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

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.

Weekly Meal Plan for 5/28/18

May 29, 2018

Another week, another round of meals to plan.

We have quite a few "events" this weekend, so it was a little easier to plan. I also had a friend use my Walmart Grocery Pick up referral code which gave her $10 and gave me $10. That's always nice for the budget :) Since it's supposed to be raining all day today, I put my order in last night so I didn't have to take my kids out in the rain. #winning

Tuesday: Broccoli Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo and Watermelon. Total for this meal: $2.96

I already had some chicken and broccoli I bought last week and ended up not using, so I didn't have to buy those. We had a side of roasted carrots and broccoli scheduled for a meal, but we had so much leftovers from other meals, we ended up not using that, so I'll use both this week. My mom brought some watermelon we didn't finish so we'll eat some of that too.

Wednesday: Date Night! The kids will have grilled cheese, pretzels, and peaches. Total for this meal: $1.08

Thursday: Take dinner to a friend. Out with kids. Total for friend's meal: $7.63

Clarence has a work meeting this week. I'm going to take a friend of mine dinner (also threw in a bag of dipper chips and carton of Strawberries) and then the kids and I will just grab something for dinner on the way home.

Friday: Mongolian Beef, Rice, and Roasted Carrots. Total for meal: $11.48

Thanks to my friend, Liza Anne for this recipe! We had the carrots and rice already. We don't have hoisin so I'm trying to decide if it's absolutely necessary for this recipe haha. This is a more expensive meal than I'm used to, but since we had a $10 off code, I splurged :)

Saturday Lunch: Leftovers

Saturday Dinner: Cookout! My dad and Clarence built an amazing playset for my kids and we invited some friends over to "break it in" and eat together. Hopefully the weather will hold out bc it's acting like we live in the pacific northwest the past few weeks....

We are providing the meat and our friends are bringing the sides. I haven't bought the burgers and stuff yet, but will swing by later this week to get them.

Sunday Lunch: Our MOPS group is having an end of year picnic at a local park, so we'll be going to that for lunch.

Sunday Dinner: Creamy Chicken Burritos and Asparagus. Total for meal: $4.87

It's meal #6 on the link above. We had tortillas I really need to use and already have chicken and salsa as well.

Monday is our last MOPS of this season *cries*, so I also planned for Monday's dinner since I can't often get to the store on MOPS days.

Monday: Sloppy Joe Squares and mixed veggies. Total for meal: $7.29

I had some leftover tomato sauce I'm going to use instead of ketchup. We've never tried this dish, so we will see how it is!

Total at the store this week: $36.18

Also bought 2 cascade action pacs of 85 count that was clearanced to $5 for some reason!!

Keep sharing your recipes with me! I love getting new ideas for my family :)

Weekly Meal Plan for 5/21/18

May 22, 2018

If you saw my updated meal plan last week, my parents ended up not coming and postponed until this week (not that the weather is cooperating). So I tried to push some things to this week and force some meals from what we had in the cabinet. It was not easy since I don't impulse buy most of the time, but we made it work! Some of the meal below might look familiar because they were originally posted last week. Here it is:

Tuesday: Chicken thighs, creamy pasta, zucchini. Total for this meal $0

Monday's meal was included in last week's plan. I'm using the four remaining chicken thighs from last week. We also kept some of the creamy spinach sauce we used with the chicken thighs from next week and will mix that in some pasta we already have. We're using the zucchini we bought last week.

Wednesday: Sandwiches, veggie straws, fruit. Total for this meal $.50

This is our final night of MOPS until the fall, and we're running low on our eat out budget, so I'll make some sandwiches and take chips and fruit as well. The cost above is the bread I bought. Everything else we had.

Thursday: Out to Monkey Wrench Smokehouse!

Friday: White bean with spinach and sausage, crescent rolls. Total for this meal $1.65

I was able to hold on to everything from last week and only had to buy crescent rolls. I miss when they were only $.99 a piece...

Saturday lunch: Frozen pizza. Total for this meal $5.38

Saturday dinner: Burgers/hot dogs, sweet potato fries, grilled zucchini. Total for this meal $.99

We threw the sandwich thins in the freezer and kept the meat and sweet potatoes, so I just had to buy more zucchini which was on sale for a dollar!

Sunday lunch: Fish, green beans, fruit. Total for this meal $3.67

I had to buy more green beans and a bag of mandarin oranges (this was a painful, expensive purchase that Haven really wanted), but the fish we had from last week.

Sunday dinner: Small Group! We are going to buy some fried chicken and everyone else will bring sides.

