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How To Meal Plan With Your Current Pantry/Freezer Stock




Things have been getting chaotic in our house in the past couple of weeks. We of course all got sick from the ever changing weather so we were stuck in the house during the few days of 70+ degree weather and now that we aren't sick it won't stop snowing. Spring in Wyoming problems...I know I have been posting my meal plans every couple of weeks with a few of my recipes but since my mother in law and stepson will be coming into town next week to visit my meal planning isn't going to be the usual. So I decided to share how to meal plan around what you currently have in your pantry and freezer. Of course you'll have to get a few extra things to complete the meals BUT it's a great way to use up what you already have. If you are new to meal planning this will help you figure out what to do with what you have. Once you've used up your current stock then you can hopefully start better buying habits. 

My sister is not a meal planner but has been wanting to start doing some since it not only makes things a lot less stressful but it gives you more free time to enjoy summer activities with your kids. There's also the biggest benefit of meal planning and that's your grocery budget! When you meal plan you don't overbuy and you order take out or go out to eat A LOT less. My sister, as do I, loves a good deal. Whenever there's a buy one get one free deal and it is something she uses she'll snatch it up. This isn't a bad thing except for when you aren't meal planning and it gets thrown into the deep freezer never to be seen again. 

I told my sister to make me a list of everything she had currently in her freezer and pantry that she wanted to use up. I was able to make her a 2 week meal plan and she didn't have to buy much extra to complete all of the meals. Her and I both have a very well stocked spice cabinet so that definitely makes a difference as far as the extra costs. Once she completes this current meal plan she will be able to start regular meal planning and then maybe I can convert her to becoming as obsessed with freezer meals as I am! 

Below is the list she sent me of her current stock. 


Jenn’s Grocery Stock:


Meat:


4@ Frozen Turkey Sausage Breakfast Links (12 oz)


1@ HoneyBaked Ham Frozen Precooked Turkey.


4@ 1lb package of Ground Turkey


3@ 1 lb package of Grassfed Beef (85/15)


1@ 2.26lbs skinless/boneless chicken tenderloins.


1 @ 9.6 oz Turkey Sausage crumbles.


1 @ 1.33 Skinless Chicken thighs.


Frozen Veggies/Fruits:


2@ Frozen Black Eyed Peas (15oz)


1@ Frozen Stir Fry Veggies (15oz)


2 @ Package of Mashed Cauliflower.


1 @ Frozen Cauliflower


1 @ Frozen Spinach


1 @ Frozen bag of Alexia Brand French Fries.


1 @ bag of Frozen blueberries


1 @ Frozen Mango


1 @ Frozen Pineapple


PANTRY


1 @ large Costco bag of Quinoa


1 @ package of gluten free rotini


1 @ 16 oz bag of dried red lentils


1 @ chicken chili soup dried bean soup mix


1 @ package of dried fava beans


1 @ 15 oz bag of yellow split peas


½ bag of polenta (corn meal)


Almond flour
Gluten free baking mix


I bought a bag of baking potatoes.

I strongly suggest you do exactly what my sis did above and make a list just like this. Once she sent it to me I was able to create an entire meal plan for her in about an hour. I was able to plan for breakfast items, snack items and 14 days of dinners!

Here's what we came up with!
1. Turkey Sausage Links (Breakfast for Dinner) with Pancake Muffins
*2 eggs
*2 tbsp lemon juice
*2 cups milk 
*2 tsp baking powder
*1 tsp baking soda
*2 cups GF all purpose flour (make sure it has xantham gum)
*1/2 tsp salt 
*3 tbsp sugar
*2 tsp vanilla extract
*3 & 1/2 tbsp melted butter
Instructions: Add lemon juice to milk and make your own buttermilk. Mix all ingredients. Spray a muffin pan with non stick cooking spray. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full (1/4 cup scoop). Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Freeze leftovers and reheat in microwave for 1 minute. 


