Frugal weekly meal plans - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 07-02-2007, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone want to share what they are eating this week? We have about $140/week for groceries, but this includes any household items we need, haircuts, clothes, etc. Basically, we have $140/week that ISN'T allocated to bills. We try to eat pretty frugally in order to have money left over for Target trips, to save for Christmas, etc.

Here's what we are eating this week:

Sun: tilapia, green beans, and roasted sweet and white potatoes
Mon: carmelized onions and lentils, sauteed kale
Tues: spaghetti and a salad
Wed: BBQ chicken and roast veggies (I think I will need to go get some more veggies for this as we are down to just one potato and one sweet potato)
Thurs: sloppy joes (need to find a lentil sloppy joe recipe)
Fri: usually a Fend For Yourself (FFY) night to get rid of leftovers and such
Sat: tomato soup, Indian flatbread, and spiced lentils


Lately I have had NO desire to cook, with the result that we have not been eating well or inexpensively. I need to get back on the meal planning bandwagon.

So, what are YOU eating this week?
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#2 of 21 Old 07-03-2007, 12:33 AM
 
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I don't plan for certain days, but here are our meals from tomorrow through Saturday morning:

Mexican lasagna, black beans, tortilla chips & salsa
Chicken spaghetti, green beans, rolls
Pork chop casserole, lima beans, pistolettes
Hamburger vegetable soup, cornbread
BBQ beef sandwiches, baked fries

Tonight we had frozen pizza, corn, and fresh tomatoes.

Saturday's breakfast will be cinnamon rolls. We do quick breakfasts like oatmeal & granola bars on weekday mornings and leftovers for lunch.

I think I spent less than $70 on groceries this week for all these meals for our family of 4 1/2. We did already have the chicken & pork chops in the freezer, though. Like you guys, we allocate about $120-140/week for all groceries and household stuff. Usually I am able to stay well under this, though -- somewhere around $100/week. I was super-cheap with groceries this week because we had a birthday present to buy.
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#3 of 21 Old 07-03-2007, 12:47 AM
 
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We have *no* money for groceries over the next couple of weeks, but a relatively well stocked pantry. Thank the gods our milk and eggs for the month are paid up already and our CSA starts tomorrow.

I don't have meals planned out daily, but last night we did spaghetti and veggie dogs, which became lunch today. Breakfast this morning was hardboiled eggs and juice, and dinner tonight was leftover rice reheated with black and kidney beans, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and a metric butt ton of ginger (I had a craving). I expect we'll see leftovers from dinner tonight up for grabs for lunch tomorrow.

Over the rest of the week, for breakfast I see more hardboiled, scrambled, and fried eggs, muffins (easy and quick to make from scratch), homemade pancakes, and some fresh fruit from our CSA.

For lunch, leftovers from dinner.

For dinner, fresh veggies from our CSA, salad, peas, beans, and radishes from our garden, a tofu stirfry, pasta and sauce, veggie chili, egg souffle or frittata with kale, garlic scapes, and any other greens I have in the freezer, an Indian-inspired chickpea and rice something or other, and oh . . . I haven't figured the rest out yet!
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#4 of 21 Old 07-03-2007, 09:56 AM
 
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We are cutting out dairy and also refined sugars, etc. so this may look a little strange but that's why.

We are having these things for dinner this week, if this helps at all for you:
-Tilapia, broccoli, sweet potato
-Burgers (on Ezekiel bread), salad
-Hawaiian chicken (just chicken with veggies and then pineapple on top) with brown rice
-Red Beans & Brown Rice, sausage, mixed steamed veggies
-Black Bean Soup, Salad
-Cobb sandwiches (avocado, turkey breast, tomato, lettuce, etc.), Salad
-Ham & Pineapple couscous (it has veggies in it too)

Lunches:
-Chicken salad
-Salads
-Leftovers (we usually make enough for lunch the next day)

Breakfasts:
-Ham & Egg mini quiches
-Fruit
-Egg scrambles with spinach

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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#5 of 21 Old 07-05-2007, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yum! These all sound really good!

becoming, what's the mexican lasagna recipe? I don't really like lasagna (dh loves it!) but I have found that skillet lasagna is good and WAY less work than the regular lasagna.

I think that next week we might have skillet lasagna and pasta carbonara....going heavy on the carbs!

