Meal Planning Monday ~ Beyond the Grocery Store

          Before I started couponing, I rarely went shopping at Walgreens or CVS, the two major drugstore chains in the Cincinnati area.  Whenever I did go in to my local drugstore for medicine or cosmetics, it seemed like their prices were really high compared to my favorite grocery store.  My how things changed once I learned the coupon policies of my local drugstores!  Now I stop in at Walgreens and CVS almost every week for a few select items. 

            You might be surprised what kind of great deals you can find at the drugstore.  Not only do I shop Walgreens and CVS for razors, toothpaste, cold medicine, and vitamins, but also for things like cereal, coffee creamer, trail mix, and bottled water.  Typically there are a few “grocery” items on sale at great prices – like cans of chicken broth for only 50 cents – that I can’t pass up!  In the past week, I’ve purchased Coffee Mate powdered creamer for $2.50 each (about $4.70 regular price at Kroger), cheap Valentine’s Day candy for my husband, and Multigrain Cheerios (buy one get one free plus coupons!)  You do need to pay greater attention to expiration dates at the drugstores because their stock on these items typically does not turn over as fast as it does at Kroger or Meijer. 

            What’s the lesson here?  Sometimes you can find great deals in unexpected places, so keep your eyes peeled!  Have you found a great deal in an unexpected place?  If so, tell me about it!  Here is my Meal Plan for this week.

Monday ~ Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.  I’ll be using the Butterball chicken broth I have in my stockpile (purchased at Walgreens for 50 cents a can) to make this cold-weather favorite of mine.

Tuesday ~ FFY (Fend For Yourself) Night.  I have a class tonight, so I will probably eat some leftovers.

Wednesday ~ Tomato Basil soup and turkey sandwiches.

Thursday ~ Black Bean Chili.  This chili is so hearty, you won’t even miss the meat!  (Recipe below)

Friday ~ Chicken Fried Rice.  I want to make something quick and easy because my friend is coming over to watch Breaking Dawn on DVD with me.  (Yes, I am one of those Twilight dorks!)

Saturday ~ Chicken Parmesan with angel hair pasta and salad.

Sunday ~ Family Dinner at my Dad’s house.


Black Bean Chili


     1 Tbs. olive or canola oil

    1 green pepper, chopped

    1 medium onion, chopped

    3 cloves of garlic, minced

    1 small can of mild green chilies

    1 tsp. of cumin

    1 tsp. of oregano

    2 tsp. chili powder

    1 can of black beans, drained

    1 can diced tomatoes, undrained

    1 can of vegetable (or chicken) broth

    1/4 cup of water

    2/3 cup of barley



     Sauté onions and green pepper over medium heat in oil until onions become translucent.  Add the garlic, green chilies, cumin, oregano, and chili powder.  Sauté for one minute.  Add the beans, broth, tomatoes, water, and barley.  Stir, cover, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until barley is soft.  

            Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.