Monday, September 17, 2012

This week at Ingles . . .

Dinner time is a stressor for me. I find that as 4:30 rolls around around every day, I am in a panic, searching my kitchen for something "appropriate" to feed my family. If I am not prepared then I succumb to the delicacies of corn dogs and peanut butter sandwiches. In my effort to become more disciplined I am undertaking renovations of family dinner time. Now, I used to be a couponer, but since my coupon buddy went back to work full-time over a year ago, couponing has lost it's joy and become a burden for me. However, I am still a money-saving-mama and find that if I spend some quality time on Sunday night with the Ingles' sale paper I am in a great position to save money AND provide my family a much more healthy dinner than would otherwise be the case.

So, here's the Hatchett Family Meal Plan for this week:

Monday - Spaghetti 
You know how to do this. Shake it up by using pasta in a fun or different shape.
Barilla pasta = 4/$5
Classico Sauce = 2/$4
Fresh Express Salad = 2/$4
-without bread your total meal for a family of 4 or 5 is $5.25. That's barely a dollar per person!

Tuesday - Mexican Chicken 
Pop your chicken breasts in the your crock, cover them with the Rotel and cook until done. Just make sure you carefully remove the chicken when complete to make sure there are no small bones that come dislodged and remain in your chicken.
Bone-in-Breast = $0.98/lb or about $2.94 for 3 lbs.
Rotel Tomatoes = 10/$10
Zatarain's Rice (Spanish) = 10/$10
-before adding in tortillas this meal comes to $4.94!

Wednesday - 
Thank Goodness for Wednesday night meals at church. This is a blessing to Mom's everywhere. If your kiddos are not involved in a Wednesday night children's program then the mere fact that most serve dinner is reason enough to get them there!! One day I will write "An Ode to the Wednesday Night Meal." Thank you.

Thursday - Pork Chops
This one is the budget buster for the week, but in my house Thursday is usually the night I can go all-out in the kitchen. I try to do my Beloved a big favor and fix him something really nice. I'll most likely do this one in the crock as well. Dust chops with a mesquite seasoning and put into the crock. Add potatoes and onions and cook until done. Fresh veggies on the side and VOILA!
Chops = $2.98/lb or $8.94 for 3 lbs.
McCormick Seasoning Packets = 10/$10
Potatoes = 10 lbs for $2.98 is about $0.90 for this meal
Onions = $0.78 per lb and about $1.56 for this meal
Bird's Eye Steam Fresh Veggie = 5/$10
Total for this meal is $14.40. A bit more than I like to spend for the other meals during the week, but still a good sight less than what we'd get a heart-attack in a bag for elsewhere. And even though you can steam these veggies in the bag, I generally opt for a glass bowl in the microwave or a quick spin on the stove-top. Fewer creepy plastic parts sealed into my otherwise healthy veggies that way.

Friday - Football Night Manwich
My crew likes to go to the local high school football games (and pray) so I try to have something quick and easy to clean. Thankfully, my Beloved likes Manwich so this is a super easy choice for us.
Manwich = 10/$10
LL Pretzles = 10/$10
Grapes = $1.68/lb so about $3.36
Buns and ground beef were not listed in the paper this week so I'll have to price them in a bit, but thus far you're looking at $5.36. Choose a fruit other than grapes and you may be looking at less. Either way, this price still won't be near Thursday night's total.

If you go into Ingles with only this plan today, you'll spend less than $40 for 4 nights of food for your family. Not too shabby on the pocket book and you aren't slacking in the substance of meals here either. 

I am looking at the Progresso 10/$10 soups and deli turkey on sale for $4.98/lb as likely lunch candidates this week along with left overs. With an extra bag of salad you can turn Tuesday's chicken into a spicy lunch salad for Wednesday. There are also good deals on cheese sticks and apples (both organic and non) to keep on hand for snack time.

There are some GREAT 10/$10 deals at Ingles this week so also look at stocking up while there. I like to keep a stash of the McCormick seasoning packets for chili and pot roast and whatever else I see they are offering. (I love little helps that make my job easy.) My baseball players are always in need of sunflower seeds and at 10/$10 I'll be stocking up on those this week too. It's a good time to add extra spaghetti fixings to the pantry stash for a quick meal in another week or so. And I always look for the family deals in the meat department. It's often much cheaper to buy several pounds of ground beef or a big package of chicken legs (organic is on sale too and I will be buying to freeze until next week) than smaller servings. Better to divide and freeze than spend your extra money on something as unexciting as dead animals. ;o)

Have a Wonderful Week!
*Follow the Ingles link to their weekly sale page and make/print your list from there.

UPDATE: Including the $11 worth of ground beef, my meal total this week was $40.95 (including tax - even though I'm still not sure how grocery tax works). That just leaves one problem - the other $100 I spent NOT on meals for this week! How on earth did that happen?!?! LOL The story of my life.

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