Category: Recipes

How To Create a $40 Meal Plan Your Family Will Love

Plan your meals for two weeks for under $40! Your family and budget will thank you!
$40 Meal Plan Your Family Will Love

This is my third round of bi-weekly dinner meal planning! However, this time it comes with a twist! Why? A fellow frugal friend needed help. She had to find a way to feed herself and her husband for two weeks, but the kicker was she only had $35 for food. Realizing the need for low-cost meal planning, my “$40 Meal Planning Your Family Will Love” was born.

Inspired by her situation, I wondered how many others out there could use low-cost meal planning. So my challenge for this round is to keep your grocery bill around $40. Hopefully, you have some items on hand and you will spend even less, but if you do not, you will come out right around $41. This list is a dinner meal plan so let’s see how well we can do. Be sure to read until the end and click the printable grocery list to save you time and money! My shopping for this meal plan was mostly done at Kroger.

Keep in mind, if you are saving money on your groceries, you will be able to put money away for other important areas of your budget such as an emergency fund, savings account, or retirement fund. Cutting your food costs is one of the easiest ways to put extra money in your pocket. Not to mention, my $40 meal plan will save your sanity because you will not be rushing around your kitchen, like a crazy person, trying to throw something together when your kids are hungry. This is not a fun situation for anyone!

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Pulled Chicken – Quick, Easy, Yummy, Cheap

Pulled Chicken
Pulled Chicken – Easy to make

Pulled Chicken

Have a taste for some comfort food?  Pulled Chicken is the way to go.

If you are cooking  for a party or  your family, this recipe will not leave you disappointed.  It is really super simple to make. Just pull out your good, ol’ slow cooker and crank it up to high heat. You will soon be ready to eat!

This recipe is part of my Budget-Friendly Meal Planning Two-week post.  You will find it towards the end of the two weeks, so be sure to read it through.

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Smothered Pork – Easy Crock Pot, Meal Planning Recipe

Smothered pork
Smothered pork – Easy, budget-friendly

Smothered Pork! Anyone hungry? This recipe sounds so yummy but yet so complicated! Yet, if you follow along, you will see it is easy breezy with this simplified slow cooker recipe. Best of all, it is budget-friendly and can be quickly added to my Budget-friendly Two-week Meal Planning for under $75! 

As promised in my last post, I wanted to quickly churn out this recipe! You will now be ready for your Budget-Friendly Two-Week Meal Planning listed above.

This is a quick, easy recipe that can be made in under 10 minutes (not including cooking time). Keep reading and your dinner tonight will be fast, simple and make your family smile. Any recipe with cream of mushroom soup in it, has to be good.

For more money-saving tips follow me on Bloglovin‘, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you, so thank you!

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Budget Friendly Two-week Dinner Meal Planning – Under $75

Meal Planning on a Budget – Round 2 for under $75

For more money-saving tips subscribe on the bottom of this post or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Meal planning - 2 weeks under $75
Meal planning – 2 weeks of dinners under $75 with printables

Did you read Budget Friendly Meal Planning? If not then click the link, but if you have followed me (hint, hint subscribe to new posts on my sidebar) then you may be getting tired of the first two weeks of meal planning and want some other options.

Just a quick recap! Meal planning is an awesome way to save on your grocery bill and save your sanity.  By planning out what you will make for dinner each night and knowing you have the right ingredients on hand, dinner will be stress-free and you will be less inclined to order take-out.  I’ve even included an easy homemade pizza to boot!

One of the best ways to save money is to eat at home.  In my first meal-planning option I included one budget-friendly meal out, as a treat!  In this version, we will eat at home each night. If you are only eating out once a month, imagine how much money you will save!

Your food bill doesn’t have to break your budget.  Cooking is easy, fun and budget-friendly.

So with you in mind, I devised another two-week round of meals! Listed under the meal planning is a grocery list with prices (mostly exact but a few are estimated) of where I usually shop, Target! You will notice our bi-weekly dinners will total under $75!! That is two weeks of dinner meals for under $75! Yes, you read that right!

