Friday, September 28, 2012

Groceries and Meal Plan- October

I love, love, love to cook. It's a wonderful gift my mother gave me and it has truly become a hobby of mine. However, if you read my earlier post about our financial struggles you can imagine that this has become a bone of contention; my love of cooking v. budget.

Prior to our recent financial discussion, we decided to make a gradual move towards a gluten free diet. Between my stomach issues and the glaring research on gluten's effects to one's body, it seems like this is the right move for our family. I'm a little nervous how much this lifestyle change will cost, but we still think it's something to pursue. I probably won't be able to purchase all the various flours and/or replacements this month, so today I plan to price out some items I wrote down and purchase gluten free pasta and a loaf of bread for Bray's peanut butter sam-mitches (PB toast). Next month, I'll invest in all the flours and ingredients to make my own GF bread and baked goods.

Usually, my meal plan routine goes as follows.
I take one day to create the plan and grocery list. I start by researching, meaning I look through my Pinterest items,  Pioneer Woman's website, some of my favorite blogs,  and as of late the Gluten Free Goddess' site. I make a list of all that sounds yummy- I have a notebook that I use for my household notes. On another sheet I begin to write down ingredients- it used to be that I'd use one side of the sheet for Costco items and the other side for Hyvee, but since Trader Joes has been thrown into the mix my ingredient list is a bit jumbled.  After I create both lists, I go to my calendar and add each meal accordingly. This helps me ensure I have enough meals for the month. Side note: I often leave the last week open, because inevitably my schedule gets thrown off by impromptu family/friend meals, no leftovers, and it's good for us to have a  'clean out our pantry meal' or two. I try to create a plan for the whole month, but sometimes I narrow it down to two weeks at a time. This decision is contingent upon how much fresh produce is needed, whether I'm shopping at the Farmers market, and how busy our month is. This month is very busy so I've created a plan for the whole month. I'm kind of nervous about this, because I have no idea how this will fare financially. I'm making a lot of new recipes, so where I used to predict my costs, I now have a big question mark. Wish me luck!

Here's October's menu:

Turkey Meatballs with Spinach and GF pasta
Chicken nachos- I'll post recipe soon
BBQ chicken pizza with balsamic onions on GF crust- I'll post recipe
Chicken scampi with spaghetti squash- I'll post recipe
Roasted corn chowder with cilantro lime chicken
Sneaky tomato soup
Mozzarella stuffed chicken with spaghetti squash au gratin
Cauliflower potatoes with balsamic chicken- I'll post recipe
Chili- I'll post recipe
Whiskey, mushroom, chicken pasta
Mushroom, butternut squash, broccoli risotto
New mexican stew with turkey and green chilies
Pasta with roasted veggies
Mexican crockpot
Beef burritos
Chicken Alfredo- I'll post recipe
Egg, bacon, avocado sandwiches with tomato bisque- I'll post recipe
Chicken, avocado, sweet potato, black bean enchiladas

For sides, unless specified, I usually have salad or roasted veggies. A lot of times I make a big salad on Sunday and we eat on it until it's gone. Then there's times where I'm lazy and we just eat pasta.

Pumpkin froyo
Black bean brownies
Nutella hot chocolate
Monster munch

Energy balls
Homemade apple sauce
Hummus and Nut thins
Veggie straws

Baby Food
Potato, broccoli, Pea combo
Sweet potatoes
Butternut squash

Bob usually takes leftover's to work. Sometimes he gets a ham sandwich, but he doesn't like that too often.

Bray is a horrible eater. Just horrible. So his diet is rather habitual. Peanut butter on whole wheat toast (will soon be GF. pray for me) in the morning. chicken nuggets (organic from Costco) for lunch- on a good day I'll give him corn. Luckily, he's a good snacker and will eat almonds, apples, and bananas throughout the day.

Currently, I have a Body by Vi shake with almond milk or a salad. Dieting is for the birds.

Here's a little pic of life while I was compiling this blog, Avery was playing in her play pen and Bray was watching a video while eating his breakfast.

Off to tackle the grocery stores.

Happy Friday!
I'll post my marriage conference notes this weekend.


  1. I was totally into your meal plan until I saw blackbean brownies .... hmmm...

  2. Umm....Love this! Totally stealing some ideas as we're heading gluten free as well. Trader Joe's has brown rice noodles for the same price as their regular stuff - $1.99 here in Cali. We've found them to be a good GF substitute.

  3. Thank you for some new ideas! I try to find new recipes (at least one every week or two) but sometimes life gets busy and we get in a food rut. I'm going to try the turkey spinach meatballs this weekend. I have almost everything on hand already! I'm not sure about the gluten free...I think it's great you're trying it! I just need to research it more. How would one know if they are gluten intolerant? Is it obvious?

    1. Sorry for the late reply!
      Most know they are gluten intolerant by persistent stomach issues. It can also manifest itself through headaches, body aches, and other physical ailments. There's information on how the gluten today is not like our grandparents. The genetically modified wheat has harmful effects as it turns into a "gummy" substance when broken down, causing all sorts of problems as it passes through the body. Like most things, you'll find supporters on both sides.
      Happy researching!