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View Full Version : How does this menu look to save money this month?


wishesuponastar
07-18-2011, 05:46 PM
I am just posting dinner ideas....I know my family would get bored but we need to save money and this is the best meal plan I could think of.

Baked Ziti three times in one week

chili with beans no beef two times in one week

quesadillas one time per week

chicken dish one time per week

ELLE-TN
07-18-2011, 06:00 PM
I totally understand trying to stretch your meals to save money. I do it too. But, maybe you could figure out how to repurpose those main dishes into other things to give it a little pizzazz. Example, I think the Chilli could be used to make burritoes using the same cheese & tortilla shells you need to make the quesadillas. Good Luck!

wishesuponastar
07-18-2011, 06:11 PM
Good idea about the burritos, thanks!!

DisneyCrazyX5
07-18-2011, 06:21 PM
My boys like egg burritos. scrambled eggs and cheese wrapped in a tortilla. My dh and I add salsa to ours. I like to add real bacon bits to my eggs sometimes for more flavor.
We also like egg bakes (quiches with out the crust) I just throw them together - we eat alot of eggs we have our own hens, here is a link to one like the ones I make.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/hash-brown-egg-bake/detail.aspx

I also like to roast a chicken in the crock pot

http://thehappyhousewife.com/cooking/whole-chicken-in-a-crock-pot/

The next day we have chicken and noodles.

*Seanaci*
07-18-2011, 07:20 PM
I totally understand trying to stretch your meals to save money. I do it too. But, maybe you could figure out how to repurpose those main dishes into other things to give it a little pizzazz. Example, I think the Chilli could be used to make burritoes using the same cheese & tortilla shells you need to make the quesadillas. Good Luck!

Ditto this. You might also use it for chili dogs (we do this often with leftover chili).

richmond282
07-18-2011, 07:30 PM
Is this for EVERY week or just one week? Seems ike a lot of ziti to me.

java
07-18-2011, 07:31 PM
Plan based on the sale flyer from your store. Ours has loss leaders on a cycle- so it's a sale for 40% off Chicken one week. Steak the next pork after that*although recently they skipped pork wonder what that's all about??

Instead of thinking just ziti- 3 times a week:eek: that's a lot of pasta. I have been watching Working Class Foodies on Youtube. They give some great inexpensive and interesting ideas- I just made the zucchini cakes recently with homemade "ricotta" mmm and cheap.

Inexpensive doesn't have to be boring.

#1hoosierfan
07-18-2011, 08:16 PM
Is this just for one week or for several weeks?

If for more than one week I would definitely think about swapping out 2 of the ziti nights for spaghetti with jarred pasta sauce and pancakes and scrambled eggs. Still inexpensive but adds some variety.

disykat
07-18-2011, 08:17 PM
I agree, inexpensive doesn't have to be boring.

When I do a whole chicken in a crock pot we have a meal, then I cut off enough meat for another meal (maybe chicken pot pie or a pasta or rice casserole,) then I throw the rest in a pot and make soup.

If you find chickens cheap and buy a couple, one week could be crock pot chicken w/a spicy rub, chicken enchiladas, and chicken/vegetable soup. Another week could be lemon chicken, chicken/rice/brocolli casserole, and tortilla soup.

Look up budget recipes on the net and make a game of it. I've heard of hillbilly housewife (? not sure exactly) and others.

I was also going to suggest breakfast for lunch.

braysmommy
07-18-2011, 08:32 PM
Another idea is baked potato one night with the chili or maybe some broccoli and cheese too. Still cheap but a little variety.

a1tinkfans
07-18-2011, 09:15 PM
Ya know, reading the thread really affected me. Hormones, :rotfl: I mean we are talking about feeding kids, feeding a family and trying to do it so that we can afford it....My head spins when I think of all the things people are doing/changing trying to make ends meet. :sad2: I think it bothers me so much as I see people that have worked hard their whole lives suddenly faced with making drastic changes to keep up with feeding and housing their families, just breaks my heart....
But I digress....just my vent.
OP,

I think that you have some good ideas.
Perhaps hamburgers baked potato and Beans one night, (meat) turned into taco night a few days later...buy the meat in bulk and get a chili out of it too, to use the following week??
Breakfast for dinner one night is a change and the kids generally like it, especially "shaped" pancakes...;)
Perhaps try and get some veggies in there and perhaps less pasta/carbs, because honestly, the reason many people/kids get overweight is due to the heavy portions of bread, pasta, rice, and the fact that they are least expensive and most filling............seems to be the culprit...;).