Note: Add in some bread, lunch meat, cereal and milk, and you will have an entire two weeks of meals for around $100.

Note: If you are really low on cash this month, check out my $40 meal plan for two weeks worth of dinners.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no cost to you, so thank you!

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Help! – What Do I Do With All of This Leftover Turkey!

Leftover Turkey
Leftover Turkey

Cooking a turkey this year?  Hosting your first Turkey Day dinner?  You are bound to wind up with leftovers.

I am a turkey lover! Some are not! However, we are about to convert you with some of our leftover  ideas here at iheartfrugal!

Need a few ideas so that yummy, juicy bird does not go to waste?  Here at iheartfrugal we believe in using as much of the food as possible, in order to continue with our frugal living habits, which saves you money!!!

Meals for days. Read on….

  1.  Of course, no one can discount a yummy turkey sandwich.  Load up your favorite bread (I love multi-grain), add a little mayo, tomato, lettuce and cheese (provolone? Yes, please!) and you’ve got lunch or dinner that is bound to be a winner!
  2. Soup!  Now that the weather is getting colder, everyone loves to warm up with a yummy bowl of soup. Use your bird to replace the meat in any chicken soup recipe or use the turkey bone to make your own broth and enjoy in any recipe that calls for broth!
  3. Turkey pot pie! Sick of the regular old chicken pot pie? Why not use turkey? Make a basic dough or Pillsbury biscuits, add some veggies and cream of chicken soup and bake them up! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
  4. Cold turkey salad – Add your turkey to lettuce, dried cranberries, walnuts, blue or feta cheese! Top with a little raspberry vinaigrette dressing and you will have a dish even the kids will love! (Well, my oldest son doesn’t like dressing on anything!lol)
  5. Hot Turkey salad – Yum! This is a recipe from Great-Grandma! Thanks for sharing, Mom! Recipe:  Add 3 Cups diced turkey, 1 cup thinly slice celery, 1 cup shredded cheese, 1/4 cup chopped black olives, 1 tablespoon chopped onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup Miracle Whip and stir!  Sprinkle with shredded cheese and top with crushed potato chips.
  6. Give some leftovers to your guests –  What is better than the gift of giving during the holiday season.  Buy some freezer bags and send your guests home with a little leftovers of their own!  They will leave happy and you will cut down on wasted food! A win, win!

Whatever it is you do with your Turkey, this year, I’m wishing you a joyful, peaceful Holiday Season with good food, good family and good friends and  love in your hearts! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission and be very thankful!  

Related Posts:

  1.  Yummy and Cheap Pulled Pork
  2. Easy, Budget Friendly Tuna Noodle Casserole

Easy Stuffing for Less! Spruce up Stove Top for $5.38

Spruce up that Stove Top!

**This post contains affiliate links!  Please feel free to click or continue on to this yummy recipe and enjoy!!

Thanksgiving Stuffing
Spruce up Stove Top this Thanksgiving

Are you on a budget this Thanksgiving?  Are you stressed out about the strains of hosting?  There is so much thought and effort that goes into hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house.  The menu, the cleaning, and lets not forget the food budget!  This is enough to give a busy mom and head ache! Ouch!


One way to save money (think less stress) this Thanksgiving is to use Stove Top Stuffing as your main side dish! I have used this recipe for a few years and my guests raved about it!

This recipe is a quick, easy way to spruce up that Stove Top and save money because you are using Stove Top! Yet, you will still have a dish that guest will love!

I’m wishing all of you the best this Holiday Season and I’m hoping my recipe will help lighten the cooking burden and financial burden   hosting Thanksgiving can bring!  Let’s try this and see how many compliments you get this year!!

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Yummy and Cheap Pulled Pork Slow Cooker Recipe

Easy Pulled Pork
Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is one of my favorite slow cooker recipes. The way I make it is easy and yummy.  There are many other recipes out there with more thought and effort, but I am a mother of two small kids and just don’t have the time to wear the “gourmet chef” hat right now.

