Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Meal Planner Monday (a little late!)

I try very hard to save money in area of the family budget I can, but my passion, my absolute favorite way to cut costs is to try to plan single meals that feed a family of five for two days (we eat left overs for lunch all the time!) Of course if there isn't enough to feed us all, I have my trusty fall back...sandwiches. So here it is, late, but it's here six Meals for the week. At the end of the post I will give you the grand total that I spent at the grocery store:

1. Baked Mostaccioli: (See recipe at $5 meals)
ingredients bought at the store:

1 lb Mostaccioli noodles (sound exotic? Well its just mini pene without the ridges it means little mustache in Italian!) $1.29
1 28 oz jar or spaghetti sauce I tweaked this part of the recipe cutting the sauce and diced tomatoes for a jar of
Francesco Rinaldi it gets the Good Housekeeping seal of approval and its very good for an inexpensive jarred sauce! $1.39
1 lb. of Mozzarella or Italian cheese $2.50

Total: $5.18

Pork Chop Potato Casserole (see recipe at all recipes)
ingredients bought at the store:
Family pack of Center Cut pork chops (I took 8 chops out for this recipe and saved the other two for another meal I do this a lot there called roll over meals and I love them!!) the whole package cost $7.17, but for this meal I'm using $5.74
1 26 oz package of frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (I like generic)
1 10.75 oz can of Condensed cream of Mushroom (I've swapped this one for the cream of celery they call for in the original recipe, I also use the generic brand cream of Mushroom, but you could easily upgrade to Campbell's if you wanted!) $0.69
Sour Cream $1.19
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese whole bag is $2.00 only use half so worth $1.00
other ingredients already on hand like milk, vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and I cut the french fried onions because no one eats them in my family!

Total: $10.97

Angel Hair pasta with Pork Sauce (Roll over those pork chops into a sauce for Angel Hair pasta)
ingredients bought at the store:
Angel Hair pasta $0.80
Jar of Sauce $1.39
2 chops from family pack $1.43

For this recipe I just chop up those pork chops season with salt and pepper and throw them into a skillet until brown, then add them to the sauce and simmer for about an hour until the chops are tender serve over the pasta.

Total: $3.62

4. Orange Sesame Chicken with Rice (see recipe at $5 meals)
ingredients bought at the store:
1.5- 2 lbs Chicken Thighs Don't underestimate this inexpensive cut of Chicken! In some meals it just tastes better. It does have more fat in it than breasts, but when we eat chicken we limit ourselves to one or two thighs per person. However if the thought of eating chicken off of the bone totally disgusts you, then Breasts are your best bet. Just try looking for them when they are on sale! $ 6.39
1 Orange $ 0.49
Honey (because I didn't have any on hand! $ 4.29 for the whole thing for two tablespoons it would literally cost $0.14
other ingredients I had on hand sesame oil (weird I know!), sesame seeds, canola oil, and ginger (she calls for grated fresh, but if you're like me you forgot to get it at the store so you'll use powder cut it in half if you use powder vs fresh!)
Plain white rice (not minute rice!) I bought a 5lb bag this will last you several meals! Though it takes longer than minute rice to make it goes a long way and you can adjust the seasoning and do many things to make it yummy! $3.45
Total: $10.47

5. Perogies with onions (Warning these are homemade perogies! (Recipe here) I like home-made because it is much more filling than the store bought and you really feel full after eating these!!
ingredients bought at the store:
For the Dough:
Eggs (I buy cage free eggs they're a little more expensive than regular white, but you could make this recipe a little bit cheaper with regular eggs.) $2.19 a doz use three eggs $0.55
1 8oz container sour cream
$ 1.19
Other ingredients I had on hand Flour, salt and baking powder

For the Potato/Cheese filling:
1 onion I bought 5 onions at $1.79 a lb and paid $4.47 that's about $0.90
5 lb bag of potatoes (I won't use the whole bag, but all the same)... $3.98
Butter (I was out!) I bought a pound, but you use what you would for your own mashed potatoes $3.00
Other ingredients salt and pepper.
I added cream cheese.... $1.09
I make my own mashed potatoes the way we like them by boiling the potatoes until soft and adding milk, cream cheese, salt and pepper. (I cut the butter and use later by frying the boiled perogies in a little butter and chopped onion.)

Total: $10.71

6. Chili and Rice
(My mom's recipe)
ingredients bought at the store:
1.5 lb ground beef $4.47
16 oz jar salsa (I like chi chi's mild salsa) $3.30
Packet of taco seasoning
2 lb can kidney beans $1.95

For this recipe you just brown the ground beef and drain (i give it a rinse too to get rid of more of the fat. Add the salsa, beans and packet of taco seasoning and bring to a simmer. I serve over white rice...hey we already bought that!!!

Total: $10.55

That's a grand total of $51.50 for 6 meals throw in 6 bags of frozen vegetables and you have complete meals this adds about $7.00 to the complete grocery bill bringing to $58.50! Now as for that 7th meal I so conveniently left out, you can order out or make something simple like spaghetti or do what I do, have a pot luck with family!

I try to budget myself for about $115.00 a week for groceries because you know you're going to need milk,cereal and bread. As for drinks we drink water, water, and more water and the kids sometimes have juice, but that's it. We don't eat a lot of snacks, but when you plan out the meals you do have wiggle room for a some snacks...I'm not a complete stick-in-the-mud!



  1. Are you planning on posting your menu every week? Cause I'm kinda thinking you just added time to my day by planning for me! :o) Way to go! Love that you started a blog, and I look forward to following along on this journey! I decided to get back to my blog this year too! Love you!

  2. Yay, yay, yay!!! Finally we can copy-cat your menus!! You just helped my weekly meal planning so much!!! Thanks! (Can you tell I'm a little excited about this blog?!?!)

  3. yep, I'm also liking seeing these recipes!

  4. I'm glad that this helps. I plan on making one for every Monday, six meals total. I'm just taking them off my meal planner and hopefully I can get you to some really great cheap eats websites!


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