BUT, you have some great ideas. I have a PICKY eater myself, drives me Bonkers as the menu is often limited, so I often make multi meals to satisfy ALL of us....

Perhaps a fun PIZZA night, buy the jar sauce, mozzarella on sale/walmart, dough is cheap, kids can make their own, a salad and your done?
Or chix cutlets on sale (by me always 1.99/lb), grilled with a side and then
sliced up the next night for fajitas, with some veggies?

Just want to wish you success! :wizard:

ELLE-TN
07-18-2011, 09:30 PM
here is the hillbilly housewife's $45 menu plan (http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/45dollarmenu.pdf) (4-6 people) and $70 plan here (http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/70dollarmenu.pdf)
Neither menus include much meat.

Good Luck!

wishesuponastar
07-18-2011, 09:36 PM
Another idea is baked potato one night with the chili or maybe some broccoli and cheese too. Still cheap but a little variety.

Thank you, I never thought of a baked potato meal :)

wishesuponastar
07-18-2011, 09:40 PM
Ya know, reading the thread really affected me. Hormones, :rotfl: I mean we are talking about feeding kids, feeding a family and trying to do it so that we can afford it....My head spins when I think of all the things people are doing/changing trying to make ends meet. :sad2: I think it bothers me so much as I see people that have worked hard their whole lives suddenly faced with making drastic changes to keep up with feeding and housing their families, just breaks my heart....
But I digress....just my vent.
OP,

I think that you have some good ideas.
Perhaps hamburgers baked potato and Beans one night, (meat) turned into taco night a few days later...buy the meat in bulk and get a chili out of it too, to use the following week??
Breakfast for dinner one night is a change and the kids generally like it, especially "shaped" pancakes...;)
Perhaps try and get some veggies in there and perhaps less pasta/carbs, because honestly, the reason many people/kids get overweight is due to the heavy portions of bread, pasta, rice, and the fact that they are least expensive and most filling............seems to be the culprit...;).

BUT, you have some great ideas. I have a PICKY eater myself, drives me Bonkers as the menu is often limited, so I often make multi meals to satisfy ALL of us....

Perhaps a fun PIZZA night, buy the jar sauce, mozzarella on sale/walmart, dough is cheap, kids can make their own, a salad and your done?
Or chix cutlets on sale (by me always 1.99/lb), grilled with a side and then
sliced up the next night for fajitas, with some veggies?

Just want to wish you success! :wizard:

Thanks so much for your concern.:hug: We normally get by but this month hit us hard with needing 5 car tires and doctor bills.

I forgot that I make pizza every Friday so there goes one less ziti night!

Love the idea for fajitas. Oh, we have veggies and fruit every day. Someone mentioned the roasted chicken. I forgot I get those in a 2 pack at Costco.

To those of you who suggested breakfast for dinner. It won't work for one of my kids who doesn't like breakfast foods, no eggs, no pancakes, she's too fussy:rolleyes1

This is going to start out for one month but if I can continue it for longer the better.

Keep the ideas coming, I'm learning:)

Mom_Rides
07-18-2011, 09:45 PM
When we're short on cash and need some cheap meals, I look to see who has a big bag of frozen chicken breasts on sale and if no one has them, I'll get them from Aldi. For around $6, I can get at least 4 meals out of the bag. I'll do things like chicken fried rice (use one or two breasts), chicken and noodles (same, 1 or 2 breasts), any type of chicken casserole that I can cut down on the number of chicken used.

