Meal Planning happened, and I shopped yesterday.
Things I had to keep in mind: My younger child is in an evening event at a local fair on Thursday night and needs to be there by 6. My older child has a band trip and leaves on Friday morning. There’s also a band concert for younger child on Wednesday.
And its Memorial Day. And part of the reason to plan is to try to give ourselves the good food we’ve become used to, but on a reduced budget.
Added info: weather reports suggested a cold and rainy Saturday, with warmer and sunnier Sunday and Monday for the holiday weekend.
For Saturday, I planned a long slow cook of a big piece of meat. There was a chuck roast in the freezer and I bought locally-grown paprika at one of the early spring farmers markets. Goulash, then, with traditional sides of potatoes and cabbage.
Sunday: Good time to use any leftover goulash. Assuming that my ravenous teenager left us any. If leftovers: then beef pie. If no leftovers, lentil soup from pantry staples.
Monday: Burgers. But while I love our grill, it’s old-school charcoal-fired and takes awhile to get up and running. Seems like a lot of work for 8 burgers. What else could we do? What about having some marinated meat ready to go and grilling it for use later in the week? The Serious Eats Cart Chicken recipe calls for cooking meat and then marinating the cooked meat again and warming it for service — I’m betting that it would work great with meat grilled and set aside for another day. And grill-roasted eggplant makes awesome baba ganoush, so we can do that too.
SO that’s three meals for one firing of the grill:
Monday: Burgers (on buns, with cheese if desired), potato salad, broccoli slaw, and smores
Tuesday: Mediterranean Picnic — Hummus, baba, pita, feta, and tomato/cucumber salad.
Wednesday: Cart Chicken, just as the recipe presents – over rice with its iceberg salad. As it calls for chicken thighs, it’s easier to justify going organic free-range on those. My farmer’s market source doesn’t do those, though, so they’re from my grocery store, and probably less free-range than hers.
Thursday: Has to be fast – need to get Secunda from after school, feed her, and get her down for the start of her walk. Bean Burritos it is.
Friday: With Primo out of town, Secunda is going to ask for something he hates. Homemade mac and cheese with a side of frozen broccoli or glazed carrots.
Shopping list for all that came to just under $100. I pushed it over by adding a six-pack of beer and a four-pack of fancy root beer for Memorial Day. Farmer’s Market tally was another $20, but some of that was noticing my meat supplier had canadian bacon in stock and picking some up for next week. Total for the week, including beer, was under $140.
(Yes, I used freezer roast, but I also added meat to the freezer. That kind of give-and-take is why I’m not being specific with numbers here, and why for my overall budget I’m looking at monthly tallies).