I need help! I'm hopelessly undomesticated, a terrible cook, and our diet and bank account is suffering from unhealthy convenience foods, or over priced ready meals from Wholefoods.
We've got to save a lot of money between now and September so I can take maternity leave from my job (no paid leave) and cutting back on food by meal planning is the only way. I've also got some health issues (not allergies or anything food related) that I think will benefit from a super nutritious diet (think immune system strengthening).
We eat anything and everything and are adventurous. I don't have the time or creativity to come up with meals and need a couple of websites or books that I can go to and write down ingredients.
Would be very grateful for your suggestions!
: 01/10/2009 and 09/29/2011
I'd look at some of the old posts on this board honestly.
First, I'd make a list of everything you like to eat. Most meals are pretty easy to healthify or if it's something you eat out, you can make it at home.
Meal planning varies alot by what works best for each person. I only shop sales and then plan 2 weeks at a time from what we have in the house. Some people plan and then shop. I'd start with a week of writing down meals you want to make and then shop. Once you get into it, you can change it to suit your needs. There are lots of monthly meal planning threads you can look at for ideas.
My meal planning takes a very small amount of time and it isn't terribly creative but it's things my family likes and that I can make fairly cheaply.
- www.whfoods.com -- very healthy, you can print off recipes
- seach www.allrecipes.com for "highest rated" recipes. This site is awesome and has lots of ways to search (by type of meal, by ingredient etc.) and you can save the recipes you like into your online recipe box
- I hear reviews of the La Leche League cookbooks all the time where moms say they use them for YEARS and love them. You'd have to buy these from their site llli.org though, and they're a bit expensive imo
- you can get great deals on cookbooks at thrift shops (and there's always so many)
- consider once you find a recipe you like from online or in a book, print it off or photocopy it, then put them all into a 3 ring binder. Then you have all your faves in one place and can just write those ingredients on your shopping list
these are thing things im aspiring to do to, because i too tend to not plan enough and default to fast food! hope we both succeed! :)
By the way there's a thread on here called your healthiest and most delicious cheap meals, its great, here's one recipe I saved from there to get you started:
Slow Cooker Curried Coconut Chicken
* 1 can coconut milk ($1.09) Used $1 coupon on sale price
* 2 tsp curry powder ($.20)
* Salt and pepper
* 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ($2.87)
* 1 bag frozen stir-fry mixed vegetables ($1.09)
* 1 cup white rice ($.20)
* 1/2 tsp ground ginger, curry powder each ($.10)
1. Shake the coconut milk vigorously. Pour into the base of a lightly sprayed slow cooker. Whisk away any chunks of the coconut milk if necessary. Whisk in the curry powder and salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts into the coconut milk and spoon some of the milk over top of the chicken. Top with the
2. Set slow cooker on high for 6 hours (or low for 8-10 hours) and let it fill your home with an amazing aroma as it cooks all afternoon/day.
3. About 20 minutes before dinner, cook the rice as directed with a few dashes of ground ginger and curry powder added to the water. Extra flavor boost! (I stirred together the rice and veggies and some of the juices.)
4. Serve the Curried Coconut Chicken and veggies over the rice.
Mothering my boys the best that I can!
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I used RelishRelish.com for two so years. I think it wsa $7 per month for the subscription. There is an option for a free trail on the site.
Most of the meals are pretty good, focusing on fresh ingredients - like chicken breasts done with a homemade honey sauce and a spinach and mushroom salad with homemade vinegrette made with oj, that sort of thing. The "homemade" elements were super easy like honey and two or three other ingredients to make a glaze.
I think it would be easy to adjust the recipes to fit the budge - if chicken breasts don't fit the budget, substitute thighs or mixed frozen veggies for a salad, etc.