Weekly Meal Plan for 7/16/18

July 16, 2018

This is a short week for us because we'll be spending time with my entire side of the family for the weekend, but here's what we have for the days we'll be home. Three meals for a little over $6. Boom!


Monday: 20 Minutes Skillet Chicken and Spinach Parmesan, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Veggies. Total for meal:  $2.50
This is called "use what is in the fridge/cabinets". I had a little bit of mozzarella, spaghetti sauce, and spinach, so just bought chicken for the main dish. I bought a family package for $5.70 and used part for this meal, part for tomorrow, and will have more for next week. I also had three potatoes I used to make mashed potatoes and finished off the mixed veggies from last week.
Tuesday: One-Pan Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice, Fruit, Crescent Rolls. Total for meal:  $3.50
Bought broccoli and chicken, everything else I had on hand. 
Wednesday: Date Night! Grilled Cheese, Pretzels, and Fruit for the kids. Total for meal: $.20 for the amount of bread I'll use.

We leave Thursday to spend time with family and will come back Sunday. We'll help with meals and also eat out some, so a smaller total at the store is great!

Total this week: $25.73

Also bought: apple juice, 2 kefirs, tub of yogurt, strawberries, milk, avocado, bananas, bag of apples, edamame, goldfish

Weekly Meal Plan for 7/9/18

July 09, 2018

So, something amazing happened to me recently that never happens...I won a contest! A local organization Your Milk Shoppe was giving away a weekend in a cabin at a local lake and I won!! Our good friends, Chris and Louisa, from our small group are going to stay with our kids this weekend while Clarence and I get to go spend time together at the cabin. I am so excited!! And so thankful for our friends who our kids love! So our meals do not include whatever food Clarence and I need to take for the weekend. We will try to spend as little as possible though.

I'm shopping through Walmart Grocery Pickup this week because a friend of mine used my code for $10 off her order, which also gave me $10 off of mine. Here is that code in case anyone else wants to use it for their first order.

I'm still getting a handful of things from Aldi.

Here's what we've got going on:


Monday: Sloppy Joes, French Fries, Asparagus. Total for meal: $0
We had some leftover hamburger buns from our cookout we need to quickly use and Clarence's friend gave him a can of chili, so we're gonna make it a meal. We have french fries in the freezer and asparagus we didn't make for dinner Saturday that we'll also use.
Tuesday: Sausage Spinach Rice Bowl, Watermelon. Total for meal: $1.54
I'm going to split a pound of turkey breakfast sausage for this meal and a breakfast meal I'm doing this week (I'll post below). I'll add more spinach and more rice so it will feed all of us. I only had to buy sausage and spinach for this meal. We had everything else.
Doesn't this sound delicious? I'm going to throw some green beans in there too for a full meal. I'm also doubling this to take to a friend of mine who recently had a baby so that total is for both of us. I bought chicken drumsticks for .69 a pound at Aldi. It was only $3 for enough chicken to feed two families!
Thursday: Tex Mex Taco Pie, Mixed veggies. Total for meal: $7.51
Not the healthiest of meals or the cheapest, but I was trying to find a way to use the rest of the tortillas I bought for a breakfast meal and this sounded interesting. I couldn't find the jalepeno cream cheese, so I got regular.
Friday: Ravioli, Broccoli, Garlic Bread. Total for meal: $2.84
Clarence and I will leave before dinner, but we have ravioli I bought last week along with spaghetti sauce in the fridge. I bought some steamable broccoli and garlic bread to round out this easy meal.
Saturday Lunch: Frozen Pizzas and Salad. Total for meal: $6.06
Another easy meal. We didn't eat the pizza I bought last week because I forgot about a baby shower we were going to. They can eat it today and I bought one more and a salad.
Saturday Dinner: Chicken Zucchini Casserole over Rice. Total for meal: $8.50
This sounds really yummy and I'm sad I don't get any. I'll have to get an update on how it is and eat it again sometime soon when Clarence and I can eat it too. I just had to buy chicken, pesto, and zucchini. I had everything else. 
Sunday Lunch: Grilled Cheese, Veggies Straws, Fruit. Total for meal: $1.00 for bread
Another easy meal so our sweet friends don't hate us :) We might be back, but planned something easy just in case we're not. 
Sunday Dinner: Small Group Leaders Meeting (dinner provided)

Here are the few new breakfast meals we're trying in an effort to be better about eating breakfast daily!