Then I'll suppliment the rest of the couple of weeks (I shop for 2 weeks at a time) with a pound or two of ground beef. Baked ziti is a great idea if you don't have it 3 times a week! I will generally make a batch of it and then freeze half and have it the next week. Same with chili, split the batch and use some the next week. We also do breakfast for dinner when we need to go cheap. Can't beat pancakes or eggs and toast for a cheap meal!

Good luck cutting down your budget! Get creative!

robinb
07-18-2011, 09:48 PM
To those of you who suggested breakfast for dinner. It won't work for one of my kids who doesn't like breakfast foods, no eggs, no pancakes, she's too fussy:rolleyes1I too have a fussy eater, so I feel your pain. What about a PB&J or another kind of easy sandwich for that child while the rest of you eat something more interesting?

wishesuponastar
07-18-2011, 09:54 PM
haha, she's too good for pb&j too:rolleyes: Where did I go wrong?? LOL
She used to eat all this stuff.

ELLE-TN
07-18-2011, 10:03 PM
:goodvibesAnother couple of thoughts on the chilli :

1. pour some chilli in a baking dish and cover with a layer of shredded cheddar cheese followed by cornbread mixture and bake until the mixture is done. You can add corn to this to sneak in a veggie if you like.

2. add a packet of rach seasoning mix and a can of rotel to chilli to make what we call taco soup

As for the zitti (noodles), maybe you could use some of the noodles and make a chilled veggie pasta salad using cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers and some italien dressing.

I also have a very filling easy cheap recipe for chicken. Use a can of cream of chicken, a can of biscuits, and some diced chicken to make a pot of chicken & dumplings.

Diced chicken, a can of veg-all, cream of potato soup, and a cheap pie crust can be turned into a great chicken pot pie.

Don't forget about canned tuna as a cheap meat alternative. Served with a tossed salad this is a very healthy meal.

Or even better, canned salmon. A really tastey and filling meal when fried up to salmon cakes and served with corn bread, soup beans, and fried potatoes. Maybe not the healthiest meal but mighty tastey and filling.

Cook a beef roast one night with potatoes, carrots, and celery and turn it into a beef stew for later in the week.

Cook some sliced potatoes with some diced ham covered with shredded cheese and cream of chicken soup for a great one dish meal.

There are so many different cheap meal alternatives. Believe me! I live on a tight tight budget and feed two teens and a 'tween who eat like there's no tomorrow and still manage to be skinny minnies.

One way you can cut costs too is to cut out soft drinks and prepackaged snack foods.

buckirj1
07-18-2011, 10:40 PM
A little planning and forethought goes a long way. You're on the right track.

It looks like you're using a good bit of cheese. Unless you have food stamps, cheese is very expensive, not very healthy, and should be used more as a condiment than a main source of protein.

I don't see any fruits and vegetables. Shopped judiciously, fresh fruits and vegetables can be pretty inexpensive. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables offer a lot of bang for the buck. Avoid juices, which are pretty much a waste of money unless you buy the concentrate and make it yourself. Edit: I just saw where you have fruits and vegetables. That's good.

Eggs are still an inexpensive protein. So are canned beans, unless you have time to fool with dried beans.

Some kind of pasta is almost always on sale. The big cans of pasta sauce are about a buck, and are pretty good.

PaulaSue
07-18-2011, 11:02 PM
Many great ideas for you already. I love see what others eat, I feel like I do the same thing every week and I am always looking for more family friendly ideas.

disneymom3
07-19-2011, 12:24 AM
Instead of two nights of chilli, take some of these alternate ideas for a ziti night and then for your second night of chili, make chilling Mac--just mix up the chili with coked pasta.


A website I have gotten some good cheap meal ideas from is the $5 Dinner Mom.

RangerPooh
07-19-2011, 12:30 AM
While not the most nutritious, Yahoo had 5 different suggestions for inexpensive meals using Top Ramen.

