A Week in the Life: Meal planning and proteins, proteins everywhere

by Melody on March 11, 2013

Welcome to a Week in the Life.  Each week I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money or time.  Or both.  The purpose of this series is to highlight the fact that there are SO many different methods you can use to lower your overall budget that don’t involve mad-crazy coupon shopping.

I have been doing some grocery soul-searching over the last few weeks.  We switched to a mostly Paleo-style diet about two months ago and while this has done amazing things for our bodies and how we feel, it can be a challenge to keep up with the cooking and the dishes.  Oh my heavens, the dishes.

I’ve been doing a good job of meal planning for the week, basing our crock pot meals around when we will be at the gym later in the afternoon and planning more lengthy meals for the days we stay home.  However, having a main dish prepared is one thing, but we always have 2-3 vegetables on the side.  Preparing these (even quick dishes) can have us eating later than we’d like and leave me with a sink full of dishes every night.

Not only do we need a good solid protein and veggies every night, but I pack my husband’s lunches so we need extra of everything.  My plan for this week was to make several things in advance on Sunday and Monday to have a fridge stocked with prepared main dishes AND side dishes.

I started at the grocery store.


First stop was at Winco.  I received a $10 off $50 purchase coupon that expired yesterday (3/10), which apparently everyone that lives in the Tri-Cities was using at the same time as I was.  I tried to get in and out as quickly as possible without losing my mind.  I spent about $58 on everything in the picture above.

I picked up lots of lunch meat for easy protein, veggies that were priced well (red bell peppers, cauliflower, carrots), grapes at just $1.98/lb and two ginormous pork loins for just $6 each that I will divide up and freeze.

And yes, you do see some marshmallow fluff and Cool Mint Oreos in this picture.  No judging.  I’m making these Triple Layer Fudgy Mint Oreo Brownies for St. Pat’s Day.  And seriously, why the heck not?


Second trip was to Costco to round out our vegetable stash.  Mushrooms and romaine lettuce are priced really well at Costco and the Mixed Baby Kales are awesome, so easy to throw in salads, under a fried egg, in a smoothie.  The ground beef wasn’t necessarily the best price on the planet, but at $2.99/lb, it was decent enough for a family who goes through meat like it’s going out of style.  I will divide up this pack and freeze in 2-lb portions.  I spent about $45 on everything shown above.

Yesterday afternoon, while my kids and husband were out playing trucks in the front yard, I got busy.


I threw in a double batch of these Mustard Garlic Drumsticks, which I imagined would last longer, but were enough for one dinner and lunch for my husband.  Man, we can eat.  And no comments about the baking pans.  I know.


Instead of waiting until the morning to throw something in the crockpot, I let this Pepperoncini Beef cook overnight.  When I woke up, I shredded the meat and threw it in the fridge.  It made a TON so we should have enough for a few dinners and lunches.

My plan for today is to chop up a ton of lettuce for salads, slice red bell peppers and carrots for grab-and-go snacks and cook up a huge pan of sauteed mushrooms.  There is no law that says your vegetables have to be made the night you eat them.  I also plan on making a batch of cauliflower rice to serve with the roast one night.

I’m also going to make a double batch of Honey-Chipotle Meatballs, save some for dinners and lunches and freeze the other half.

Please share your tips and tricks for making the weeks run smoother.  How is it that deep down I know what needs to be done, but suffer through the stress anyway until I finally get a kick in the pants?  Why don’t the answers ever come sooner?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelsey March 11, 2013 at 5:57 pm

The link for the drumsticks doesn’t go to the recipe 🙁 could you post it? They sound delish! Thanks!


Melody March 11, 2013 at 8:58 pm

I just updated, sorry about that! And they are delish, have made them twice now.


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