The Cure for Your Meal Planning Blues

Healthy Meal Planning Bundle 2018

What if there was just one thing standing between you, a lower grocery bill and a healthier life?

I know it seems hard to believe but hear me out…

Healthy meals don’t just happen. (Wouldn’t that be nice!) You have to decide what you’re eating, make your list, buy the ingredients, and then prepare everything. And the domino that starts it all is knowing what you’re going to eat.

In other words, the path to a lower grocery bill and health begins with a plan.

Starting today, and for only 48 hours, you can get your hands on ready-made meal plans for just the way you eat – complete with shopping lists and fresh recipes – for a ridiculously low price.

It’s called the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle and here’s how it works:

It’s a complete meal planning solution made up of 10 mini-bundles.

Each bundle contains digital cookbooks, fresh meal ideas, and ready-made plans (and even grocery lists!). No matter how you eat, there’s a mini-bundle that’s perfect for you and there are two buying options:

Option 1: Pick up just one mini-bundle that works best for your life right now – quick & healthy, budget-friendly, Instant Pot & slow cooker OR diet-specific options like vegan, real food, paleo, keto, gluten-free… there’s one that’s right for you.

Option 2: For less than the price of two mini-bundles, get the ENTIRE package with over 3,000 recipes and 100 weeks of made-for-you meal plans, so you’ve got total control no matter how your food needs change.

You really can start saving money and get healthier, starting today.

Make those dominos fall by picking up your copy of the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle (or any of the mini-bundles) right here.

Sale ends September 25, 2018.

The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge: Week 3

The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge from SimplyFrugal.ca

Welcome back to the Eating from The Pantry & Freezer Challenge!  Here’s what it’s all about or you can read the post from Week 2.

Here’s my update from last week

I took a little hiatus last week since we had family visiting and we were all over the place! We feasted on burgers, hot dogs, pizza… all the healthy stuff 😉 Needless to say, we still have quite a bit of stuff in our pantry and freezer!

This week should be different so we should be going through quite a bit of stuff.

Getting creative with what you have left

At this point in the challenge you may have come to a point where you need to be creative when it comes to using up what you have an abundance of and filling the spaces of those things you wish you could go out and buy.

There are a few great websites out there that will come up with some recipes for the ingredients you already have on hand.  All Recipes is one of them.  Simply input the ingredients you have and the ingredients you don’t have and it will pull up a list of recipes you could make!  Recipe Matcher, Supercook and Ingredient Chef are also good resources!

Here’s what we’ll be eating this week:

Since not many of my planned meals got made last week, you’ll see some recycled meals on this week’s menu.

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

  • Breakfast:  refrigerated oatmeal
  • Lunch:  Potato soup
  • Dinner: Quiche, salad

Friday:

Saturday:

  • Brunch: Bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, toast
  • Dinner:  Leftovers

Sunday:

Now it’s your turn, what’s your update and what will you be eating this week?

The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge: Week 2

The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge from SimplyFrugal.ca

Welcome to the second week of the Eating from The Pantry & Freezer Challenge!  Here’s what it’s all about or you can read the post from Week 1.

Here’s my update:

As it seems with all my weeks, not every meal I had planned got made.  Things just come up or we have more leftovers than we thought!

But I did manage to rid our freezer of a few things!  Some taco meat is gone, a couple of bags of frozen fruit are gone, along with quite a few frozen bananas.

Here’s what we’ll be eating this week:

Monday:

  • Breakfast:  Banana Muffins, yogurt, fruit
  • Lunch:  Egg Salad sandwich
  • Dinner: Ham, mashed potatoes, corn (didn’t get made last week)

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs with yogurt
  • Lunch: Potato soup using leftover ham?
  • Dinner: Cheesy Beef & Rice

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast:  Refrigerator Oatmeal
  • Lunch:  Potato soup using leftover ham?
  • Dinner:  Baked Ravioli

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Banana muffins, yogurt, fruit
  • Lunch:  leftovers
  • Dinner: Leftovers

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Refrigerator oatmeal
  • Lunch:  Smoothies
  • Dinner: We will have family in town so maybe a BBQ but I’m not setting anything in stone

Saturday:

  • Brunch:  French Toast
  • Dinner:  We will have family in town so I’m not setting anything in stone

Sunday:

  • Breakfast:  Oatmeal/cereal, yogurt, fruit
  • Lunch:  Egg salad sandwich
  • Dinner:  We will have family in town so I’m not setting anything in stone

Now it’s your turn to share your menu plan with the rest of us!  We’d also love to hear your progress and savings report!

The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge Starts! Week 1

The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge from SimplyFrugal.ca

It’s time to start the Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge!

I told you last week that I’d be sharing my goals and plans, so here’s what I’ve got in mind:

My number one goal is to clean out the pantry and freezers, especially the freezers!  It seems like we’re always throwing stuff out because it gets lost for far too long. 🙁

Also, I think it’s important to say to make this challenge your own.  Decide what will work best for you to help you clear out your pantry and freezer while still making it a challenge.  Maybe this means you won’t be buying any household items (toilet paper, toothpaste..etc) because you really do have enough to get you through until the end of the challenge. Or maybe you realize that you have a ton of stuff to go through so you can actually do the challenge for 5 weeks.  Make it yours!