We also do pancake night to save money.
Top Ramen with frozen veggies is another budget idea.
Hamburger noddle; noodles, ground beef, tomato sauce, and corn.
fajitas- chicken breast cut up, onion and bell pepper cut up, tortillas and cheese.
Tacos- use the same tortillas and cheese and ground beef, seasoning.
Quesdillas- same tortillas and cheese
Grilled Cheese sandwiches and applesauce

worm761
07-19-2011, 07:48 AM
I feel your pain on the grocery bill. I have a family of 5 to feed. A former marine, former Sailor, teen boy, myself, and 19 month old DD who never seems to stop eating.

Since you already have a membership to Costco, do they have the big cans of spaghetti sauce? You can buy that and just add your own seasonings. I know Sam's has them and they are 2.48 for a 106 oz can. I make a large batch all at once. Then I freeze in portions for spaghetti/pasta and pizza sauce.
Chili Mac is a good idea.
What about Cincinnati style chili? Spaghetti base with chili on top. three ways- add cheese, four ways- add onions, five ways-add beans. Another use for your chili.
Have you considered buying a turkey? Turkey is relatively cheap per pound. I can get at lease four meals out of a 10 pound turkey for my family of five. We all love turkey pot pie but I cheat to make it. Instead of putting it in a pie crust I just put the pot pie mix in a Pyrex then cover it with biscuit dough that has been rolled out. I use Hillbilly Housewife's biscuit recipe.
One thing we do is foil packets. I have found that I can take 2 chicken breasts and slice them up. Split them between the five of us and none of the boys are complaining about not enough meat. I have recipes for three different versions if you are interested in them. The all include brown rice, chicken and veggies cooked in a foil pouch. They are relatively healthy, easy and cheap.
Skinnytatste.com has a recipe for Easiest Pasta and Broccoli. for some added protein I will be using one chicken breast in the recipe.
What about dirty rice? it isn't really healthy but it does taste good! This is our go to meal when I forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner. It is one of the very few things I cook out of a box. I make two boxes of dirty rice mix but only use one roll of sausage. And if there are extra mouths I stretch it by adding in some brown rice and extra water. No one has ever noticed the difference. This feeds all of us with leftovers for lunch.
Dinner rolls or homemade bread help stretch meals. I like Hillbilly Housewife's 30 minute rolls personally. Super easy and oh so quick to make.
I have a recipe for roasted chicken and vegetables that, again, only uses about 2 chicken breasts, potatoes, and veggies ( I use frozen) and the guys in my house never complain and it is a requested dish. Will share the recipe if you want.
We make chicken nuggets. DD can't eat whole breast nuggets just yet so I bought the boneless thighs at Sam's. We blend them up in the food processor. then bread them and bake them. Since I control the seasonings, they really aren't bad for you.
Skinnytaste.com chicken rollatini is another one that is good and relatively cheap. We use two breasts instead of the cutlets and just slice them into cutlets ourselves. Once again, 2 breasts feeds all of us. I serve this with a Caesar salad and everyone is happy.
Stuffed shells with just cheese went over well in my house.
Enchilada's are easy and cheap.
Scalloped potatoes is good too. Carby but yummy for dinner! You can add as much or as little ham as you want. Buy one of those ham steaks and just cube it yourself and it will be cheaper.
I find that we eat a lot of chicken in my house. I have high blood pressure and my father has recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol so we are eating a lot less red meat. We spend around 150-180 on groceries every two weeks. If you want some more chicken recipes, feel free to PM me. I am more than happy to share.

DawnM
07-19-2011, 08:14 AM
We eat more rice than pasta in our house. My kids will eat rice only if I let them with a little salt or soy sauce on top.

However, rice goes great with stir fry veggies or some chicken or really anything.

I make stir fried rice sometimes.....really cheap. Make a pot of rice. Refrigerate it until it is cold. Then heat up some oil in a pan, put in the cold rice, add some spices, soy sauce, egg if desired, meat if desired, and there you have it.

We also have rice as a side with a vegetable and a meat.

Chicken I can often find on sale, although it is typically bone in. But if I am cutting costs I will cut it myself. We prefer Costco's frozen breasts as they are much easier to cook.

