Menu Planning Monday: My meal plan for the week of 1/4-1/10

Since this is my first “Menu Planning Monday” post, I thought I’d clarify a few things. On weekdays, we do quick breakfasts in the morning that usually consist of hot/cold cereal, breakfast bars, Pop Tarts, or waffles. I have a stockpile of several of these items which is why you didn’t see them in my grocery shopping post.

During the week, my son eats lunch at daycare, and I don’t have to provide a lunch for him. My daughter takes a lunch to school a few days a week and it usually consists of a sandwich, fruit, a cheese stick, and a juice box. (Items to make her lunches were included in the weekly grocery post with the exception of the juice box because I have a stockpile right now) She also takes a snack daily. I’m set in that area for awhile now thanks to the Walgreens Nabisco deal and the Target Keebler/Sunshine snacks deal a few weeks ago. When my husband and I take lunch, it’s usually similar to what my daughter takes (I usually take a yogurt, too) or we take leftovers from our dinner meals.

I do a lot of cooking in my crockpot. I work full time and if I didn’t cook in my crock pot, I wouldn’t get dinner on the table a lot of nights. Plus, it helps me to stretch our meat a little further.

I LOVE cookbooks. Here are a few of my favorites (they are also listed in the “I Recommend” post on the left sidebar):

101 Things to Do with a Slow Cooker
101 More Things to do with a Slow Cooker
101 Things to Do with a Casserole
Girlfriends on the Go: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Make-Ahead Meals
Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook: Feasting with Your Slow Cooker
Fix-it And Forget-it 5-ingredient Favorites
Yum-o! The Family Cookbook

I also love recipe-related websites and blogs. Here are a few of my favorites:

On My Menu – tons of great recipes and a weekly menu
A Year of CrockPotting – this woman cooked something in her crockpot EVERY day last year!
Everyday Food Storage – ideas for rotation and using your food storage/stockpile
$5 dinners – a blog with tons of recipes for $5 meals

Here’s our dinner meal plan for this week:

Sunday – Steak Stroganoff (in the crockpot)

Monday – Black bean & chicken burritos (in the crockpot)

Tuesday – Shepherd’s pie (in the crockpot)

Wednesday – Chicken & dumplings (in the crockpot)

Thursday – Cheesy rigatoni bake – this recipe came from this cookbook: Girlfriends on the Go: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Make-Ahead Meals
1 16 oz pkg rigatoni noodles
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 c. milk
1/4 c. water
4 eggs, beaten
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 cups sherdded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and salt until smooth. Gradually add milk and water. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Drain pasta and place in a large bowl. Add beaten eggs. Spoon into a greased 9X13 pan. Top with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Spoon white sauce over top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes

Notes: I got my pasta for free using a .50/1 Barilla coupon during a 10/$10 sale. The tomato sauce was .33/can at Walgreens. The cheese was 2/$4. Total cost for this meal was about $6.

Friday – Peppered steak – this is a family recipe that came from my mother in law
3 cups hot cooked rice
1 lb lean beef round steak (cut into 1/2 inch thick strips)
1 T Paprika
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic, crusehd
1 1/2 c. beef broth
1 cup sliced green onions
2 green peppers, cut in strips
2T cornstarch
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 lg tomatoes (cut in eighths)

Pound steak to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 1/4 inch wide strips. Sprinkle meat with paprika. Let stand. Brown meat in butter. Add garlic and brother. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in onions and green peppers. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Blend cornstarch, water and soy sauce. Stir into meat mixture. Cook, stirring until clear and thickened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir gently. Serve over beds of fluffy rice. Serves 6.

Notes: The most expensive item in this meal is the steak. It was about $6. I can get a small bag of rice for $1-1.50. Tomatoes were $1.59 for a pound. Green peppers were 2/$1. Beef broth was .50. Total cost for this meal was about $10, so it’s a little on the pricey side if you don’t have items on hand, but we love it! You can get a better deal on the meat if you look for some that is marked down.

Saturday – Lemon chicken saute – this is another family recipe that I got from my mother in law
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (the recipe calls for 6, but we only have 4 in our family)
3 T all purpose flour
No-stick cooking spray
1/3 c. butter or margarine
1/3 cup Teriyaki sauce
3 T lemon juice
1 t minced garlic
1/2 t sugar
cooked rice

Roll chicken in flour to coat. Spray large skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and saute until lightly browned on one side. Turn and brown on second side 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove chicken and set aside. Stir teriyaki sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and sugar into skillet. Return chicken to pan and simmer 3 minutes. Turn chicken over and continue cooking until they are tender (2-3 minutes). Serve over cooked rice.

Notes: I got a big bag of chicken breasts at Target for $6.99 (I will not use the whole bag on this recipe). The teriyaki sauce was $1.29. I can get the rice for $1-1.50. Total cost for this meal is between $6-7.


  1. Melissa – I got your blog address from NBBC coupon board. I love your blog!! During Christmas your posts saved me so much money with all the Amazon deals. I am not sure how you have time to do it all but thanks for all your help!

    I am definitly going to try some of your recipes next week!

  2. I’m glad you are posting some recipes…I’m always looking for new ones to try :-)!