Now, how am I going to make this happen?

I took inventory of our pantry and freezers (and discovered that I don’t have as much meat as I thought)!  Here’s what I’ll be working with:

  • Some shredded chicken
  • a couple of packs of Ground beef
  • Taco meat
  • Ham
  • Shrimp
  • Pulled pork
  • Plenty of flour, oatmeal, rice, pasta, quinoa
  • Lots of dried beans and lentils
  • Lots of frozen fruit (peaches, strawberries, mixed berries, raspberries)
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Chicken nuggets/fries
  • Puff pastry
  • Crackers
  • Apple sauce
  • Premade butter chicken and Coconut curry (No one will eat it but me!)
  • Frozen bananas
  • And lots more!

I’m actually quite shocked at how much I found and I’m sure I could do this challenge for longer than I have planned!

Don’t forget to join the Simply Frugal Pantry Challenge Facebook group!  I want it to be a place where we share meal inspiration, tips and more!

Here’s what we’ll be eating until next Sunday 

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast:  Oatmeal
  • Lunch:  Tomato soup
  • Dinner: Taco bar

Thursday:

  • Breakfast:  Banana muffins, yogurt, fruit
  • Lunch:  Chicken noodle soup
  • Dinner: Ham, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal
  • Lunch:  Smoothies
  • Dinner: Chicken in basil cream sauce, Greek quinoa, steamed vegetables

Saturday:

  • Breakfast: Waffles with Berry sauce and whipping cream
  • Lunch:  Cheese Quesadillas
  • Dinner: Fettucine Alfredo, Caesar Salad, Raw carrots

Sunday:

  • Brunch:  Oatmeal/cereal
  • Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwhiches
  • Dinner:  At my parents

On Monday, April 23, I’ll be back with my next menu plan!

Now, it’s your turn to share your menu plan, goals and plan of attack with the rest of us!

Join in on the Eating from the Pantry/Freezer Challenge!

The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge from SimplyFrugal.ca

Do you find your pantry and freezer overflowing with food, yet you keep buying more food?

Would you like to join me for an impromptu pantry and freezer challenge? You could possibly save hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill by eating out of your pantry and freezer!

We’ve been feeling lately, in the Simply Frugal household, as though we’ve got way too much food just hanging around not leaving the pantry and freezers. (umm, except for the ice cream, that mysteriously disappears ;)!)

Since I’d like to use up what we have in the freezer and pantry to use up many items that are coming up on their prime, I thought a challenge would get me motivated!  Maybe it will help you as well?

Here’s the plan:

Starting on Wednesday, April 18, the Eating from the Pantry/Freezer challenge will officially start!

I’ll be sharing my menu plan on Wednesday and would love to hear your plans and goals as well!

What you’ll need to do before April 18:

  • Do a complete inventory of your pantry, freezer and fridge
  • Decide what your goals will be for the challenge (how much do you want to save, how long do you think you’ll be doing the challenge for…etc)
  • Write up a meal plan for at least the first five days of the challenge (Wednesday  – Sunday)
  • Make a list of the items you’ll need to buy to complete your meals.  (I’ll still be buying produce, dairy and eggs)

Every Monday following (April 23 and 30) I’ll be sharing my menu plans and progress. (At this point I’m not sure how long I will be doing the pantry challenge, but I will know once I take inventory.) This would be a great time for those of you joining in on the challenge to share or link to your menus and progress in the comment section!  I’ll also be tracking how much I’m spending on groceries for the duration of this challenge and sharing my totals.

There’s a Facebook group that I would love to have you join! Click here to join the Simply Frugal Community.  I think it will be a great place to share meal ideas, tips and even our struggles during the challenge!

Does this makes sense?  Any questions? 🙂

Here are some useful resources to help you out with the challenge:

Will you be joining me as we eat from the pantry and freezer?

How to Make Vegetable Broth

Want to learn how to make vegetable broth? Here's how to make vegetable broth using the scraps from your kitchen. So simple and frugal!

How to make Vegetable Broth

My Mom, being the awesome Mom she is, sent along her instructions, with a couple of pictures, on how she makes homemade vegetable broth!

The broth is perfect for soups, stews, rice dishes, Risotto, and pasta sauces!

Want to know how to make vegetable broth?  Read on…

There are a ton of vegetable scraps that can be salvaged for broth:

  • carrot peelings
  • broccoli, mushroom pieces, celery, peppers, onions
  • Herb stems
  • Pretty much anything if it isn’t rotten!

Here are some tips to prepare your scraps:

  • Scrub your vegetables before peeling
  • Place all your scraps/peelings into a freezer bag or container
  • Keep adding to the bag/container until you have enough to make the broth (about 4-6 cups worth)

Vegetable Broth Method:

  1. Place the peels to a stock pot, add enough water to cover completely, then add ground pepper, bay leaf and a garlic clove.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Cool the broth, then strain and discard (compost) the solids.
  4. Pour broth into containers and refrigerate or freeze for up to 3 months.

So simple!