Dawn

DCLbrideSept2009
07-19-2011, 05:01 PM
One thing I do to stretch our grocery budget (we have 6 in our house) is to buy whole chickens, cook them in the crock pot and then de-bone and divide. I divide into 2 or 3 portions into Food Saver bags and freeze. So I get at least 2 or 3 meals out of each whole chicken. I make chicken pot pie, chicken enchiladas, chicken quesadillas, etc. An easy, probably pretty inexpensive, yummy meal I make is basically chicken with some taco/Mexican seasoning, rotel, corn and beans. (However many cans of each you want.) You could also add rice to stretch it even further. Add chopped bell pepper if you want. Then top with cheese and sour cream if you want. Eat just like that by itself or in tortillas or with tortilla chips. Garlic pasta with broccoli and chicken is yummy. I never make meat a main dish by itself.

jodim
07-20-2011, 11:09 AM
I am just posting dinner ideas....I know my family would get bored but we need to save money and this is the best meal plan I could think of.

Baked Ziti three times in one week

chili with beans no beef two times in one week

quesadillas one time per week

chicken dish one time per week
I haven't read thru all the replies, so excuse me if this is repeated info.

I would switch it up.. you can do that with items listed above.

Use the noodles from the 2nd ziti day and make chili mac one day

Take the extra sauce and use it with quesadillas, using less cheese

Make chili burritos

Use leftover chicken and add a chopped onion and tomato with a tad of olive oil and a dash of whatever seasoning you like and sautee together until onion and tomato are soft - make tacos/burritos/quesadillas

Bake Potato's and use leftovers for toppings.

ziggystardust
07-20-2011, 11:56 AM
you can also use the leftover chili on pizza. my sister gave me the idea the other day. she uses a boboli pizza, just throw chili on top with some shredded cheese, and done. I used the boboli b/c i was able to cook it on the grill and not turn the oven on in this heat. but regular pizza dough would be more cost efficient.

GatorMama
07-20-2011, 11:59 AM
Here is one of my favorite recipes. I'm not sure how much it costs to make (I've just never really been that strict with a per-meal cost), but I did use dried beans last time instead of canned and was thrilled with the result. And I had enough black beans leftover for 7 black burger patties too. YUM! We topped the burgers with leftover bacon, lettuce and tomato and had almost free sweet potato fries with them (I had a coupon that doubled to $2 off... and coupled with a sale, the bag was only 49 cents).

1 large onion, finely diced
2 cans rotel (or diced tomatoes if you're worried about spice... I usually do one of each for guests with sensitive stomaches)
1/2 c. picante sauce or salsa
1 tsp cumin
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 3.5-4 cups of dry black beans that have been pre-soaked and cooked)
1/2 c reduced fat cream cheese
10 7 inch corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese
up to 2 cups of cooked and shredded chicken (optional)

sautee onion in a bit of oil until softened. Add the tomatoes, cumin, and salsa and bring to a boil. Add beans and heat through. Add cream cheese and mix until well blended. Layer in a greased 3 qt casserole dish with tortillas and cheese: small spoonfull of beans on bottom (to keep tortillas from sticking), 5 tortillas, 1/2 bean mixture, 1/2 of cheese, 5 tortillas, 1/2 of beans. Bake COVERED at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Remove cover and add the remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling.

I usually split this into smaller dishes and freeze part of it before baking, because we NEVER eat it all at once. I've also added chicken to it several times for the hardcore carnivore that is my husband.

Also, I'm not big on cheese so I sometimes leave out the middle layer or just put a little in there.... as long as there is some on top, DH doesn't notice. :-D

tlenzendorf
07-20-2011, 12:54 PM
We do fruit, grilled cheese and soup or fruit, grilled cheese and baby carrots depending on the weather. Cheap and easy!

Leader of the Club
07-20-2011, 07:38 PM
Last week was a very little grocery money week. Here is how we made it thru:

I bought one chicken that was on "clearance."

1 chicken 2.44
1 box pasta roni .56 + a little milk and butter to make it
1 bag frozen peas .88

Meal for four 3.88. Not too bad.

