, and avocado. Iceberg lettuce serves no real purpose, right?  Roasted broccoli and cauliflower gnocchi on the side.

Stir-fry. I should've taken a picture of the package, but I grab the kits from the produce section every few weeks. I did chicken with this one.

I roasted up a bunch of Yukon gold potatoes for just Wells and me.

When it comes to meal-planning, I'm not the best at it these days, but I'm trying. I still rely on my Pinterest boards to track things I'd like to make and things I've already made and I refer back to them once a week or so.

Any meal-planning secrets to share???

Michelle did a fabulous post about this topic last month and it inspired me to document what meal-planning looks like in this season of life. :)


  1. I dont even know the definition of meal-planning. We 'meal plan" like 5 minutes before we're supposed to eat & usually involves take out :) LOL

  2. I love seeing what people eat! That couscous looks delicious. Lunch is basically a bunch of snacks for us too. I never know what to eat. Lately it’s been eggs and fruit and crackers. Whatever works.


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