Monday Lunch: Chicken breasts, roasted carrots and broccoli. Total for this meal $6.75

I'm not sure we'll use all of the frozen chicken breasts I bought, but included the whole total just in case. We have carrots left over, but I did buy the broccoli.

Monday Dinner: Tex Mex Ground Turkey and Rice, Salad. Total for this meal $6.81

I'm actually leaving out the corn and tomato sauce cause I'm not sure they would be good for my mom. Same for cheese, though people can add it to their own if they want.

Total at the store this week: $52.38

Also bought: meatballs, bbq sauce, and grape jelly (to make something to share at MOPS on Wednesday), apple juice, cereal bars, hot dogs, milk, olive oil, peas, heavy whipping cream (to make ice cream from our DateBox), mac and cheese, peaches, apples, string cheese, four yogurts, 2 fruit pouch boxes, bread, eggs, bananas. 

Weekly Meal Plan for 5/14/18

May 15, 2018

EDIT: Because the weather was calling for rain over the weekend, my parents decided to come next weekend instead of this weekend. I had already gone to the store, so I've had to adjust our recipes and you'll see the changes in red. I tried to save as many of the recipes for my mom as possible.

I had a mild panic attack at the store today when I saw my total. Ok, not really, but I did spend much more than usual. Most of that due to the fact that my parents will be visiting us Wednesday-Sunday, so more people = larger food budget. But, I wanted to share with you guys the total, because sometimes your week may be a bit different, and your budget gets out of whack, and that's ok. It's just life. We can do the best we can with the budget and don't sweat it if we're a little off here or there.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Monday: Crescent Chicken, mashed potatoes, zucchini. 

This was actually on the meal plan for this past Saturday night, but after spending hours outside painting our deck, my husband just really wanted a cheeseburger (who does he think he is, an American??), so we ended up going to Wendy's instead. 

Tuesday: Creamy Pasta with Ham and Peas, Garlic Bread. Total for this meal $4.58

I had the garlic bread already and will try to split the ham steak I bought between this meal and another. 

Wednesday: Chicken Thighs, Roasted Radishes and Carrots. Total for this meal: $5.29

I've mentioned previously that my mom has some food sensitivities, so I wanted to make sure while she's here that we're eating things that won't affect her health. 

One of my friends, Rachel, asked me if I wanted some radishes and swiss chard she had. I've never tried either (oops), but am always down for free food! I'm going to use the radishes and roast them with some carrots for a good side dish (hopefully)! 

We ended up using the frozen pizza I bought this week instead bc I wasn't feeling well and didn't cook.

Thursday: Out to Monkey Wrench Smokehouse. Yum!!

We ate the Taco Salad scheduled for tomorrow night and I saved half the ground turkey for a different meal. 

Friday: Taco Salad. Total for this meal: $7.21
Ground Turkey
Brown Rice
Black Beans
Leafy Greens (we're using fresh spinach) 
Combine turkey, brown rice, and black beans and place on top of leafy greens. Add salsa to top. 
This is about as easy as it gets, but nice and healthy! I got this recipe from fitness challenge after Abel was born, and we still have this from time to time, because it's so good. For one serving, these are the amounts they suggest: 4 oz ground turkey, 3/4 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/3 cup salsa, 1 cup leafy greens. 

We have some leftover white rice in the fridge, so Clarence and the kids will probably finish that off and the rest of us will eat brown rice. 

I'm making the meal from Wednesday night tonight. I will probably use this recipe so I can use up the rest of our spinach. Will sub in milk for the heavy cream. I'll put half of the chicken thighs in the freezer for a future meal.

Saturday lunch: Fish, Green Beans, Fruit. Total for this meal: $5.15

I actually have a women's brunch at my church this morning, so probably won't be too hungry at lunch time (which is a shame cause I love fish....not really). Everyone else will enjoy this meal though!

I'm trying not to make another trip to the store yet, so we'll use the other half of the ground turkey and a couple sweet potatoes to make this dish. Should still leave plenty of sweet potatoes to make fries next week. And we'll use the green beans.

Saturday dinner: Hamburgers and hot dogs with sweet potato fries and grilled zucchini. Total for this meal $8.81

We're grilling out! If the weather cooperates, my dad and Clarence are supposed to be building our playset this week/weekend. I doubt Clarence is going to want to cook out after working hard, but looks like we're already committed haha. Aldi has grass fed ground beef for $3.99! That's what we'll use since my mom can tolerate that from time to time. We also grabbed the whole wheat sandwich thins which are a healthier alternative!

I put the sandwich thins in the freezer and the meat will hold, so we'll save this for when my parents are here. 

