Budget Meal Planning around the Whole Deal: Whole Foods Market Green Hills

by Sami

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whole-foods-market-meal-plan-sami-coneI’m partnering once again with Whole Foods Market Green Hills to teach you budget meal planning around their Whole Deal.

Our ‘Everyday Ways to Save at Whole Foods Market” posts were so popular last year that we’re back to help you save even more money in 2012!

One of my favorite savings tips is to make use of the Whole Deal: not only does it always have fabulous health tips and tons of money saving coupons, but they also feature a weekly meal plan!

Watch the video here:

So if you missed any of those details, let me break it down for you here.

Since the Whole Deal comes out 6 times a year, you can’t rely on it for your weekly meal plan, but you can use the recipes you’ll find in their meal planner as a template.

Essentially, what you want to do is take a piece of paper (or a spreadsheet) and break it down into 7 columns, one for each day of the week. Then, instead of assigning a recipe to each day, I want you to assign a category of food. For instance, here’s what we did in our family (as seen in the video):
Monday: Soup night
Tuesday: Mexican night
Wednesday: Asian night
Thursday: Breakfast for dinner
Friday: Appetizer/Family Fun Night
Saturday: Pizza Night
Sunday: Leftovers

Just take a look at the spread for a week’s worth of meals I created that was inspired by the Whole Deal:

20120119-210727.jpgNow, on to the recipes!

Monday: Slow Cooker White Chili


Monday night is a great soup night for us, especially during the winter months. We love finding recipes that we can throw in the slow cooker and walk away until dinner time, like this Slow Cooker While Chili from the Jan/Feb Whole Deal. The greatest thing about this recipe is that you can alter it to your preferences. For instance, I added a frozen pepper/onion blend because it offered a better value. It’s easy, hearty and nutritious – a real crowd pleaser!


Tuesday: Tequila Lime Chicken


Tuesday in our house is known as “Taco Tuesday”, but really, we serve up all kinds of Mexican food on Tuesdays! Of course we love our tacos and salads, but it’s fun to mix in those Mexican flavors with some more traditional dishes, like with this Tequila Lime Chicken recipe. The actual Whole Foods recipe calls for salmon, but since I’m allergic to salmon, we just swapped it out for chicken (plus it makes it more kid friendly too!).


Wednesday: Miso Soup & Gyoza


Our kids LOVE Asian food and would eat us out of house and home if we let them when it comes to Japanese food in particular. That’s why I love the 365 Everyday Value Organic Miso Soup: It’s less than $3 for 4 servings (when you’d pay that for just one bowl at a restaurant!). I paired it with some gyoza (Japanese dumplings, also known as potstickers) that we picked up in the freezer section at Whole Foods Market. This is great for midweek if you don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen, or if you’d rather make homemade gyoza, you can use my gyoza recipe 😉


Thursday: Waffles with Kefir


Another fool-proof favorite in our family is breakfast for dinner. When I saw the coupons for waffles & kefir in this issue of the Whole Deal, I jumped on it! We also love just cooking eggs, grits and bacon too. It’s a great way to make a playful dinner and breakfast is almost always a great value (especially when using the Whole Deal coupons!)


Friday: Warm Spinach Cheese Dip


Fridays are always family fun night in the Cone Home, so we LOVE to watch a movie in the living room and make a dinner out of finger foods and appetizers. A new favorite in our house is this recipe for Warm Spinach Cheese Dip. You’ll actually see the recipe is for a Warm Broccoli Cheese Dip, but I didn’t have any broccoli on hand, so I pulled out some organic spinach I try to keep on hand in the freezer and it turned out great! This week we paired it with some tortilla chips, the yummy Whole Foods Market guacamole and 7 layer dip that I picked up in their prepared foods section and Voila! Dinner is served!

Want to win everything you see above?

One person will win a free pantry makeover that will include the ingredients to make all the amazing meals you see above…plus you’ll win a one-on-one value coaching session with me (total value over $300)! All you have to do is enter at Whole Foods Market Green Hills between now and February 2, 2012. Then, show up for my live workshop and value tour on 2/2/12 at 7:30 to see how to shop from start to finish and save even more at Whole Foods Market.

You don’t have to be present at the workshop to win, but if you are, you’ll also win a $25 gift card (on top of all the other prizes!)

So what are you waiting for? Find out more details about my “Saving with Sami Cone” workshop and get entered to win today!

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