How to make a meal plan

I have always learned not to go shopping on an empty stomach, but this seems inevitable at times. (Especially since, when the cupboards are empty enough to force us to go shopping our stomachs usually are too.) But there is definite wisdom in this saying, especially when you are on a budget like me.

Meal planning is the way to avoid over spending when grocery shopping, use up the more random ingredients in your pantry and plan balanced healthy meals. So how do you plan meals for a week? First, decide which ingredients you want/need to use. For me this either means the thing that I keep seeing in my fridge and wondering what I am going to do with it before it goes bad or something I've been craving. Step two is find recipes with ingredients you want to use. Google recipes is a great resource for this type of meal planning. I just type in the ingredients I have or will buy and then hit the recipe search on the left side and scroll through the listed recipes til I find one that is right for me.

Random ingredients of the week: tons of broccoli, cauliflower, kale and figs.

All of these came from our friendly neighborhood bountiful basket and the last two I had never done anything with so into google recipes they went and out came our : Meal Plan for the week

Tuesday- Kale and bean soup (I will definitely let you know how this one turns out)
Wednesday- Pizza (in honor of Nick's birthday tomorrow!)
Thursday- Lemon fig chicken
Friday- Claimjumpers (We are going out for Nick's birthday with his sister and brother-in-law, Steph and Zach)
Saturday- Black beans and rice
Sunday- Tacos

And we made a big dent in the broccoli and cauliflower with a recipe from here. It was amazing! Stuffed with vegetables and flavored with bacon, I was in heaven. The bacon could easily be exchanged for grilled chicken. (But the bacon was delicious, as bacon always is.) A word of advice though, make sure to keep the bacon separate until the end so that it doesn't become soggy and lose some of it's flavor.

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Thanks for your nice words. I appreciate them so much.