My journey with Once a Month Meals continues! The last two of days I’ve taken time to organize my meal plan for August, including which recipes to make, printing my grocery list and shopping! I’ve gone with the Once a Month Meals Pro membership because I have a somewhat picky family and I wanted to option to be able to swap out meals. If you have easy-going eaters in your family and you like to take the guesswork out of what to make, the basic membership would be perfect for you. With the membership you also get access to all past meal plans so you aren’t stuck with just the meal plan for that month.
So, let’s get into the details. I used the July Whole Foods meal plan as my jumping off point. For those in the USA, this is not to be confused with the Whole Foods store chain. It simply means that the recipes are based on whole foods and all ingredients made from scratch. At this point I started swapping out a couple meals with ones that I thought were a little “safer” as a first timer. As I mentioned in my last post, I also asked my husband to have a look through the recipes to see if there are any that appeal to him. I think I’m starting to realize why our weight isn’t coming off as fast and easy as it did in our 20s and 30s because the majority of the meals I were drawn to either had “Cheesy” or “Creamy” in the title! Not to be outdone, if it had the word “Bacon”, it was on my husband’s list! Let’s just say I had to make a few compromises to ensure we were eating what we love but still eating healthy on most days! Here are the recipes I chose for August.
- Sausage Skillet
- Almost Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets
- Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Cheesy Chipotle Chicken & Rice
- Monterey Chicken Quesadillas
- Brown Sugar Glazed Meatloaf
- Cheesy Sausage Pasta Bake
- Creamy Chicken Pockets – Diet Version
- Enchilada Pasta
- GFDF* Sesame Chicken & Rice
- Paleo Bacon Crusted Pork Tenderloin
- GFDF* Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli
*GFDF – Gluten Free Dairy Free
The plan creates enough meals for the number of servings you need x 2 meals per month. So I’ll be creating 24 meals!!! In addition to these, either because I love my family THAT much (or I’m THAT insane), I’m also going to make my family favourites of spaghetti sauce, sweet & sour meatballs and a large lasagna. Here’s a great example of why planning is vital to your success. I plotted on my calendar all the days that we will have house guests next month to ensure that I have prepared meals while they are here as well. At one point I have the potential for eight house guests in addition to my family of five! As the month’s go by I’m hoping I’ll get a little more adventurous and trusting with the new recipes but for now, I want to ensure I’ve prepared a couple of meals that I KNOW are my tried and true recipes.
Now that everything was decided, it was time to get my supplies! Once you save the meals and select the number of servings you’ll need, the shopping list can be generated. This made my trip to the store very easy…especially since I had two little ENERGETIC boys with me (not necessarily recommended but sometimes not an option). Here a snippet of my shopping list.
With list in hand, I headed out to get everything I needed. I was happy to see that there was nothing crazy or unusual on my list, which made things a little easier (and saved $$ because a lot of things I had in stock already). I’m not going to lie though because when I saw my grocery bill hit the $250 mark I started to panic a little. Is this really going to be worth it?!? In total my grocery bills (Sobeys & Costco) came in around $375. A crazy amount for me in one shopping trip but when knowing this will provide me with all my dinners for a MONTH, I started to relax a little. I know I’ll still have to buy fruit and a few fresh vegetables each week but when I think that I’m generally spending $150 per week (a good week) in groceries, coming in at $400 for the month doesn’t seem as scary. One thing I will do next month is plan out my meals earlier in the month and pay closer attention to the sales flyers in hopes of saving even more!
MY SHOPPING TRIP REVEALED!
Want to see what I’ll be working with? Have a look!
At first, I felt very overwhelmed and at the same time I had a wave of tremendous gratitude wash over me. Images like this remind me to appreciate just how fortunate I am to be able to own this much food.
The bulk of my expenses came from the meat portion but if you choose the vegetarian recipe options, you will of course, have a much different looking group of foods. For those of you who know me and know how much I stress the importance of eating vegetables, please remember that I will continue to buy (or pick) my greens this month to accompany all my meals. I’ll be talking a little more about how a meal plan like this can work for your whole family AND still work with any weight loss goals, etc… in another post.
And before you ask, YES, the wine is for the meals. Well….9 fluid ounces of it anyway. I’m not a drinker but cooking 24 meals in one day may just turn me into one. 🙂
So there you have it! I’m now ready for the prepping phase! Join me tomorrow when I’ll go through what it takes to prepare meals for my family of five…for a full MONTH! I’m really hoping it won’t be as scary as it sounds. So far, it’s all be relatively easy and painless so I’m optimistic! Have a great day everyone!
If you are just joining me, you can check out my other posts in this series by clicking the links below or visit the Once a Month Meal website by clicking the photo below.