One of the strategies that saves me the most money year-round is planning my meals around the store sales ads. For example, this week at Giant, boneless chicken breasts are $1.99/lb, ham steaks are .50 after coupon, bags of potatoes were BOGO, and I picked up a pound of ground turkey on clearance for $1.80. I plan my recipes around these items and throw in a few vegetarian meals to even it out.
For school lunches this week, I'm making:
- Chicken Salad Sandwiches: I'll make some extra chicken along with dinner one night, then smash it up with chopped celery and mayo.
- Chicken Ranch Wraps: Leftover chicken with lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing in a whole wheat tortilla. At $1.99/lb, it's way less expensive than deli meat, and we avoid nitrates and other unhealthy ingredients.
- Pasta Salad: I'll take that .50 ham steak and cube it. Then, I'll add it to cooked pasta, peas, and chopped tomatoes and toss with Italian dressing.
- Ravioli: I'm sending the kids with thermoses filled with cheese ravioli mixed with pesto and broccoli. I can easily make this the night before alongside dinner cooking.
And here's my dinner plan for this week:
Sunday–I used that ground turkey right away, in Turkey Spinach Burgers along with Homemade Fries and Broccoli Slaw.
Meatless Monday–Quesadillas with cheese, corn, black beans, tomatoes and green onions.
Tuesday–Honey Garlic Chicken, brown rice, and green beans
Wednesday–I'm using some of that ham in a Broccoli & Cheese quiche, along with Rosemary Potatoes.
Thursday–Ginger Chicken Soup
Friday–Homemade pizza with veggies (green pepper, mushrooms, olives, etc.)
Saturday–Leftovers night! I lay out everything from the fridge and we eat buffet-style.