Tex-Mex Egg and Sausage Tacos
1/2 lb lean ground turkey breakfast sausage4 large eggs1/4 tsp salt1/4 tsp pepper8 corn tortillas1/2 cup refrigerated salsa 
Cook sausage in a nonstick skillet overmedium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or untilbrowned and crumbly. Drain; return to pan.Whisk together eggs, salt, and pepper. Add eggmixture to sausage. Reduce heat to medium;cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to seton bottom. Cook, stirring constantly, until eggsare thickened and set. Meanwhile, warmtortillas according to package directions. Serveegg mixture in tortillas with salsa.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Smoothies 
4 large bananas, cut in half
⅓ cup all-natural creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 (5.3-oz) carton fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups crushed or cubed ice 
Process all ingredients in a blender until
smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Pour
into 4 glasses.

Total at the store this week: $61.68

Also bought: 2 boxes of fruit pouches, spreadable butter, muffins, kefir, mac & cheese, puffs, paper towels, strawberries, olive oil, bananas, grapes, 2 small yogurts, 1 tub of yogurt, granola, sliced cheese, salsa, eggs.

Weekly Meal Plan for 7/2/18

July 02, 2018

Let's get right to it! Here is our meal plan for this week:



Monday: Beef Stroganoff and Green Beans. Total for meal: $0
Yes, this was supposed to be eaten last week, but Clarence has an inability to follow a meal plan when I am not here, so it didn't get fixed. 😂 No worries, we'll have it tonight! 
Tuesday: Creamy Parmesan Garlic Chicken, Rice, Roasted Broccoli. Total for meal:  $4.72

Wednesday: Cookout! Total for meal: $9.90
We are having friends over for a cookout. Everyone is bringing their own meat and we're providing the buns, toppings, plates, drinks, and a few sides because I couldn't help myself! I bought a watermelon and some corn to grill.
Thursday: Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup and Tortilla Chips. Total for meal: $4.18

Friday: French Toast, Bacon, Fruit. Total for meal: $3.34

Saturday Lunch: Frozen Pizza. Total for meal: $2.69

Saturday Dinner: Bacon Carbonara and Asparagus. Total for meal: $3.94
Clarence doesn't really follow a recipe when he makes this but this one sounds good. He also uses heavy whipping cream and adds peas. 
Sunday Lunch: Leftovers

Sunday Dinner: Small Group Leaders Meeting (dinner provided)

Total at the store this week: $59.61

Also bought: 2 packages of fruit bowls, kefir, parsley, cinnamon, paprika, diapers, 4 individual yogurts, tub of yogurt, fruit pouches, apple juice, milk, string cheese, 2 packages of ravioli, Strawberries, Bananas, veggie straws.

Weekly Meal Plan for 6/25/18

June 25, 2018

So, this week I increased the budget a little bit. I've been trying to be better about the breakfast we eat. The kids and I are notoriously bad about eating a good breakfast. I'm sure they follow after me, but neither seems to have a big appetite in the morning (though Abel is starting to change). I bought 3 months of the eMeals breakfast meal plan and we are trying a few of the recipes this week. I didn't go crazy because otherwise that would affect our budget even more. I'll share the breakfast recipes at the end of the post.


