Monday, June 23, 2014

Menu Plan Monday Meets Bountiful Baskets

A few weeks ago, we joined a Food Co-Op called Bountiful Baskets. The Market on the Move season has come to an end and I ran across a link to BB in a Facebook group that I joined, so I thought I would give it a go. I am SO glad that I did. I have been in a meal planning slump lately, and getting a "goodie bag" of produce every week has really gotten me out of it. The premise is pretty simple. Every Monday I go on their website and select they type of basket I want (regular or organic) and any add-ons like breads, granola, themed baskets, etc that I might be interested in. Thus far, I have just been getting the regular basket and the only add-on I've tried was a gallon of organic olive oil. Anyway, I pay my $17.50 and then on Saturday go to the designated location at the designated time and I pick up my TWO LAUNDRY BASKETS full of delicious produce, one of fruits and one of vegetables. It's been so awesome!

This week's basket included bananas, nectarines, a lot of lemons, mangoes, grapefruit, pineapple, green leaf lettuce, Roma tomatoes, corn, celery, and spaghetti squash

I based my menu for the week off of what I got in the basket, which GREATLY reduces my grocery bill. Here's what we're having.

Week before last, in a moment of weakness, I caved into the "Mom, we always eat such healthy food, can we please please please, just this once get some junky cereal? It's my birthday week." Safeway had double pack of Family Sized Cinnamon Toast Crunch on sale for $5.99. After coupons, I think it was like $3, so it came home with us. The girlies have been in hog heaven. They will be finishing off the second box for breakfast this week. If it runs out before the week does, well, I have some bananas from last week's box that are just about ready for Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins. Click on the link to see the recipe. That being said, the only thing I will need to buy this week for breakfast is a couple of gallons of milk and some juice for Den.

Lunch and Snacks
This is my first time posting a Menu Plan Monday in a while, so I will explain why I lump these two together. My very favorite lunch ideas site is called This Lunch Rox. I have been using it now for a couple of years and the girlies haven't complained of a boring lunch since. The only problem I ran into was that Jamie puts a lot of stuff in there and food was being wasted. My solution was to also use her ideas for morning and afternoon snacks, and allow the girlies to pick and choose what they want to eat when. It has VASTLY cut down on the amount of processed snacks that the girlies were eating. I'm not a total Food Nazi, and I do occasionally add in a few of the girlies' favorite prepackaged snacks, but when they're gone, they're gone, so they have learned to make them last.  So, lunch this week will be Peanut Butter Roll-Ups (with or without banana), sliced tomatoes, cucumber "chips" (cucumber sliced thinly with my Pampered Chef crinkle cutter), pineapple, nectarines, granola bites, pretzels, and almond flour cookies, which I will actually make for dessert on Sunday night and then we nibble on what's left for the rest of the week. I am using the lemons and grapefruit from my basket, along with some limes and herbs I have in the fridge to infuse some water to go with our lunches and I got some yummy Organic Pineapple Island Breeze tea for my birthday that I will make as well. I'll have to buy cucumbers, brown rice crispy cereal, peanut butter (we're out), and pretzels when I go to the store, but that's it.

We are doing easy peasy dinners this week since Den is out of town.

1. Apple Spice Buttermilk Pancakes, sausage, and fruit from the basket
2. BLT's on Ezekiel toast, pretzels, and fruit from the basket
3. Eggs, bacon, and Ezekiel toast
4. Spaghetti squash with beef and quinoa meatballs and marinara and a green salad
5. 35/35 BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, and a green salad

I have a meeting one night, so the girlies will be eating over at a friend's house and I will be having a yummy chocolate Advocare shake for dinner and Monday nights are almost alway leftovers night. All I will have to buy for dinner this week is some parsley and a jar of marinara sauce (Shhhh....)

Let me stress that this is NOT a normal week for us. I have a lot of things on hand from some previous couponing trips and a lot of the things I am making this week rely on staples. That being said, I am really looking forward to a less-than-$50-on groceries week!