On Planning Meals (Again)

>> Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Meal planning is an area that totally fell off the radar last year. I don’t even want to know how much money we spent on food. There was just the regular everyday food. Then the comfort foods (so many of them). The many, many nights of takeout. And, of course, the ever-changing list of foods I could and could not eat during two different first trimester morning sickness phases. Ugh.

In other words, we spent hundreds more on food each month than we normally do. I didn’t lift a pen to plan a week of meals maybe the whole year. We stopped shopping smart. We stopped hitting up stores like Aldi for better deals. And, yes, despite the money suck -- it was sort of awesome to just eat whatever, whenever we felt like it. 

BUT for the first time in forever, I wrote out a plan for the first week of the new year. I wrote up a grocery list and headed to Aldi. I even grabbed a few things that weren’t on my list (including a major stock of organic beans that were on sale!) and still spent only $97 for a hulking cart of food!

Why, why, why did I ever stop doing this? I had a smile from ear to ear the rest of the day. It definitely helps that I’m now 15 weeks pregnant and can actually enter my kitchen again without gagging.

The List

Stephen tossed our receipt (I’ll save them in the future), but here’s approximately what we bought. The list will look weird, but it’s the order in which I picked everything up at the store. Oh, and shopping took maybe 15 minutes from entering to exiting the store. Score.

  • Organic teddy graham snacks
  • 2 jars medium salsa
  • Strawberry jam
  • Organic honey
  • Large tub rolled oats
  • Steel cut oats
  • Organic honey toasted oats cereal
  • Aldi version of Lucky Charms (I know, I know...)
  • Organic dark roast coffee
  • Block cheddar cheese
  • Block Jack cheese
  • Block pepper Jack cheese 
  • Ball mozzarella cheese
  • Bag shredded mozzarella
  • Organic string cheese
  • 2 packages (10 each) whole wheat tortillas
  • Sea salt grinder
  • 4 cans organic black beans
  • 4 cans organic chickpeas
  • 4 cans organic pinto beans
  • 4 cans organic kidney beans
  • 2 cans organic fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cans pumpkin puree
  • Zucchini
  • Garlic
  • Bag of onions
  • Bag of local apples
  • Bag of Meyer lemons
  • Bunch bananas
  • Sleeve Kumato brown tomatoes
  • Organic baby kale
  • Organic arugula
  • 2% milk for Ada
  • Eggs
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Loaf sprouted grain bread
  • Jar pizza sauce

I swear I’m forgetting several things. But that’s the gist. Like I said, we hadn’t been to Aldi in a long while. I was sort of astounded at all the new organic and natural food offerings. Especially the sprouted bread!

The Plan:


Cold cereal or muesli 
Mango Lassi Smoothie w/ kefir + kale
(Egg + toast for Stephen)


Wraps + bread
(PB+J or grilled cheese for Ada)


M: Lentil loaf* with mashed potatoes
T: Leftovers 
R: Leftovers 
F: Pizza night using Pumpkin Dough
S: Homemade Ciabatta sandwiches w/ fries

* Recipe soon


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