Weekly Meal Planning and Budgeting

I have been seeing freezer meals on Pinterest for quite a while but I didn’t think that I had the patience or the budget to complete a week of meals in one day. With school in full swing and homework help added into the day, I finally decided to start. After a little research and and several recipes I have found at least one combination that truly works.

1. Meal Planning- Plan your entire week of meals right down to the sides. I do this by my own preference and asking everyone else what they would like as well. This way you can grocery shop accordingly and prevent the need for last minute grocery store trips. {Which I hate more than anything.}

2. Find out which days your grocery store marks down meats and buy as much as you need for the week. This week at Ingles we scored everything from hamburger steaks for a dollar and a half to chicken drumsticks for 98 cents a pound. It may cost a little more that day but you will soon find that you are spending far less for the week each time. {TIP: Even if you normally don’t buy chicken breasts bone-in with the skin on, often the cheapest chicken option, you can boil them for twenty minutes and pick them apart using two forks to use in quesadillas, chicken chili, enchiladas, etc.}

3.  Make double the amount you need. This is beneficial in two ways; you can eat one for supper and freeze the otx3er for later, or you can eat the same meal again the following night. {TIP: If you don’t like to repeat or get tired of something easily you can eat it the next night instead.}

4. Prep all meats at once. If you are planning to have chicken in three of your meals that week {For example: Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza, and Chicken Pie} cook all the chicken at once and store the amount you need for each in separate baggies. {TIP: You can take this a step further by seasoning each bag of chicken as the recipe calls for.}

5. Prep all your veggies at once. If I know that I need hamburger, onions, and green peppers in two or more meals, I will brown a large amount of hamburger {2.5 pounds} at one time and add enough onions and green peppers to use the mixture in all my recipes. { Example: Taco Salad, Rainy Day Chili, and Meatloaf Parmesan all start with this meat mixture.}
By Prepping all your meats and veggies at one time, there is only one clean up. You will have a major part of your prep work done for the week and this is a great start to having a whole freezer full of meals.

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