I took the left over chicken and did this:

leftover Chicken FREE
1 can of seasoned black beans 1.00
3 cups of cooked rice ? .50 ?
corn bread .33 + plus an egg and milk to mix it
Sliced tomatoes from the garden: Priceless

I mixed the chicken rice and beans together and served with cornbread.
meal two for four people 1.88

And then I got a third meal from it:

The rice/bean/chicken mixture: FREE
tortillas .99
a little salsa, sour cream and cheese ? I try to always keep these on hand, because, well, they are handy.
Apple slices (mom gave me the apples, so I don't know the cost.)

I made burritos for the family for very little money.

Okay, so I alternated those meals with these meals:

Spaghetti and meatballs...

(Gordon Foods had a 5 pound bag of meatballs for 6.99)
about a pound of meatballs 1.40
two jars of sauce 2.40
1 pound of spaghetti .50
Hot dog bun garlic bread .80 + a little butter and garlic
1 bag frozen green beans .88

Okay, dinner for four for about 6.00

I used the leftover sauce and meatballs and did this:

meatballs and sauce FREE
8 hoagie rolls off of the day-old shelf...1.49
a little cheese
french fries 1.88
Apple slices

Meatball subs for four for around 3.50

And then I had a little left so I:

Meatballs and sauce: free
4 hoagie rolls: free
a little cheese
a bag of lettuce 1.00
chopped stuff off of the salad bar to turn the lettuce into a salad..2.50

A split the rolls, chopped the remaining meatballs and we made pizza breads and salads for four for about 3.50.

Okay, so for around $20-25 I fed my family of four a homecooked dinner every night and they probably didn't even notice that I used leftovers..repeatedly.

But wait, there's more!

I have had the whole week off from cooking this week! A church down the street is doing Vacation Bible school in the evening with a meal for the family before hand. FREE DINNER every night. Monday was sandwiches, Tuesday was tacos and salad. Tonight was leftovers. Tomorrow is sloppy joes and Friday is Ice Cream Sundaes.

I stayed to help clean up tonight and they loaded me up with bread, lunchmeat and cheese. We won't have to worry about lunches for the rest of this week, thru the weekend! :grouphug:

scrapquitler
07-20-2011, 10:41 PM
I am just posting dinner ideas....I know my family would get bored but we need to save money and this is the best meal plan I could think of.

Baked Ziti three times in one week

chili with beans no beef two times in one week

quesadillas one time per week

chicken dish one time per week

My family would be in full revolt well before the end of the week.

Go with all of those ONE time in one week. That's four days. Do something different with those beans the fifth day (bean soup, maybe? Add a ham bone and some veggies). On the sixth and seventh day, skip the two extra ziti nights and do something different. How about using EGGS. They are cheap form of protein and very versatile. Go with scrambled eggs, toast and fruit, or french toast or pancakes, or an omelette made with whatever fillings (meats, veggies, cheeses on hand in the fridge) on night 6. Add some frozen sausages if your budget allows it. On the 7th night, you can do pasta again, but change it up from that baked ziti by adding a different kind of sauce (maybe a cheese sauce?)or make it into a big pasta salad with the bits and pieces of veggies etc in your fridge.

wishesuponastar
07-21-2011, 07:38 AM
Last week was a very little grocery money week. Here is how we made it thru:

I bought one chicken that was on "clearance."

1 chicken 2.44
1 box pasta roni .56 + a little milk and butter to make it
1 bag frozen peas .88

Meal for four 3.88. Not too bad.

I took the left over chicken and did this:

leftover Chicken FREE
1 can of seasoned black beans 1.00
3 cups of cooked rice ? .50 ?
corn bread .33 + plus an egg and milk to mix it
Sliced tomatoes from the garden: Priceless

I mixed the chicken rice and beans together and served with cornbread.
meal two for four people 1.88

And then I got a third meal from it:

The rice/bean/chicken mixture: FREE
tortillas .99
a little salsa, sour cream and cheese ? I try to always keep these on hand, because, well, they are handy.
Apple slices (mom gave me the apples, so I don't know the cost.)