Oh, and I just found out that tilapia is really good!
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#6 of 21 Old 07-05-2007, 09:45 PM
 
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Yesterday: homemade gyro, (lamb paties, tatziki, lettuc, tomato on pita) potato salad my sis brought over
tonight: farfalle w/ pesto, salad
tomorrow: chicken stirfry w/ brown rice (broccoli, snow peas)
saturday...depends on CSA box
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#7 of 21 Old 07-06-2007, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OMG. Homemade gyros. I'm DYING!! I've never found lamb to be frugal-friendly, though.

I made Sloppy Sams last night, and YUMMO! We're not veggie, but of course, eating veggie is cheaper and healthier than eating meat (my goal is to cut our meat consumption to a point where we are able to purchase humanely treated meat, preferably local....it's a task, as dh is a MAJOR meat-and-potatoes man, but even HE liked the Sloppy Sams!) Those are definitely going in the regular rotation!!

So, here's what I'm thinking for next week:

Sat: Indian night (see above)
Sun: crockpot roast chix (we already have) and veggies from co-op
Mon: skillet lasagna
Tues: chicken salad from leftover roast chicken!
Wed: spaghetti carbonara (I can post the recipe after I make it, if it turns out well)
Thurs: ??
Fri: FFY
Sat: stir fry
Sun: ??

I've got a GREAT handle on what to make next week, huh?

ETA: I'm still not sure what to make on Thursday. Next week is really meat-heavy, as I plan to use ground beef in the skillet lasagna (have also made it with spinach and mushrooms, which is YUM-YUM) and bacon in the carbonara (it's a rich sounding recipe, but SOOO good sounding. I'll let you know). The stir-fry will probably be with pork or chicken. Hmmm. Any veggie dinner ideas for Thursday?
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#8 of 21 Old 07-06-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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Our grocery budget is $100, and that is for gluten free, dairy free, soy free and nut free in a high cost of living area : Its hard to make work sometimes but meal planning really saves me!

Fri:
D-Sloppy lentils (just had this on Sun, but it was SO good) w/ rice, melon cubes

Sat:
B-oatmeal, organic bacon, tangerines
L-Sloppy lentils (leftover) and fruit
D-grilled ginger turkey cutlets, fried rice (from leftover rice from night before), broccoli, probably a bunch of rasperries from MIL's garden

Sun:
B- scrambled eggs, gluten free toast, fresh raspberries
L- salmon salad sandwiches for DH & kids, on lettuce for me.
D- crustless quiche, salad, garlic oven fries

Mon:
B- oatmeal, fruit w/ sunflower seed butter
L- leftover sloppy lentils or black bean soup (depends on our plans)
D- Chicken & veggie stirfry with homemade teriyaki sauce

Tues:
B- soft boiled eggs, fruit
L- ? depends on Monday's lunch
D- Spaghetti w/ organic meat sauce & veggies OR leftovers

Wed: (I grocery shop and pick up CSA this day, so I plan from Wednesday on)
B- oatmeal w/ mixed in fruit, sprinkled with seeds
L- something quick and portable (errand day), probably hardboiled eggs, healthy homemade sunbutter "cookies" and a smoothie in a thermos to share
D- some sort of grilled meat and a big salad

Snacks are frequently smoothies, bananas, fruit in season (right now we get loads of raspberries), rice crackers w/ sunbutter, hummus, tortilla chips, fresh veggies, etc

~Rebecca~
mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

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#9 of 21 Old 07-07-2007, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Celestialdreamer, wow! That sounds like a nice week for just $100 and those dietary restrictions! Does that include CSA costs? Or are those a different part of the budget? (I know you usually pay before you start getting your food, but since it is a lot at once, we would probably budget for it weekly or monthly or something)
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#10 of 21 Old 07-07-2007, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
I don't have meals planned out daily, but last night we did spaghetti and veggie dogs, which became lunch today. Breakfast this morning was hardboiled eggs and juice, and dinner tonight was leftover rice reheated with black and kidney beans, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and a metric butt ton of ginger (I had a craving).
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#11 of 21 Old 07-07-2007, 12:46 PM
 
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Here's the Mexican lasagna recipe I use, for those who asked:

12 lasagna noodles
1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 egg whites
1 15-oz. carton ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 24-oz. jar chunky salsa

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown beef over medium heat; drain. Stir in taco seasoning. In a small bowl, combine egg whites and ricotta cheese. Drain noodles.