I was really struggling to pull one more meal from what I have in the cabinets and then Haven said she wanted grits so DONE. We'll have cheese grits, crescent rolls, and fruit. Thanks, Haven!

Sunday lunch: White Beans w/ spinach (and swiss chard) and sausage, crescent rolls. Total for this meal: $6.82

I'm going to add in the swiss chard Rachel gave me with some fresh spinach as well. I also bought some of Aldi's "never any" chicken sausages which has no added hormones or additives. That way my mom can eat this dish too. It might be a bit hot out for soup, but this one is really delicious!

I'm going to save this meal for my mom next week. Tonight we will use the zucchini I bought and pair it with a box of mac and cheese and chicken nuggets we already have.

Sunday dinner: We're going to our local baseball game (weather permitting), so will figure out dinner while we're out. 

Monday: Ham, Egg, and Cheese Casserole, Fruit. Total for this meal: $6.38

This is a MOPS day, so I went ahead and planned for dinner so I won't have to worry about it on the day. 

Total this week: $82.52

Also bought apple juice, take and toss sippy cups, diapers, cereal bars, popcorn, 2 boxes of mini muffins, peaches, 2 fruit bowls, mac and cheese, american cheese slices, pretzels, 8 yogurts, grapes, strawberries, puffs, frozen pizza, 2 apples, bananas, bread.

I grabbed some stuff for lunches this week since we likely won't have leftovers from dinner. Big thanks to my friend Linh for dropping off some kefir she got on some super sale!! We didn't have to buy any this week. :) 

Weekly Meal Plan for 5/7/18

May 08, 2018

Oh man, Aldi really got me with some impulse buys this week! But I don't feel too bad since I was under budget the last two weeks :) It'll all even out in the end!

Here is what we have going on for our meals!

Monday: Rotisserie chicken, frozen potato/green beans packets. Total for this meal: $0

I bought these items last week, so it made for a cheap and easy dinner! I cooked the whole chicken in the crockpot (I think it cost $3.30 or so on sale last week) and will use some of the leftover meat for two other meals this week.

Tuesday: Hot Dogs, Mac & Cheese, Frozen veggies. Total for this meal: $0

Another night of "shopping" from what we have. I had half a bag of frozen veggies from when I did fried rice last week so we'll finish that off. Clarence has a meeting, so it's just me and the kids. God bless them for not saying a word when we do something easy like this when daddy is not home. 

Wednesday: Oven Roasted Sausage and Vegetables, strawberries and bananas. Total for this meal: $5.14

I've shared this recipe before and we eat it pretty often. It's so easy and delicious! We already had potatoes and onions. My parents are passing through town that night so they'll be joining us. Since my mom has some dietary restrictions, I'm going to make a separate pan for her with a couple sweet potatoes I have leftover instead of regular potatoes. I'll still do the veggies and she'll bring her own "approved" sausage. 

Thursday: Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli. Total for this meal: $3.04

I have a church events team meeting this night, so Clarence is going to just cook some noodles we already have, toss in some leftover rotisserie chicken and jarred alfredo sauce. I also bought some broccoli he can boil and add as well. 

Friday: Mini Mexican Pizzas and salad. Total for this meal: $6.33

I did also buy some sour cream and croutons, but didn't include them on the total since we'll just use a little. Instead of refried beans, we're going to add black beans. I already had salsa, taco seasoning, and cheese.

Saturday Lunch: Leftovers from dinner last night

Saturday Dinner: Crescent Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Zucchini. Total for this meal: $2.30

I'm using the rest of the rotisserie chicken for this meal as well as mashed potatoes I already have and the last two zucchini I bought this week. This will not win any awards a for healthy meal, but it works to fill tummies!

Sunday Lunch: Clarence booked us for a Mother's Day Brunch and the food looks AMAZING! I'm so excited!

Sunday Dinner: Small group. I'm making Stuffed Cabbage Casserole. Total for this meal: $4.74

I already had leftover cabbage, onion, rice, and cheese. 

Total at the store this week: $58.37

I know my meals seem cheap and my total at the store doesn't reflect that 😂That's what happens to your total when you impulse buy! 

Also bought: Chicken nuggets, two boxes of organic frozen fruit and veggie bars, popcorn bites, grits, aluminum foil, puffs, two kefirs, milk, avocado, two bags of yogurt raisins (they used to carry these and then stopped. My kids love them so when I saw them, I had to grab a couple!)

I've successfully fed my family for another week! Success!