Monday: Burrito Bowls. Total for meal: $3.00
We actually make this a vegetarian meal and cut out the chicken. There are enough flavors that it's still a really good dish! I already had onion, and spices.
Tuesday: Pasta in a Bag. Total for meal: $0
This just keeps appearing every week on the meal plan haha. We're actually going to use it this week! Clarence and I have a date night tonight, so I'll make this for the kids to eat. 
Wednesday: Rotisserie Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potato/Brussel Sprouts. Total for meal: $9.19
We are having a couple friends over for dinner tonight, so I grabbed a rotisserie chicken to cook in the crock pot. This is more cost-effective when there is a better sale and you can use leftover chicken for other meals, but not bad to feed four adults and two kids! Also, we tried this side dish when my parents were here a few weeks ago and it was so good; you've got to try it!
Thursday: Meatball Bombs and Frozen Veggies. Total for meal: $5.39
I bought a pound of grass fed ground beef and will use half to make meatballs for this dish, and half for Sunday night. We were going to eat broccoli with it, but Aldi was out so we bought a pack of asian blend veggies instead.
Friday: Church event. Free!
I am actually headed out of town for the weekend to attend a technology-free weekend at a lake nearby, headed by A-GAP. I'm looking forward to a free weekend to disconnect and spend some time with God and other women! Clarence will be with the kids for the weekend and our church is hosting a hangout at a local park, so he's taking them to that. 
Saturday Lunch: Out
Not my problem, I'm gone. Muahahahaha! Actually, Clarence offered to just figure out lunch with them.
Saturday Dinner: Sausage, Spinach, and Sweet Potato Skillet. Total for meal: $6.88
I actually just noticed the chicken sausage was apparently mislabeled, so I might take that back and get a less expensive sausage for them. 
This meal was on the breakfast emeals plan, but sounded good and perfectly suitable for a dinner.
12 oz pkg fully cooked chicken sausage links, sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
10 oz pkg frozen diced sweet potatoes (we will use real and cook them first for longer)
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
5 oz pkg baby spinach  
Cook sausage in 1/2 Tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 4-6 minutes or until browned. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Add 1/2 Tbsp oil to skillet. Add potatoes, onion, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 8-10 minutes or until tender. Stir in sausage and spinach. Cook 1-2 minutes or until spinach is wilted and sausage is thoroughly heated.

Sunday Lunch: Leftovers

Sunday Dinner: Beef Stroganoff and Green Beans. Total for meal: $6.28

Total at the store this week: $74.13

Also bought, Eggs, tub of yogurt, pack of diapers, 4 individual yogurts, honey, riced cauliflower, sliced almonds, two boxes of fruit pouches, apple juice, 2 avocados, 2 kefirs, raisins, ranch dressing, milk, canned fruit cocktail (a Haven request...), chicken bouillon, bag of peaches, bread, lunch meat, blueberries

Here are the breakfast recipes we're trying this week:

Blueberry-Peach-Oat Smoothies

1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 peaches, cored and chopped
1 (4.4-oz) pkg blueberries
1 1/4 cups fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp turbinado sugar (omitting this)
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup crushed ice (or use cubed)

Combine oats and milk in a bowl; let stand 10
minutes. Process oat mixture, peaches,
blueberries, yogurt, sugar, and cinnamon in a
blender until smooth, scraping sides as needed.
Add ice; cover and pulse until smooth. Pour into
4 glasses.

Fresh Blueberry Parfaits with Coconut-Almond Granola

2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3 Tbsp unsweetened flaked coconut
2 cups fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
1 (4.4-oz) pkg blueberries

Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk together
syrup, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a large
bowl. Stir in almonds and oats. Spread in a
single layer on a parchment paper-lined rimmed
baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly
browned, stirring after 10 minutes. Add coconut
to pan; bake 5 minutes. Cool. Layer . cup
yogurt, 2 Tbsp blueberries, and 2 Tbsp granola
in each of 4 glasses. Repeat layers once.
Note: You can make the granola ahead, cool
completely, and store in an airtight container up
to 5 days.

Broiled Peaches with Walnut Crumble and Honey-Vanilla Yogurt

1 1/2 cups fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnut halves
1 Tbsp butter, divided
⅛ tsp kosher salt
4 peaches, halved and pitted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together yogurt,
honey, and vanilla in a bowl. Process nuts, 2
tsp butter, and salt in a food processor until
finely chopped. Spread on a rimmed baking
sheet. Bake 6 to 10 minutes or until toasted.
Remove from oven. Increase oven temperature
to broil. Place peaches, cut sides down, on a
broiler rack or baking sheet greased with 1 tsp
butter. Broil 3 minutes; flip and broil 1 minute.
Sprinkle peaches with toasted nuts. Serve with
Honey-Vanilla Yogurt.
Note: Make walnut crumble ahead of time;
store in an airtight container until ready to
serve.

Weekly Meal Plan 6/18/18

June 18, 2018

Today's meal plan brought to you by....15 min! That's all the time I had to throw this together before running out the door. It's one of those days where I just don't care about planning our meals. Can't this be someone else's job? :) I guess not, so here we go....


