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Christmas in July?

by Meghann on July 18, 2012

Best. Swimsuit. Ever.

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The Christmas tree suit was part of a swimsuit grab bag that Stephanie recently ordered online. For $15, she was sent a bag with a mystery swimsuit inside. That “mystery suit” was the Christmas tree suit. Classic. Of course, that’s not deterring her from wearing it to practice. Wear it loud and wear it proud, Steph! :)

Our coach had to work late, so we were on our own for practice. He did send a workout….

This was my interpretation of that workout:

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Let’s just say I may or may not have cut a “400 hard” out of there or shortened the warm-up just a tad. What? I was hungry and didn’t want to be there all night. After a week of being out of the pool, this workout was just fine.

Before practice I made a snack of a corn tortilla with a slice of provolone cheese.

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  • Corn tortilla: $0.06 ($1.09 for package)
  • Provolone cheese: $0.20 ($2.00 for package)
  • Total: $0.26

I knew I wasn’t going to be home from practice until after 8:00 (and that I would be tired and hungry), so I planned tonight’s meal accordingly.

Easy veggie and black bean tacos.

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So simple – just zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and black beans. Cook the veggies first until soft, season with chili powder, salt and pepper (we’re allowed to use spices in the #Surviveon35 challenge), add black beans, and serve in corn tortillas with a side of plantains.

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  • Publix black beans: $0.85
  • 1/3 white onion: $0.41
  • Zucchini: $0.87
  • Yellow Squash: $0.66
  • 5 corn tortillas (3 for Derek, 2 for me): $0.30
  • Cheese: $0.62 ($2.50 for block. we used about 1/4 to shred cheese on top)
  • Plantain: $0.60
  • Total: $3.44 (or $1.72 each)

Dessert was a handful of granola (I’m going to have to get creative in the sweet tooth department)

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  • Granola: $0.18 ($2.50 for box)

Thank you for all of your Meal Planning Tips! As promised, here’s a few of them.

  • Christine: I sit down every Sunday morning and plan 5 dinners, based on things I’ve pinned on Pinterest, what I have in the cupboard already, and our schedules. I then make a list, deciding what I’ll get at Target, Trader Joes, and then the regular grocery store. I just joined Costco and plan to make a monthly run for things that we need (ie not the huge pack of awesome muffins).
  • Amanda: I look through the coupons at our local store and then meal plan around that usually. I have staple meals that I’ll rotate each week and then add in a couple new ideas too so things don’t get overly boring.
  • Angela: Bulk cooking and freezing is the best thing I have found for meal planning when you don’t have a family to feed. Sometimes it can be cheaper to buy larger quantities of things than single/couple sized portions. I also like to cook up loads of brown rice and freeze it in portions. I would never have it during the week otherwise as it takes so long to cook and I would never buy it pre-cooked. Those are crazy prices!
  • Bethany: When I meal plan, I always keep two things in mind: my schedule and variety. Right now I’m training for a half marathon, and I know on my running days, I’m not going to be done running and showering until 7 or later, and I’m not going to want to cook. On those days, I’ll either do something very quick or have leftovers. I also try to plan to not eat the same type of thing two days in a row…for example, if I have stir fry one night, I might have a quesadilla the next night. Planning is a hassle on Fridays, but it makes the rest of my week much simpler and helps me stick to a budget. I usually spend about $30-35 on groceries per week (though I do dip into pantry items often, so it’s not quite like what you’re doing right now).
  • Jessica: Every Sunday afternoon I take a look at the week’s schedule, plan workouts, and plan meals based on the schedule and workouts. Anal retentive? Yes. But it works! A few things that have helped me: (1) crock pot meals for times I might be tempted to just order a pizza or go out and spend extra money (like Wednesday nights after swim!). If dinner is ready and waiting at home, I have no excuse. (2) Overlapping ingredients. If I make beef with broccoli and rice on Monday, I’ll go ahead and make extra rice to go with a teriyaki chicken with pineapples and peppers Tuesday night. When I prep the peppers and the chicken on Tuesday, I’ll prep enough to go with Wednesday night’s meal, etc. It helps with portion control and reduces waste! (3) I usually plan four weeknight dinners (lunches are usually leftovers), but have a “standby” meal if needed. Most weeks I have enough leftovers to stretch into another dinner, so a fifth is overkill and I end up buying veggies, etc. that will go bad if not eaten.
  • Kaitlyn: try to figure out how many different ways I can use one item (like a tub of cottage cheese, a bag of dried beans, etc). Dried beans/grain, like rice, lentils, black beans, can go really far if you try to plan two or three meals around it.

