My personal Winco shopping trip + weekly menu plan

by Melody on January 14, 2013

photo(4)I posted recently about a $10 off $50 purchase coupon valid at Winco Foods (you may have received one in the mail too), so I decided to head in and use mine.  Winco has great prices every day, so adding $10 off made it definitely worth a trip.

One of my big goals for 2013 is to be much more diligent about weekly meal planning.  While it can be a little bit of work in the beginning, it is a HUGE time saver throughout the week.  We are so darn busy these days now that we are going to the gym in the afternoon, so dinner often becomes “Grab something from the freezer” or “Grilled cheese sandwiches again!”.  We are participating in a Clean Eating Challenge with our gym this month and next, so the last minute options aren’t always viable.

I first took a look at what was already in our fridge and freezer and tried to plan meals around those items.  I also didn’t want to pick up any duplicate items or double up on produce we already had.

I went into the store with a generic produce list, but changed it up a little based on prices.  Normally I shop after looking at the weekly ad at other stores and already know what the prices are, but this time I had to be a little more diligent.  For example, red bell peppers were just $.68 each so I stocked up.  Grapes were on my list but were $3.99/lb, so they were quickly axed.

Everything in the picture above cost me about $52, including 4 pounds of deli lunch meat, a huge tub of yogurt, chicken base and a yummy package of prosciutto that you really can’t see.  And obviously, TONS of produce.

Here’s what on the menu for the week:

Main Dishes

:: Paleo Asian Style Meatballs
:: Chipotle Beef Taquitos from Our Best Bites
:: Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Gravy
:: Prosciutto Wrapped Mini Frittatas

Extras

:: Paleo Morning Glory Muffins – Picked up almond flour and raisins in the bulk section

:: Homemade Larabars – Picked up dates and dried apricots in bulk

I try to actually add my workouts to my weekly calendar.  We are 3-day per week members, so I can easily schedule them out.  Not only to keep me accountable, but I can plan my meals around my gym trips.  For example, most Mondays I go to the gym at 4:30 with my husband.  By the time we get home, we are all starving, so Mondays I plan a slow cooker meal.  I plan meals that are a little more work on the days we are home in the afternoon.  It’s so nice to have the week laid out so I don’t forget to run an errand or forget to feed my family.

I would love to hear any tips and tricks you have for menu planning?  Are you a monthly or weekly planner?  Do you plan all meals?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie January 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I’m meal planning because I’m now watching a baby a few days a week for some friends in a bind. That means I have two 3 month old babies on those days ( mine and theirs) – its fun – but by the time our little friend leaves around 7pm dinner just isn’t happening.
I have her today and Tomorrow this week so I had to be really diligent – this is good practice as I go back to work in 2 weeks and will have to be good about being prepped if we are going to stay eating healthy and on budget.

This week we had chicken pot pie (ok this ended up awesome but not as healthy as I would have hoped ;) ) http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Chicken-Potpie-3

Tonight we have Spinach / mushroom lasagne, I combine a cooking light recipe, with smitten kitchen’s home made ricotta, with Our best bites speghetti sauce (its under speghetti and meatballs and let me tell you – AMAZING). End up with almost two pounds of spinach in it.. I cut the home made ricotta with part skim.. and I feel pretty good about it. I pre made it yesterday and will bake it tonight.

Tomorrow we will likely have costco periogies – a little costly but oh so good – we sautae them with walnuts, chicken sausage, any veggies we have on hand (so spinach this week), feta and any other random things I think sound good. Its fast – its easy and again – I feel relatively healthy.

We will also have walnut crusted fish (panko, coconut, walnuts, and then a flour and egg beater dip first) and clam chowder.. which frankly – is good but so not healthy – it starts with a half cup of butter and included half and half.. but it gets thrown in the crock pot so I like the ease ;)

I made a grocery list and mostly stuck to it – I went to grocery outlet this weekend and that place is such a hit and miss – when I see something good I have to snatch it up! I’m hoping to get to winco towards the end of the week – we are having a taco bar for some family in town this weekend… :)

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molly. January 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm

holy crap you are inspiring!

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Amanda January 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I plan out dinners only. If I am trying to break bad eating habits and clean up my eating, I will plan for myself for all meals. My kids and husband are all “I like to eat basically the same breakfast and lunch every day” people, so my non-dinner shopping list for them doesn’t vary much.
For dinners, I look at what meat and veggies I have left, then I use some resources: crockpot cookbook, Clean Eating magazine meal plans and “shopping bag” recipes, and I also did a 6 month subscription to Emeals (that I got at a great price) and I have all of those meal plans printed out and in a binder so I look at those too. Occasionally use Eat Clean Diet cookbooks or my pinterest boards.

I usually plan for 5 meals and we do leftovers or “easy dinner” (homemade pancakes, soup & salad, etc). Since my kids are 5 & 6 it is hard to predict how much they will eat. I usually make too much and have no trouble filling plates on leftover night.

One thing I am not very good at is meal planning that matches sales. Occasionally I’ll see something and build a meal around it, but more often I find a good deal (like Manager’s Special meat at Yokes), buy it and freeze it and then work it in later. This week I planned based on my 10lb/$.97 bag of potatoes from fresh Friday last week!

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