Six days until the start of our Whole30! Today is the day we begin working on our menu plan.
I used to love to cook. Really, I did. But, as my family has grown, cooking has become a chore. When googling Whole30, budget-friendly recipes, I noticed one thing pretty quickly. Apparently, the definition of the words “budget friendly” is subjective. Who eats shrimp and fresh salmon on a budget, much less gives it to their kids?? Second, a lot of recipes require tons of time in the kitchen! Um, not this momma! When you have to feed 10 people every meal that you cook, plus make enough for leftovers the next day, simple-to-prepare, great-tasting recipes are a must.
I need to pause here for a moment for a commercial break. Because several of the businesses I mention in my posts have affiliate programs, I have felt torn as to whether or not to share affiliate links. Then I put on my big girl pants and thought, why not? When you purchase using any of the links I share, I do receive a small commission from your purchases. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! Now, back to the business at hand.
When creating my menu plan, I begin by planning out our dinner meals. First, I determine what my protein sources are going to be. For us budget-minded folks, that means chicken, beef, tuna, and wild-caught canned salmon. I buy most of my chicken and some beef from Zaycon Fresh. Because Zaycon tends to bring each item they sell to my area twice a year, I try to plan my budget accordingly. Their price for chicken thighs can’t be beat: 40 lbs. of chicken thighs for $1.69/lb. I have purchased chicken breasts from them for years and the quality is always great! Recently, their price for chicken thighs has gone as low as $1.49/lb!
Next, I declare a theme for each evening meal. I purposefully plan to have salad for 2 different evening meals. Keep in mind that most store-bought salad dressings have added sugar in them. Tessamae’s salad dressings do not. You can find them in the refrigerated produce section at HEB. There are also lots of super easy recipes to make your own salad dressing. I like this balsamic dressing, and leave out the sugar. We put the ingredients in a canning jar, screw on the lid, shake it up, then serve.
Sunday-Salad Bar (who likes to cook on Sunday nights?)
Wednesday-Ground Beef or Turkey
Saturday-Soup/Stew (I’m taking advantage of the cooler weather here!)
Next, look at each of your protein sources and choose 4 different, Whole30 compliant meals. For example, on Mondays, I might fill in grilled chicken breasts and veggies, a crockpot chicken recipe served over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles, chicken tacos with jicama tortillas or without the tortilla, and chicken salad.
Woah! Two hours have flown by and now it’s time to get the kiddos up and move on to homeschooling! Tomorrow, I will share more about menu planning and our go-to meals, plus we’ll talk kids and Whole30.