Weekly Meal Plan for 4/30/18

April 30, 2018

This is another short week for us. We are headed to Virginia for a friend's wedding this weekend, so mama is happy to not have to plan a whole week of meals :) Our meals are super pork-heavy, but we love pig! Here's what we've got going on:

Monday: Bacon Carbonara, peas, garlic bread. Total for this meal: $2.91

I had parm cheese, eggs, heavy whipping cream, and garlic bread already. I'm splitting the package of bacon with another meal this week. 

Clarence makes this and doesn't follow an exact recipe, but this is generally what he does:

Cook half a pound of bacon. Drain some grease, then fry garlic in the rest of bacon grease. Add in 2 cups heavy cream and bring to simmer. Add in salt and some parmesan to taste. Add back the bacon and noodles and mix. Take off heat and crack an egg into it and mix
This is one of my favorite dishes!

Tuesday: Chicken Tacos and salad. Total for this meal: $2.38

I'm using some chicken I had leftover from last week that I will put in the crock pot with some taco seasoning and salsa (both of which I have already). Once cooked, we'll put it in some taco shells (also have already) with some shredded cheese, avocado, and sour cream. I did buy the cheese, but we'll use so little I'm not counting it in the total.

Wednesday: Fried Cabbage with Potatoes and Bacon, Fruit. Total for this meal: $4.13

If you've got picky eaters in your house and want to get them to eat some cabbage, this is a good recipe for it! It's got starchy potatoes and fatty bacon, so it may negate some of the goodness of the cabbage, but it's delish, so oh well! I'll only use half of the bag of potatoes (if that), so will save some for next week.

Thursday: Pork chops with frozen veggies. Total for this meal: $4.36

I had the veggies in the freezer already from last week, so all I had to pay for was the pork.

Total at the store this week: $30.17

Also bought kefir, bananas, fruit bowls, bread, cheese, apple juice, two chicken stuffed with broccoli and cheese for us to eat with our lunch today (we have leftover rice and fruit too), and a whole chicken. The chicken was on sale for .59 a pound this week which made it $3.32 for the whole thing. I'll put it in the crock pot next week and make a couple meals out of it.

Weekly Meal Plan for 4/23/18

April 24, 2018

This is gonna be short and sweet folks. Sorry for the delay, but busy week, MOPS Monday, blah blah blah. We finally got to the store today...in the rain...but we did it! We will actually be out of town this weekend, so the meal plan is short, but here it is...

Monday: We ate out bc we had no food and I hadn't been to the store. Real life.

Tuesday: Baked Ravioli, broccoli, garlic bread. Total for meal: $5.67

I got this recipe from the Instagram stories of a mom in Georgia I randomly follow. She's a mom of 5, so she knows what it means to put together easy meals and this one definitely is! We had pasta sauce and cheese in the fridge, so I didn't have to buy those.
1 bag frozen ravioli
1 jar tomato sauce,
1 bag shredded cheese
optional: ground beef, sausage, ricotta, spinach, Italian herbs, mushrooms, etc (whatever you might want to add)
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 13x9 dish and spread thin layer of sauce on bottom. Arrange one layer of frozen ravioli, top with thin layer of sauce and layer of cheese. Layer ravioli, sauce and cheese until all is in dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 min. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes uncovered.
Wednesday: Mini Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, zucchini. Total for meal: $6.26

I don't normally use my entire pound of meat for one dish, or at least not have it be the star, but since this is a short week and I knew we wouldn't spend the $50, I splurged a bit :) This meal also comes courtesy of the Instagram mom from Tuesday's meal. I should really send her a thank you note!
1 pound ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I'm going to use rolled oats bc I like my meatloaf with oats)
2 1/2 tablespoons of worcestershire
Brown sugar
Preheat over to 350. Mix ingredients and make into 6 large balls. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray. Put each mini meatloaf in and sprinkle with brown sugar and ketchup. Bake for 30 min or until done in the middle and browned on the edges.
Thursday: Chicken Fried Rice. Total for meal $1.50

I already had chicken, rice, onions, and soy sauce. I've shared this recipe before. It's easy and good. I'll just saute the chicken instead of doing the way it's done in this recipe (though we have done it this way and it's delish!) Clarence is going on a men's hike starting Thursday morning and coming back Sunday afternoon. So we are making dinner easy and then heading to Georgia on Friday to spend the rest of the weekend with my brother and his family.

Total spent at the store: $39.64

Also bought: two bags of frozen veggies to use in future meal, apple juice, cheesy potatoes, fruit pouches (3 boxes), garlic, mac and cheese, kefir (2), juice smoothie, oats, strawberries

What's on your meal plan this week??