I made burritos for the family for very little money.

Okay, so I alternated those meals with these meals:

Spaghetti and meatballs...

(Gordon Foods had a 5 pound bag of meatballs for 6.99)
about a pound of meatballs 1.40
two jars of sauce 2.40
1 pound of spaghetti .50
Hot dog bun garlic bread .80 + a little butter and garlic
1 bag frozen green beans .88

Okay, dinner for four for about 6.00

I used the leftover sauce and meatballs and did this:

meatballs and sauce FREE
8 hoagie rolls off of the day-old shelf...1.49
a little cheese
french fries 1.88
Apple slices

Meatball subs for four for around 3.50

And then I had a little left so I:

Meatballs and sauce: free
4 hoagie rolls: free
a little cheese
a bag of lettuce 1.00
chopped stuff off of the salad bar to turn the lettuce into a salad..2.50

A split the rolls, chopped the remaining meatballs and we made pizza breads and salads for four for about 3.50.

Okay, so for around $20-25 I fed my family of four a homecooked dinner every night and they probably didn't even notice that I used leftovers..repeatedly.

But wait, there's more!

I have had the whole week off from cooking this week! A church down the street is doing Vacation Bible school in the evening with a meal for the family before hand. FREE DINNER every night. Monday was sandwiches, Tuesday was tacos and salad. Tonight was leftovers. Tomorrow is sloppy joes and Friday is Ice Cream Sundaes.

I stayed to help clean up tonight and they loaded me up with bread, lunchmeat and cheese. We won't have to worry about lunches for the rest of this week, thru the weekend! :grouphug:

I love your creativity :thumbsup2

DebMcDonald
07-21-2011, 08:32 AM
When my husband was laid off I really tried to stretch meals and my favorite was a a baked chicken that later would get turned into chicken enchalidas and then BBQ chicken pizza and that was three nights out of the same chicken. Chili is also a favorite in our house and we always do chili stuffed baked potatoes, and then use the chili for tacos later.

Debbie
07-21-2011, 08:54 AM
I've done the month at a time menus when my kids were little, too. I'd also make note of who wasn't going to be home, if there were any 'late nights' etc. I planned on
a pasta night
soup and sandwiches
a Sunday meal that gave me
leftovers for another
beans and wieners
pizza
something on sale from the flyer
Planning is fun, and even if you don't follow the plan, knowing that you choose from it makes it easier. Good luck!

Lisa loves Pooh
07-21-2011, 10:48 AM
Sub out pasta for bread and make pizza toast. Use leftover chiCkrn as a meat topping.

To make, toast bread, spoon on pasta sauce, top with ANY cheese (mozzarella or cheddar or whatever you have) and place in toaster oven or on a baking sheet in oven to melt cheese.

Make homemade egg "mcmuffins" for a breakfast fOr dinner if you can get inexpensive English muffins. I made one yesterday with chicken instead of egg. Yum!

Chicken breasts--if that is the chicken on sale, they are usually pretty thick. Using a sharp knife--split it in half horizontally (to make 2 chicken breasts). We have found they cook better and are juicier that way. We made chicken sandwiches the other night and the leftover piece went to my chicken "mcmuffin" the next day.

I am bad about grocery shopping frugally--but often our best meals are the inexpensive ones.

Tacos are a huge hit!

Also--my kids are still young and could live on pasta nightly if I let them. So when I am in frugal mode, we have it in many forms. I also buy different shape pasta. No need that instead if a ziti, you couldn't use an elbow or a wagon wheel or a rotini. :)

wishesuponastar
07-21-2011, 01:26 PM
OP Here - so my family did not have to endure baked ziti 3 times this week LOL Here's what we had. btw DH won't let me serve breakfast for dinner.

cold pasta salad and hotdogs (It was too hot to make baked ziti)
quesadilla, watermelon
casserole - cream of chicken soup with chicken breast broccoli, rice
chicken nuggets and fruit
Friday - cold pasta salad, cheese and fruit