2. Turkey Pot Pie (Honey Baked Ham Frozen Precooked Turkey) 
https://www.budgetbytes.com/vegetable-pot-pie-skillet-cheddar-biscuit-topping/  (halve the veggies & substitute chopped cooked turkey)

3.  Skinnytaste Giant Turkey Meatball with Cheesy Spinach Polenta (1 pound ground turkey)

4. 3 Bean Turkey Chili with Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins (1 pound ground turkey)

5. Zucchini Turkey Burgers with 1/2 Bag of Alexia French Fries (1 pound ground turkey)

6. Turkey Sloppy Joes with 1/2 Bag of Alexia French Fries (1 pound ground turkey)

7. Korean Beef Bowls with Thinly Sliced Cucumbers, Shredded Carrots & Chopped Green Onions (1 pound ground beef)

8. Hamburger Steaks with Caramelized Onions and Mashed Cauliflower (1 pound of ground beef, frozen mashed cauliflower)
*1 pound ground beef
*2 tbsp + 2 tsp gluten free quick oats
*2 tbsp + 2 tsp milk 
*1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
*1 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
*1/4 tsp ground black pepper
*1/4 tsp garlic powder
*1 egg white
*1 tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces
Instructions: Combine all ingredients except for butter. Form into 4 patties. Top with more garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce then place 1 piece of butter onto each patty. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with caramelized onions. 

9.  Ground Beef & Black Bean Nachos (1 pound of ground beef)
*1 pound ground beef
*1 packet taco seasoning or homemade equivalent 
*1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
*shredded sharp cheddar cheese
*bag of tortilla chips
*additional toppings of choice


10. Chicken Teriyaki with Rice & Stir Fry Veggies (1 pound chicken tenderloins & 15 oz bag stir fry veggies)
*3 cloves grated garlic 
*1/2 cup gluten free soy sauce/tamari
*1/4 cup cold water
*2 tbsp cornstarch
*2 tbsp rice vinegar
*1/4 brown sugar
*1/4 tsp ground black pepper

11. Chicken Chili Soup (1 pound chicken tenderloins & 1 bag dried bean soup mix)

12. Instant Pot Chicken Thighs with Mashed Cauliflower & Veggie of Choice

13. Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa (vegetarian)

14. Rotini with Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (vegetarian)
*28 oz can tomato sauce
*28 oz can crushed tomatoes
*1 rounded tbsp tomato paste
*4 garlic cloves, grated
*2 tbsp red cooking wine
*2 tbsp brown sugar
*1/2 small onion, finely diced
*1 tsp salt
*1 tsp dried oregano
*1 tsp dried basil
*1 tsp dried parsley
*1 & 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
*1/2 tsp paprika 
*1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Instructions: Add all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Allow leftover sauce to cool completely. Pour into a gallon size freezer storage bag. Lay bag flat in freezer. (You'll most likely have leftovers of the sauce. You can always buy extra noodles and use it for lunches during the week. My husband often does this.)

Breakfast:
*Breakfast Burritos: Turkey Sausage Links & Crumbles 
*Smoothie Packs: 1 handful fresh spinach + 1 cup frozen fruit + 1/2 sliced banana + 1 tbsp flax seed meal (freeze in quart size bags) Serving Day: 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup milk or milk alternative & squeeze of raw honey
*Pancake Muffins 

Snack:
*Fava Bean Dip with Gluten Free Pretzels, Carrots, Celery, etc. 


We were able to use all of the following: 
*turkey sausage breakfast links
*turkey sausage crumbles 
*precooked turkey roast
*ground turkey
*ground beef
*chicken tenderloins
*chicken thighs
*stir fry veggies
*mashed cauliflower
*fava beans
*frozen fruit 
*rotini noodles
*polenta
*dry bean soup mix
*french fries
*gluten free baking mix
*quinoa 

She's already enjoying the reduced stress of knowing exactly what's to eat and the lower grocery bill is an added bonus! 

Do you have an overly stocked freezer and pantry? Write a list and use it up! You'll feel great knowing you are using what you already have and not spending money when it isn't needed. 

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