I know I have been very MIA on my blog as of late. For that, I apologize. But really, I have some very good reasons so please don’t hold it against me!
Today marks week 2 of my Easy Meal Plan series! I hope you enjoy following along and will continue to do so. These posts will occur every Thursday of every week (unless something major comes up, like last week). The idea behind these posts is to provide you with an easy & quick meal plan. Planning meals can be very time consuming, so I’ve done that for you! Ingredient lists and quick recipe guides are also included.
Weekly Tip: Plan at least one meatless meal a week to cut down your grocery bill!
MONDAY: Penne Alfredo w/ Caesar Salad
Ingredients: Penne pasta (use what you already have!), packet of alfredo sauce, milk, romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, and croutons.
Quick Recipe: Once your pot of water is boiling, add pasta. Cook for 12 minutes. In the meantime, wash your lettuce and mix together your salad. To make the sauce- follow directions on the back of the packet (add milk & butter, bring to a boil, simmer until thick).
TUESDAY: Chicken Marinara Wraps
Ingredients: Chicken fingers, marinara sauce, lettuce, cheese, tortilla wrap.
Quick Recipe: Cook chicken fingers as directed. Shred lettuce and cheese. Place two chicken strips on one tortilla shell. Add marinara sauce, lettuce, and cheese. If desired- place on hot skillet to toast & warm before serving.
WEDNESDAY: Beef on a Bun
Ingredients: 4 lb. beef or pork roast, 1 cup ketchup, 1 cup BBQ sauce, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 2 cups water, 1 chopped onion, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, 2 tbsp. vinegar, 2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. garlic powder, buns.
Quick Recipe: Mix ingredients and pour over roast. Bake 5 hours at 350 degrees in the oven, or 6-7 hours on high in the slow cooker. Every oven and slow cooker cooks differently, so keep an eye out that the roast cooks tenderly and not quick and rough. Shred roast with a fork and serve over fresh buns. Add coleslaw or tossed salad on the side.
THURSDAY: leftovers from Wednesday
FRIDAY: Ham w/ the Fixings
Sidenote: A bone-in, shank ham seems expensive. But, I can usually get at least five meals out of one ham. The meat can be saved and frozen for chowder and meatballs (which I’ll show you next week!).
Ingredients: Bone-in, shank cut of ham. Fixings of choice, ie: mashed potatoes & gravy, corn, tossed salad, steamed veggies, etc.
Quick Recipe: Cook ham according to directions. I generally cook mine @ 350 degrees for 20 mins/lb. Then cook whatever your family loves to eat with their traditional ham meal!
SATURDAY: leftovers from Friday
SUNDAY: Waffles w/ Fruit
Ingredients: Flour, eggs, milk, salt (for the waffle mixture), fresh fruit, syrup, butter.
Quick Recipe: Mix up your favourite waffle recipe and cook. You can substitute waffles for pancakes or French toast! While waffles are cooking, chop the fresh fruit. You can also make a sauce by mixing the fresh (or frozen) fruit with some sugar in a saucepan. Serve with syrup and enjoy!
I’m sorry I don’t have pictures to go with every meal. I really need to start taking pictures faster than I can cook! Obviously, please feel free to change up the order of the meals. Cook your ham on Sunday, if that is what works best for you! Switch out the meat choice if you’d prefer something else. The point of this series is to inspire you to cook at home and save money- so follow it as you like!
After I wrote this post about becoming a single income family I had a lot of people comment and e-mail me about how effective meal planning can be on tightening the budget, but also how time consuming it is. So, I had the idea to share my family’s weekly meal plan with you! I plan on posting our meal plan on Thursdays. This way you can do all your grocery shopping on the weekend, which I hope works well for you. I will include an ingredient list so you know exactly what you’ll need for groceries for each meal. On top of this list you will only be left to purchase what you’ll need for breakfasts and lunches. After that, you should be set!
WEEKLY TIP: Only buy in bulk if it’s something you will use up relatively quickly. I bought two huge vats of vinegar once at Costco. Seriously, why did I ever do that?! Two years later we still have vinegar. I suppose that’s a good thing, but my theory is this: food that sits in your cupboard is money that could be in your pocket. Or your bank account.
MONDAY- Ravioli Lasagna
Groceries: two small bags (or one big) ravioli, one jar of pasta sauce, bunch of spinach, small container of cottage cheese, one egg, grated cheese to sprinkle on top.
Quick Recipe: In 9×13 inch pan spread a layer of pasta sauce. Top with a layer of ravioli. Add cottage cheese & egg mixture on top. Add another layer of ravioli. Top with remaining sauce and grated cheese of your choice. Cook 1 hour @ 350 degrees.
TUESDAY- Pork Stir Fry
Groceries: two cups of rice, cubed pork, stir fry veggies, 1/3 cup Kraft Asian sesame dressing, 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
Quick Recipe: Steam rice. Cook pork on low heat in a deep pan. Steam veggies. Add dressing and BBQ sauce to the meat. Incorporate rice and veggies into the meat and sauce. Simmer and serve!
WEDNESDAY- BBQ Chicken Avocado Quesadillas
Groceries: 4 tortilla shells, 4 chicken thighs (cooked and shredded), 1 avocado, 1 cup grated cheese, BBQ sauce to taste
Quick Recipe: Cook and shred chicken. Toss with BBQ sauce. Spread on to tortilla shell. Top with sliced avocado, grated cheese and another tortilla shell. Grill both sides on a hot oiled pan until brown. Cut and serve!
Groceries: 1 package ground meat, 1 onion, chili powder to taste, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 can mushrooms, 1 can kidney beans, 1 can tomatoes, 1 cup frozen corn.
Quick Recipe: Brown meat and onion in a skillet. In a large pot or crock pot add meat and onion, chili powder, ketchup, mushrooms, kidney beans, corn, and tomatoes. Simmer for at least two hours. Serve with buns, corn bread, or tossed salad!
FRIDAY- Leftover Chili
SATURDAY- Pizza Groceries: Ingredients for crust (flour, yeast, & salt), meat, veggies, pizza sauce, grated cheese.
Quick Recipe: Make the crust the night before so pizza assembly is even easier! Layer pizza sauce, meat, veggies, and cheese on top of crust. Bake 10 minutes @ 450 degrees.
SUNDAY- Leftover Pizza
The above menu is intended for a family of four, please adjust it to your needs. In the future I intend on trying to have pictures of every meal’s ingredients. The Easy Meal Plan series will be on Thursdays, this week was an exception! I have included a quick recipe below each meal. If you need any clarification or if you have any questions, please let me know!
I hope this helps you and your family have stress free dinner time next week! Be sure to check back next Thursday for another meal plan! You can download a printable version of this plan here: menu-week-one.doc (60 downloads) .