The overall themed seemed to be:    

  • Pick a day of the week and deem it “meal planning day.” Create your list, grocery shop, and prep your meals all on the same day.
  • Take the household’s schedule into consideration and plan meals around that. Schedule easy meals on days you know you’ll be very busy, and more in depth meals when you know you’ll have the time.
  • Overlap ingredients. Pick a few ingredients and design a few meals around those ingredients. When you’re prepping the ingredients for one meal, prep them for the next as well. (i.e. make extra rice or chop extra peppers)
  • Utilize leftovers for lunch.
  • Variety keeps it interesting.
  • Bulk cook grains or other items at the beginning of the week.
  • Plan with the sales circulars or coupons by your side. Check the web for coupon deals.
  • The crockpot is your friend.

Noted. :)

Alright, time for bed.

Good Night!

I’m participating in the #SurviveOn35 Challenge with Anytime Fitness and FItFluential. Check out THIS POST to learn more.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not July 18, 2012 at 10:30 pm

At first meal planning was totally overwhelming…but now its overwhelming to shop without a plan! I love all of those tips!
Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not recently posted..Eats on repeat

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2 Jessica @ New Girl, New City July 18, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Loving the Christmas suit :)
And great tips!
Jessica @ New Girl, New City recently posted..Back At It

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3 Ellie July 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm

I want to thank you for doing this project! As a future RD I get so sick of hearing people say “eating healthy is too expensive”. I just started my own blog (I have not even posted yet) and want to take on projects like this. SO THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

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4 MCM Mama July 19, 2012 at 12:33 am

You are doing great so far. I have to agree that my sweet tooth is often my downfall.
MCM Mama recently posted..Simply Bar Review and Giveaway

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5 Becky @ runfundone July 19, 2012 at 12:36 am

Mystery grab bag swimsuit? I’ve never heard of such a thing! But I love the suit!
Becky @ runfundone recently posted..NUUNKOTB Steez

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6 laura July 19, 2012 at 12:46 am

omg.. I saw your black bean tacos right before I left work, and I went straight to the store and bought the ingredients, they were sooo good! Thanks for the quick dinner idea!

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7 Elisabeth July 19, 2012 at 3:19 am

Great tips! I have always been a meal planner (at least since I started being the shopper/cook in college) & find it too overwhelming to go to the grocery without doing it. I do anywhere from 5-8 days at a time & we take turns going to the grocery with the list.

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8 cathy@1970kikiproject July 19, 2012 at 6:08 am

that is THE BEST swimsuit EVER!! love it and want it!!
cathy@1970kikiproject recently posted..kikiproject: we’re half way!

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9 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats July 19, 2012 at 8:38 am

These are some great tips! I really need to work on getting my grocery budget down, I spend waayyyy too much and on just one person!

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10 Kaitlyn @ Chocolate Running Shoes July 19, 2012 at 8:51 am

Thanks so much for sharing!!!!
Meghann, you inspired me yesterday so today I just had to blog about meal planning/leftovers/getting creative in the kitchen. It was a lot of fun!!!
Kaitlyn @ Chocolate Running Shoes recently posted..[Leftover] Turkey and Squash Meatballs

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11 Amanda July 19, 2012 at 8:51 am

I like the meal break down costs you list, puts things in perspective :) It is totally doable to eat healthy on a budget yet people still use that as an excuse for Americans obesity problems. My family already eats on this kind of “budget”, more or less, and food is one of our big priorities. I love our Kroger, they have great produce selections, even some local stuff. I always use their sale items, its cheaper with their card and you earn points for gas breaks. I still miss Publix but Kroger is pretty good, and no pink slime in their meat!
Amanda recently posted..Thoughts for Thursday

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12 Rae July 19, 2012 at 9:21 am

Is that a splish suit? LOVE those things!! I have 3 grab bags myself…they are so comfy and fun.
Rae recently posted..The Seven Year Itch

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13 Meghann July 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

It’s a Dolfin Uglie suit. Not sure what the grab bag was through though.

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14 Megan @ Megan's Munchies July 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

That suit is fabulous!
Megan @ Megan’s Munchies recently posted..Megan’s Munchies Does Taste of Dallas 2012

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15 Stephanie July 19, 2012 at 10:18 am

That suit is great!
I noticed that if I don’t do a meal plan when I plan to go grocery shopping that I buy too much, and I still don’t have a clue as to what meals are going to be made. So I will research and research as to what I am going to make for lunch/dinner and I finally find something, success! But then I notice that I don’t have a key ingredient! Blast! So yes, meal planning is the best and a great way to stay healthy.
Stephanie recently posted..Addictions

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16 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Great tips – definitely going to need some help with shopping on a budget once I go back to school in September.

And that suit just cracks me up – that’s awesome.
Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..They Can’t All Be Winners.

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17 Kelsey July 19, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I love meal planning! I try to only spend $50/week for my husband and I.
Kelsey recently posted..Luck of the Draw

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18 MegS July 19, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I am still working on planning meals for the entire week! I’m getting better at it though! You’ve been such an inspiration for me in past two years! Thanks Meghann! (By the way, my full name is “Meghan”) It’s neat to meet another Meghan with an h! I like the extra n too! :-)
MegS recently posted..Eggin’ dinner on!

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