Monday: Stuffed Cabbage Casserole. Total for meal: $1.38
I'm going to half this recipe. I already had cabbage, ground beef, brown rice, and the seasonings. 
Tuesday: Creamy Garlic Chicken and Veggies. Total for meal: $8.69
I could've cut down on the cost of this meal by buying cheaper potatoes. I got the bite sized yellow potatoes and it won't give me any leftovers. If I had bought a big bag of potatoes and cut them myself, it would've been cheaper and I would've had extra, but the potatoes looked gross and smelled bad so I passed. 
Wednesday: Mexican Zucchini and Beef Skillet with Fruit. Total for meal: $3.29
I'm using half of the ground beef from last week for this meal (split with Monday). Oftentimes we cut down on the amount of meat listed in the recipe so that it helps us stretch our dollar further. If there is a good amount of other ingredients, you don't really miss it.
Thursday: Chicken Nuggets, Mac and Cheese, mixed veggies. Total for meal: $1.75
Clarence is at a meeting tonight, so mommy is being lazy. I had the mac and cheese already. I base the total on how much we'll use. We obviously won't eat the whole bag of nuggets. 
Friday: Chicken Bacon Tomato Alfredo Skillet and Salad. Total for meal: $7.48
I had the pasta and am splitting some of the other ingredients with another meal, which brings cost down. 
Saturday Lunch: Friend's Birthday Party

Saturday Dinner: My husband's office is having a 4th of July party we'll go to. Dinner is provided.

Sunday Lunch: Leftovers from Friday's dinner. That makes me feel better about the total :)

Sunday Dinner: Small Group Leader's Meeting. Dinner may not be provided, but if not, we'll just grab something on the way.

Total at the store: $46.59

Also bought apple juice, muffins, two boxes of pouches, 4 yogurts, 2 kefirs, milk, cereal bars, grapes, cookies.

Weekly Meal Plan for 6/11/18

June 11, 2018

One way that I save money is by "shopping" from our cabinets. There are weeks where we may not use all of something I bought, so I always try to come up with meal plans based off what we have first. Then after that, I'll look up meat prices that are on sale at Aldi and try to plan off those. There are definitely weeks that our cabinets are bare by the time I go to the store (since I try to only buy what's on my shopping list), and this method doesn't work, but sometimes it's a great way to save some $$.

This may seem pretty like a pretty obvious tip, but I was terrible at this kind of thing when I first started living on my own. I was incapable of looking at an item I had in my cabinets and planning a meal around it. So if that's hard for you too, know you're in good company. It gets easier! This week I'm using a lot of what we have already.


MondayChicken Spinach Bacon Alfredo with crescent rolls. Total for meal: $3.04

I've made this once before, but was not super impressed. This time I'm only kind of following the above recipe. I had some alfredo sauce leftover from a dish I made last week, so I'm going to use that instead of following the recipe for one. I'm also putting in some leftover rotisserie chicken from last week and splitting the bag of spinach with tomorrow's dish. I already had pasta and will toss in a bag of bacon pieces instead of cooking bacon.

Tuesday: White bean with spinach and sausage soup and peaches. Total for meal: $2.07

We had this meal not too long ago, but it's a good fit to split the sausage and spinach with other meals this week (I'll make a smaller portion of the soup). Clarence has a meeting tonight, so this will be good and easy for me and the kids to share. I had a can of diced tomatoes in the cabinet as well as some canned peaches. Using what we have! 

Wednesday: Fried Cabbage with potato and bacon, fruit. Total for meal: $1.56

Using up the rest of the bacon and some potatoes we had from last week, so all I had to buy was a cabbage and it was HUGE, so I'll just use half of it for this meal and save the rest for next week. Oh and the rest of the cost was the grapes.

Thursday: Chicken Bog and green beans. Total for meal: $2.11

The name of this dish leaves something to be desired, but the recipe sounds good! Thanks to my friend, Liza, for sharing this one. I'm halving this because it sounds like it makes a TON. I'm using some rotisserie chicken from last week and half of the kielbasa I'm splitting with Tuesday's meal. I had rice, onions, butter, a can of green beans, and Old Bay seasoning.

Friday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Zucchini. Total for meal: $4.67

I bought a 2 pound package of ground beef that was on sale for $2.69 a pound. I'll use half for this meal and save half for next week. I rarely do a meat-heavy dish like this, but we haven't had meatloaf in a long time and I was craving it (this is my mom's recipe). We'll use the rest of the potatoes we had leftover from last week.
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup quaker rolled oats
1/2 cup ketchup
1 egg
1 diced onion
salt to taste 
Mix the ingredients together, shape into a loaf and bake at 350 for one hour or until browned.
Saturday Lunch: Leftovers

Saturday Dinner: Neighborhood cookout! Total for meal: $3.50

Every year, one of our neighbors hosts a cookout in their yard. Everyone brings their own meat and a dish to share. I bought us some burgers and buns and we already have hot dogs (which Abel will want). I will need to make a dish to share, but haven't figured out what yet.