I like to cook dinners that are fast, easy and frugal! This one is a little higher priced than some of my other recipes in my two-week meal planning post, but when you are making tuna noodle for under $3 and Chili for under $4, you can afford to spend a tad more on pork and sweet barbecue sauce!

So lets begin the slow cooker dump, sit back and watch our latest Gray’s Anatomy episode (yes, I still love that show!) and let our slow cooker do all the work! In the end, you will have a great meal the family will love and the cooking will happen while you take a load off!  Slow Cooker plugged in? Here we go!


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link I may be compensated but if you choose not to, feel free to browse or carry on with your cooking! My posts are here to help and any money I make is just a bonus! Thanks!

What you will need

1 package of pork – I buy Market Pantry center cut pork; however, some people use pork shoulder(cheaper). It is up to you but the center cut is already cut and is less fatty, which is healthier for the fam!

1/2 an onion – *** Tip** cut up when you get home from the store

3/4 cup Chicken broth – I use low sodium

1/2 bottle of Sweet BBQ sauce-(Save the other 1/2 for next time)

Around a tablespoon – Salt, pepper and paprika for seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Turn on your crock pot and pour in the chicken broth

2.  Add onions to slow cooker

3. Season each side of pork with salt, pepper and paprika ( I do a light coating of each)

4. Put the pork on top of your onions and broth

5. Let it all cook on high for four hours – Sit back, Relax!!

img_0461
Easy, cheap pulled pork recipe

6. Check and Shred. Your pork will turn a lighter color as shown in the picture  below, and shred very easily with a fork.

7. Drain with a regular kitchen colander. – There is nothing worse than soggy buns!  Place back in your slow cooker.

 

Easy, Cheap Pulled Pork
Yummy, Cheap Pulled Pork

 

Pulled Pork
Easy, Cheap Pulled Pork

8.  Add the BBQ Sauce and stir. ( I like Market Pantry  Sweet BBQ Sauce)

Yummy & Cheap Pulled Pork
Yummy & Cheap Pulled Pork

Finally…

Serve this yummy pork on a bun or open face on a piece of bread.  I like to serve with corn as a side dish!  Enjoy and watch the faces of your family as you serve! You are bound to get a smile.

What is your favorite slow cooker recipe? Please leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you!

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Check out my related post:

  1. Budget Friendly Meal Planning
  2. Chili-Fall Budget Meal Under $4

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Easy, Budget Friendly Tuna Noodle Cassarole-Under $3

Tuna Noodle is one of my go to meals! My kids love it and it is easy to make.  What a tasty warm meal on a fall or winter evening!  Also, this meal is super budget friendly and we can get your cost to under $3. That’s an awesome deal for a family of four.

Easy, Budget Friendly Tuna Noodle
Easy, Budget Friendly Tuna Noodle Casserole

Incorporate this into my meal planning sample and you will have another fall meal under your belt.

As I go along with this yummy recipe, I will give you prices and information on where to shop (Target, hint, hint) to get the best deals on your ingredients.

Not a gourmet chef?  Well, this recipe is so simple, if can open a can, you can make it! Turn on your stove and start boiling that water because here we go:

What you will need:

1 can tuna (.79)

1 can mushroom soup (.89 – stock up when on-sale)

1/2 can peas (.99 save the other half & make again – so .50 for this meal total)

1/2 box of rotini or use what pasta you have on hand ( 1.00/ box -so .50 for this meal total)

Optional: Cheese for topping

image1-1
Boil water and add rotini

Directions:

  1. Boil water (season with a dash of salt)  and add rotini
  2. Cook rotini for about nine minutes and drain
  3. Place rotini back in the pot
  4. Literally dump the rest of the ingredients in the pot and stir (add a little salt and pepper)
  5. Bam! You are ready to plate and serve
Tuna Noodle
Budget Friendly Tuna Noodle

Optional: If you have shredded cheese on hand, sprinkle on top and/or melt in the microwave. You can also top with crunched up chips or crackers. Yummy, Tummy!!

**TIP – Let your kids crunch up theirs own goldfish crackers on top! Fish on top of fish!!

Enjoy!

