Meal Planning on a Budget- Round 2 for under $75
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.
Grab your free Meal Plan and Menu Template
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Take my advice and only visit the store twice a month. Stock up on all of your grocery needs and you won’t be tempted to head back to the store, where the advertisers will be working their magic to test your impulses and lure you into a spending splurge.
So without further adieu, let’s get cooking!!
Meal Planning Week One
Click here to print in PDF format: Meal Planning Round 2
Monday: Smothered Pork – This slow cooker recipe is so easy and yummy! Serve on top of rice. This will be updated in few days to include a link to the recipe. Check it out. Here is the recipe: Smother Pork (updated 1/24)
Save $1.25 on any FIVE (5) Campbell’s® Condensed Soups
Tuesday: Cheap and Yummy Bean Burritos – Use one can of Market Pantry refried beans. Next heat up the beans on the stove top and add them to your wrap. Then add shredded cheddar cheese and your favorite toppings! We like salsa and light sour cream. Optional: Make a rice packet and add as a filling!
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken and Veggies – Thaw overnight and season up your chicken with salt and pepper and/or Italian dressing. Next pan fry it on your stove top for around 8 minutes on medium high heat. (Always check your meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit). I usually buy frozen vegetables and steam them, because they are cheaper than fresh and they still hold a lot of nutrients.
Thursday: Sloppy Joes– Use Ground Beef and Manwich sloppy Joe Mix! Brown up your meat and add the mix! Serve on a bun with a side of veggies. Yummy!
Friday: Freezer Friday – We like fish sticks (Gorton’s is a good option) or spinach ravioli and veggies but feel free to cook up anything you have been meaning to eat in the back of your freezer.
Saturday: Homemade Cheap and Yummy Pizza – Make a basic pizza dough (Here is one from The Food Network that I like. Also you can freeze the extra) and add pizza sauce and your favorite toppings. We like black olives and onions. Another easy option for pizza crust is the Market Pantry thin crust, which sells for only $1.49.
Sunday: Crock Pot Chicken Tacos – This is such an easy meal. Just add 1/2 cup water, 1/2 onion, and three thawed chicken breast to your crock pot. Add 1/2 a packet of taco seasoning and 1 cup of salsa. Next, cook on high for around four hours (depending on your crockpot) and shred the chicken. Then mix well and drain if it seems too runny. Lastly, serve on wraps with your favorite toppings.
Tip: I use a Crockpot brand slow cooker and love it! Affiliate link: Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S 6-Quart Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker, Digital Timer, Stainless Steel
Meal Planning Week Two
Monday: Leftovers – Use the leftover chicken from last night’s meal to make more yummy tacos or serve on tortilla chips with cheese for chicken nachos.
Tuesday: Pancakes and Eggs – Breakfast for dinner! Why not? You will get your protein from the eggs and carbohydrates from the pancakes. Best of all, my kids will eat it! They usually refuse to eat and get up fifteen times, but that is beside the point! With pancakes, they lick their plates clean.
Wednesday: Cheddar Turkey Burgers – Mix one package of ground turkey with 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Next season with salt and pepper and a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce. Lastly, cook your patties and serve them on a bun with veggies as a side.
Thursday: Mozzarella Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque – I use sliced mozzarella for the grilled cheese and a side of Campbell’s Tomato Bisque. The grilled cheese is great for dipping.
Friday: Freezer Friday – Pull something out that will expire soon! If you are extremely good at using everything in your freezer, try Market Pantry Frozen Ravioli! They have a few varieties!
Saturday: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches and Veggies – Another simple crock pot recipe! This recipe will be added soon and is a very simple way to make your pulled chicken in a slow cooker. Updated 1/26 Pulled Chicken Recipe
Sunday: BBQ Chicken Pizza – Make a basic pizza dough (should have some in the freezer if you made the recipe above) and add leftover chicken from last night, plus red onions and mozzarella cheese. Bake for around 20 minutes! YUM!
To print the grocery list in PDF format, click here: Grocery List Meal Planning Round 2
On hand: salt, pepper, salad dressing (Italian), flour, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce
1 Pack of Pork chops $4.99, 1 package of Market Pantry Frozen Chicken $7.99, 1 pack of Jennie-o Ground Turkey $4.99, Market Pantry 80/20 Ground Beef $2.99, 1 pack of fresh chicken $4.99: $25.95 (If you are lucky, Target often has a sale of $5 off $20 meat purchase. Be on the lookout! You will need a coupon from the flyer. They offer this sale about once every two months)
1 white onion $1, 1 red onion Total: $2
MP = Market Pantry brand
Market Pantry Cream of Mushroom Soup 10 oz $.99, MP white rice package 14 oz. $1.69, MP Chicken broth 14.5 oz. $.79, MP refried beans 16 oz $1.17, MP Wraps (8 10 Inch) $2.14, Pizza Sauce $1.50, MP Taco Seasoning $.69, MP Chunky Salsa 24 oz. $2.27, Simply Balanced Tortilla Chips $2.99, Bread $2, Campbell’s Tomato Bisque 11 oz. $1.59, Yeast pack of three $1, Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce $1, Market Pantry Pancake MIx 32 oz. $1.99, Optional MP pizza crust $1.49 Total: $21.81
Sour Cream $2.59, MP Shredded Cheddar Cheese 2.49, 32 oz. MP Mozzarella Cheese $4.99, MP sliced mozzarella cheese $2.49, Eggs $1.99 Total: $14.55
1 Simply Balanced Frozen broccoli $1.66, 1 Frozen Simply Balanced mixed veggies $1.66, Gorton’s Fish Sticks $2.99, package of MP frozen ravioli 2.99 Total: $9.30
Grand Total: $73.61
But wait…I have a Target REDcard and I receive 5% off all of my purchases at the register. This brings my total down to $69.93
Want even more savings? Look up your items on the Target Cartwheel app. The Target Brands such as Market Pantry and Simply Balanced are always in the app. Furthermore, I never leave home without my Cartwheel app! To learn more check out my Target saving secrets here. Don’t forget you can stack Target coupons on top of the app savings! Just check the Target website before you shop and print any relevant coupons. They often have $3/15 Market Pantry or Simply balanced brand coupon. This is where the real deal savings come in at Target.
You may also stack Target coupons with manufacturer coupons. Print coupons easily at coupons.com, one of my favorite coupon sites!
To make meal planning even easier, check out $5 Meal Plan. This is a meal planning service that will send your weekly meal plans of low cost meals your family will love. They offer a 14 day free trial so you have nothing to lose!
I hope you enjoy your meals and the time you saved is spent doing something else you love without stressing about food!! I’ll be spending my free time playing trains with my boys! Leave me a comment and let me know if you received any extra savings! I would love to hear from you!
The question of the day: If you had an extra half an hour of free time today, what would you do with it?
Have a great weekend my friends! Until next time – Sarah
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