In a 9x13 baking dish, layer 4 noodles, 3/4 cup ricotta mixture, half of the beef mixture, and 1 1/3 cups cheddar cheese. Top with four noodles, 3/4 cup ricotta mixture, 1 1/2 cups salsa, and 1 1/3 cups cheddar cheese. Repeat.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

You can also freeze this for up to 3 months.
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#12 of 21 Old 07-10-2007, 02:38 AM
 
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just subbing. I try to spend less than $120 every 2 weeks on groceries but it's hard with 4 people. I do have WIC so that helps with some things but I'm horrible at making menus and utilizing what I have. For instance, I need to be able to buy something and then use it twice in a week to eat instead of something new everyday... I just can't afford that.

Any ideas?
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#13 of 21 Old 07-17-2007, 10:26 AM
 
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here's what on the menu until mon:

-asian chicken salad and fresh baked bread
-jambalaya, biscuits, and a veggie (probably squash)
-grilled margherita pizza and salad
-BBQ Chicken, baked rice, and salad
-waffles and fresh fruit
-tomato soup, grilled cheese, veggie
-and we'll have one night where we do leftovers

(we already ate our burgers, club sandwich's, and mac and cheese which were on the menu)

so far i've spent $120 and i'll go get fresh produce as i need it. i'll probably spend another 30$ on odds and ends we need.

all in all, i had 150$ budgeted for 10 days. not too shabby!
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#14 of 21 Old 07-17-2007, 11:16 AM
 
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how do you make baked rice?

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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#15 of 21 Old 07-17-2007, 11:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wife&mommy View Post
how do you make baked rice?
Super easy!

1 c rice
2 c water or stalk of your choice (i use chicken)
1/4c butter, cut into pieces
1/4 c chopped green onion

mix in a baking dish, cover, and bake at 350 for 1 hour. fluff with a fork and serve.
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#16 of 21 Old 07-17-2007, 11:50 AM
 
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Oh cool, do you think this would work with brown rice?

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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#17 of 21 Old 07-17-2007, 02:36 PM
 
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i bet it would. i would just make sure you convert the liquid to rice ratio as necessary. you also may need to cook it a bit longer. i'll have to try it with brown rice sometime! i usually just use an organic, white basmati. if you try it in the near future, would you please pm me with your results?
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#18 of 21 Old 07-18-2007, 01:07 AM
 
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Here's my menu for the week.

Sunday~BBQ chicken, rice, carrots
Monday~tacos
Tuesday~pork ribs, baked potatoes, broccoli
Wednesday~??
Thursday~chicken?? corn casserole, rice, edamame
Friday~date night w/ dh (pizza for kids and babysitter)
Saturday~spaghetti w/garlic toast
Sunday~??
Monday~cheesey eggs, bacon, toast

SAHM to the munchkins (14.5, 11.5, 9.5, 3, and almost 2)
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#19 of 21 Old 07-18-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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thought i'd share this site with all! they have wonderful cheap recipes.
http://www.fatfree.com/cgi-bin/recipes.cgi
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#20 of 21 Old 07-19-2007, 02:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petersmamma View Post
Celestialdreamer, wow! That sounds like a nice week for just $100 and those dietary restrictions! Does that include CSA costs? Or are those a different part of the budget? (I know you usually pay before you start getting your food, but since it is a lot at once, we would probably budget for it weekly or monthly or something)
I just saw this reply, so sorry it took so long to answer! Its been really hectic here and then I got rear-ended in our van on Tuesday : Anyway, the CSA costs I don't include in our weekly budget, it works out to about an extra $30/wk. I could get our budget lower if I didn't need to include so much meat (we buy mostly free-range and/or organic) because of the other dietary restrictions. The CSA and Trader Joes really save my budget. I really don't buy packaged stuff unless its things like Earth Balance margarine, coconut milk, mayo, etc. I've been buying things like sunflower seeds and oatmeal in bulk and then making sunflower seed milk (instead of buying packaged ricemilk), sunbutter, granola, baked oatmeal, etc. A little extra time making things myself is acutally lowered our weekly budget to more about $80ish each week right now

We eat tons of in-season produce from our CSA, and I frequently buy extras of whatever is cheap and in-season in their farm store. This week it was apricots, raspberries and salad mix I'm really strict on making sure we stick to our meal plans and don't waste any leftovers. I know some people who let their veggies go bad in their fridge alot (like I used to), but our meals are planned around veggies here so that almost never happens. I look through the veggies on a daily basis and sometimes shift meals around to make sure something doesn't go bad. HTH!

~Rebecca~
mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

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#21 of 21 Old 07-22-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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I really need to get back to menu planning but right now it's hard with everything going in our family now. But you got me prodded in the right direction. So thanks for the prod when I get to planning this week I'll post.
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