Sunday Lunch: Pasta in a bag. Total for meal: $0

I bought this last week for lunch on Saturday when the boys were gone, but we ended up taking my mom to our favorite restaurant in Greenville (Adam's Bistro), so we'll eat it for lunch today instead.

Sunday Dinner: Church small group leader's meeting. Free dinner.

This was in the plan for last week, and the leaders suddenly had to go support a sibling who lost their full-term baby after trying to get pregnant for four years. It's absolutely heartbreaking and I can't imagine their range of emotions right now. Please pray for them! 

Total at the store this week: $37.27

Also bought kefir, fruit pouches, grapes, 6 yogurts, strawberries, mac and cheese (always good to have one hand just in case...), cantaloupe, and bread.

I love how using what's in the cabinet can drastically lower the grocery budget! And those individual meal totals make me feel so happy! What's on your meal plan this week?





Weekly Meal Plan for 6/4/18

June 05, 2018

We have more visitors this week! Clarence found out about a Porsche event in Atlanta, mentioned it to my dad, and suddenly they have tickets and are going. It's on Saturday and they're taking Abel and my two nephews that live in Virginia. My mom will stay here with me and Haven, so we'll have to do something fun, just the girls :) My parents and nephews are coming Thursday and leaving Sunday, so we've included them in the meals. Here's what we've got going on this week!


Tuesday: Mongolian Beef, Rice, Roasted Carrots. Total for meal: $0

This was a meal we were supposed to have last week, but we forgot our realtor was having a customer appreciation event at a local water park and provided dinner, so we pushed it to today.

Wednesday: Hamburgers/hot dogs, mac and cheese, green beans. Total for meal: $.63

We had a cookout on Saturday with some friends at our house and have leftover hamburgers, hot dogs, and buns, so we'll eat them tonight. Don't be jealous of our sides ;)

Thursday: Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes Sheet Pan Dinner with salad. Total for meal: $8.61

Money saving tip: Originally I saw that assorted pork chops were on sale for $1.99 a pound at Aldi this week and planned on buying them. But once at the store, I realized I could actually pay less by buying the thin sliced boneless pork chops. Even after accounting for the bone weight, the one I got is probably a little less meat overall, but I could save about $2 doing it this way and we'll have all the meat we need. I also bought whole baking potatoes because they were much cheaper. It's more prep, and I'll probably have to roast them for a bit before putting in the pork chops, but I'd rather pay less and work more.

Friday: Rotisserie Chicken, Roasted Brussel Sprouts/Sweet Potatoes, Rolls. Total for meal: $7.38

Whole chickens were on sale for .59 a pound so I got the largest one I could find which will hopefully feed all of us! I'll bake it in the crock pot, which we've done before and it's super easy. The recipe for the side sounds delicious too. We'll see if my nephews eat it ;)

Saturday Lunch: Garlic Chicken Pasta in a bag. Total for meal: $3.29

The boys will be gone, so there will just be three of us, and this is as easy at it gets. A meal in a bag that you dump in the skillet. Yes, please!

Saturday Dinner: Bacon Chicken Bake, Broccoli, Fruit. Total for meal: $8.37

Boys are back! I had a little bit of frozen chicken breasts left I'm going to make work. I'm omitting the mushrooms and making my own alfredo sauce. My mom can't have eggs and the store bought alfredo sauce at Aldi had egg in it. I'm going to follow this recipe

Sunday Lunch: Out. The family might join us for church and lunch. But if they end up leaving before-hand, we'll still go out to eat.

Sunday Dinner: Small Group Leader Training at church, dinner provided!

Total at the store this week: $58.06 

We're over our $50 goal, but since I'm providing dinner for 4 adults and 4 kids on Thur, Fri, and Saturday nights, I'm still more than happy with the total!

Also bought: 2 fruit pouch boxes, sticks of butter, cinnamon rolls, two boxes of fruit bowls, cereal bars, milk, 7 yogurts, muffins, steak fries, orange juice, strawberries, 2 apples, raisins, eggs, bananas, and bread.

I'm always blown away by the amount of food I can get for around $50 at Aldi!!! Shopper for liiiiife.

 

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