Tuna Noodle
Budget Friendly Tuna Noodle

 

All of my ingredients were Market Pantry brand purchased at Target using my Target Redcard to score and extra 5% off my entire order, which brings my meal cost to $2.55!! Yummy and cheap!

Related Post:

  1. Budget Friendly Meal Planning
  2. Budget Friendly Chili

Budget Friendly Meal Planning

Looking for ways to save money? Meal Planning is a quick easy solution to keep your budget on track.
Yummy & Budget-Friendly Meal Planning

Have you ever had one of those days, where the kids are screaming, starving and on the verge of a meltdown, yet you have no idea what you are going to make for dinner? Trust me, we’ve all been there.

Dinner time can be one of the most stressful times of the day. Well, stress no more! One great way to save money and to eliminate meal time chaos is to use meal planning!! Using these simple tricks, takes the guess-work out of a busy mom’s dinner schedule (or dad’s, depending on who is the chef in your home) and eliminates the chance of having multiple hangry-I mean hungry ;-)- kiddos. Furthermore, meal-planning helps you save food, money and time.  It is a great way to use your recipes and use up frozen food lurking in the back of your freezer.

I usually plan out our meals monthly, starting at the beginning of the month. Today’s  example will include two weeks worth of meal planning, which can be doubled for a months worth. (or for more ideas check out Budget-friendly Two Week Dinner Meal Plan for under $75)

I like to pay serious attention to the days my four-year-old has preschool and needs mommy right around meal-time.   I save the simple, kid-friendly meals or crock-pot meals, I can make in advance, for these evenings.  So play around with my sample and do what works for your schedule!

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Chili-Fall Budget Meal Under $4


Yummy Cheap Chili
Yummy Cheap Chili

Crisp air, pumpkin patches, cider and donuts, football games, beautiful colored leafs-These are just a few favorite things that are reminiscent of fall!! One other favorite, and maybe one of the best, is my budget friendly chili recipe I make every Fall.

Every year around this time, I incorporate my quick easy, budget friendly chili into my meal planning rotation. For those of you that do not cook, this recipe is so easy, you can’t go wrong!  In my next post I’ll give you an example of my two-week meal planning, but for now, here is my favorite chili recipe!


This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchse, I will be compensated and very grateful.  If you choose not to, please read and enjoy this yummy recipe! Thanks.

What you will need:

1 lb. of ground beef (season with salt & pepper) – paid 2.99 on sale-stock up

1 large can 30 oz. diced tomato – paid 1.39

1/2 an onion – paid . 99(save other half & make again next week)

1 green pepper – paid .62

1 can kidney beans 15 oz. – paid .89 (rinse)

1/2 can tomato sauce 15 oz. – paid .99 (save other half & make again next week)

1/2 tablespoons chili powder paid 1.99 for entire bottle (estimate .20  per use)

*optional*Dried red pepper-I don’t use because I make mine kid friendly, but some like it spicy.

(Most ingredients were purchased at Target using my REDcard to get an extra 5% off my purchase, the green pepper was purchased at Walmart.)

Yummy Cheap Chili

Directions:

1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef & drain grease

2. Add green pepper & onion to the meat and cook on medium heat until soft

3. Dump the rest of the ingredients in and stir-See, I told you.. easy, peasy

4. Simmer and stir on low for 30 minutes or longer

*I’ve made this ahead of time and left on the stove top for up to two hours.

5.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese & dollop with sour cream

Yummy cheap chili
Yummy cheap chili
Serve with crackers or garlic toast and ENJOY!!!!

For a family of four this makes two meals. I have leftovers the following evening, cutting the meal cost in half and the mess! Total cost was 7.67 (this includes my target red card 5% discount) or 3.83 per a meal. Cheap and yummy!!

Stay tuned for my meal planning post! Thanks for checking out my favorite fall recipe!!

Related Post:
  1.  Yummy and Cheap Pulled Pork
  2. Easy Budget Friendly Tuna Noodle Casserole-Under $3
  3. Budget Friendly Meal Planning

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