Weekly Meal Plan for 4/16/18

April 16, 2018

Happy Monday! I wanted to hop on and share our meal plan for this week. I'm glad to hear this is helpful for people! And I love to hear your recipes so keep leaving those in the comments!

Monday: Date Night! This means the kids get the leftover chicken nuggets in the freezer, a box of mac and cheese in the cabinet, and the leftover zucchini from a few days ago. Total for this meal: $0

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner. Sausage and Egg Skillet, Biscuits, and fruit. Total for this meal: $4.00
No real recipe for this. Brown a pound of breakfast sausage and drain the grease. Then add in however many eggs you'd like and scramble in the pan with the sausage. Salt and pepper to taste.
Wednesday: Out. This is the night for the evening Seacoast group I lead, so we'll grab something quick and eat before we set up the room.

Thursday: Foil Pack Chicken and Broccoli with rice. Total for this meal: $5.64
This total is not exact, because I know I won't use all of the ingredients I bought for this dish. I found a 5 1/2 pound package of chicken breasts with a $2 off sticker, so picked those up and I'm sure they will stretch to multiple meals. 
I usually omit the stuffing mix in this recipe. I also bought bacon pieces in a bag instead of cooking bacon.
FridaySpicy Sausage Pasta with peas. Total for this meal: $4.17
This meal is delicious! You could used diced tomatoes instead of rotel if you want to cut out the spicy part of it. We have pasta in the cabinet I'll use. 
Saturday Lunch: Leftovers

Saturday Dinner: A friend is having a BBQ at her house that we'll be going to

Sunday Lunch: Honey Garlic Ginger Chicken Carrot Noodles Bowls. Total for this meal: $3.60
I already have carrots and many of the pantry staples, so didn't have to buy too much for this recipe
Sunday Dinner: Small Group

Total at the store this week: $55.47 

Also bought: pancake mix, hot dogs, fruit bowls, fruit pouches, kefir, milk, yogurts, ranch dressing, muffins, string cheese, veggie straws, popcorn, bananas, cantaloupe, puffs, grapes, and goldfish.

Weekly Meal Plan for 4/9/18

April 08, 2018

Tomorrow morning we have MOPS, and it's hard to get to the store on those days, so I decided to do Walmart Grocery Pick Up again and just grab it on the way home from our MOPS meeting. I had a $5 credit from something they messed up last time, which I was happy to use! So here is our meal plan this week:

Monday: Rotisserie Chicken, potatoes, frozen veggies. Total for meal $4.23
Unfortunately you can't buy the cooked rotisserie chickens through the Walmart Grocery app (boo), so I bought a raw chicken and will cook it, seasoned, in the crock pot. I have a couple potatoes leftover from last week I'll throw in with it and will just heat up a bag of frozen veggies as well. I'll use the leftover shredded chicken for two other meals this week, so split the cost between them.
Tuesday: Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet with Zucchini. Total for meal $4.94
I'll save half of the sweet potatoes and use them early next week. Using mozzarella from last week.
WednesdayGarlic Ranch Chicken Pizza and salad. Total for meal $7.41
We love this pizza! It's delicious! I already have mozzarella and everything I need to make the sauce. 
ThursdayBacon Avocado Grilled Cheese and french fries. Total for meal $2.18
Still eating that huge bag of fries they upgraded us to on my last Walmart Grocery run. Already have bread and cheese for this dish.
Friday: Out
A singing group I was in while in college is having their 40th reunion event tonight, so we will go to that at my alma mater, North Greenville University. 
Saturday Lunch: We will be at the Greenville Zoo this morning helping man a table for the Chinese immersion school the kids will be going to, so we will either pack a lunch or grab something from the concession stand.

Saturday Dinner: Chicken Spinach Bake with Garlic Bread. Total for meal $5.78
3 chicken breasts cooked and cut into pieces (will use the rest of the rotisserie chicken)
8 oz penne pasta
8 oz chive and onion cream cheese
Frozen spinach (as much as you would like, thawed and drained well)
15 oz can of Italian Style tomatoes (basil, oregano, and garlic, I believe)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Cook noodles and chicken. Mix together, pasta, chicken, spinach, cream cheese, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Top with cheese and bake for about 30 minutes.
Sunday Lunch: Leftovers from last night

Sunday Dinner: We have tickets to the Greenville Drive (local baseball team), so will eat dinner there or on the way home.

Total at the store: $35.98

Also bought: 2 kefirs, milk, muffins, tea, sugar, doritos (cause sometimes you just have a craving)

Lower total this week, but we will also have to eat out three times. We do have an eat out budget each month that we use, so it shouldn't affect our grocery budget, but it may be higher another week so it should balance out.


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