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Monday, October 7, 2013

Meal Plan Monday: Saving Money on Your Gluten-Free Meals (Oct. 7-13)

Money Saving Meal Plan Tip:
Eating healthy, and especially gluten-free, can be pricey if you aren't careful. There are so many ways to meal plan--but really, the only ineffective meal plan is NOT having a meal plan. Meal planning not only saves time, but it saves money with fewer trips to the grocery for last minute ingredients and fewer restaurant or take-out dinners.

One of my favorite ways to save money on our GF menu is to cook around the weekly sale circular. As I sit down to plan our family's meals for the week (generally on Sunday), I do so with my calendar in hand and my Sunday newspaper ads. I leaf through the Kroger, Meijer and Aldi ads and look for excellent deals on produce or meat and try to work those into my menu.
For example, this week canned pumpkin is $10/10 with 11th item free at Meijer and $.89 at Aldi. Not only will I make several recipes with pumpkin this week, I will also stock up for the weeks to come (anything less than $1 is a good price!). I also noticed that Aldi has 3 lb. of sweet potatoes for $.99 and ricotta cheese for $1.79. Kroger has Annie's Homegrown Mac-n-Cheese for $1 and fresh pineapple for $1.99. I'll get my spaghetti sauce at Meijer and stock up on 3 lb. bags of onions, both included in the $10/10 sale.
What if you see that ground turkey, canned tomatoes and cheese are on sale and still have no idea what to do with them? Try Pinterest! Type a few key words into a search and see what comes up to inspire you. {Speaking of Pinterest, are you following me? Click HERE.} Or try a recipe site, like All Recipes, where you can type in ingredients and look for corresponding recipes. For an excellent list of advertised and unadvertised grocery deals, coupon match ups and more--visit Bargains to Bounty.

Instead of planning your meals and then paying full price for the ingredients you will need, try coming up with your meals AFTER you check out what you can get for a steal at your local grocery store/s.
Here is what is on our family's menu this week. Recipe links are shown in BLUE. Items on sale are listed in RED.
Sauteed Asparagus

Pasta e Fagioli Soup w/GF Pasta (tomatoes, beans, celery, carrots & onion on sale)
Spinach Salad w/Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Yogurt Topped with GF Pumpkin Granola

Dinner at church

Thursday ~ (Kids' night--Dad works late)
Spelt Pumpkin Waffles (not GF) w/Pure Maple Syrup
Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage
Blueberry Banana Smoothies (with spinach...shhh!!)
GF Crockpot Lasagna* ~ Recipe coming soon!
Spinach Salad w/Homemade Ranch Dressing
*ricotta & spaghetti sauce on sale

Dinner out

Mini Chicken Pot Pies w/GF crust  (Make extra to freeze)
Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli

Do you plan your meals around what's on sale at the grocery? I'd love to hear from you. Please leave any questions or comments in the space below.

I'm linked up at I'm an Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

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