Menu Planning Monday – My menu for the week of 11/15

A few people have asked if I am doing my $40 weekly grocery budget still and the answer is yes! If you’re new to my blog, on January 1st, I set a goal to feed my family of 4 on $40 per week and so far, I have managed to make my goal (and sometimes even come in under budget). I don’t always get to post or take pictures of my grocery trips because I usually do my grocery shopping on Saturday mornings and make it home just in time to unload the groceries and get out the door for my kids’ activities.

I have also had people ask if my $40 weekly shopping trips match up with my menu for the week and the answer is…not exactly. I usually plan my weekly menus around what is on sale at the grocery store and what I have in my stockpile. So, some of the items will correspond, but others are things that I already have on hand. My stockpile is what has allowed me to survive on $40 each week because basically I am only buying things when they are on sale.

Also, if you’re new to my blog, our breakfasts are “on the go” – things like cereal, Pop Tarts, and waffles mainly with scrambled eggs thrown in there every now and then. I do try to cook “real” breakfasts on the weekends, but I am not always good about planning ahead for that. Our lunches are also “on the go” – sandwiches for my daughter and salads, leftovers, or frozen meals for me (my son eats at daycare and my husband fends for himself!)

If you have blogged a menu plan for the week (or even just a favorite recipe), please feel free to comment and share your link. I’m always looking for new ideas and inspiration and will be happy to share a link to your blog if we try your recipe!

If you need inspiration, check out the weekly meal plans from hundreds of other bloggers here at Organizing Junkie.

SUNDAY ~ Family sized burrito – I saw this recipe on DeAna’s blog originally (she’s got great pictures of it all on her blog, so you should definitely check it out!). We tried it awhile ago and it was a hit, so we’re having it again!

2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded*
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp chicken taco seasoning mix
1 Tbsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp salsa
1 shredded cheddar cheese
4 burrito-size flour tortillas
1/2 can (9oz) bean dip
Toppings: shredded lettuce, sliced olives, sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 F. Mix chicken with onion powder, lime juice, seasoning mix, garlic powder and salsa. Microwave chicken mixture 3-4 minutes or until hot, stirring occasionally.
Arrange tortillas in an overlapping circular pattern on a large pizza stone (you could use a cookie sheet as well), covering entire surface of baking stone. Tortillas will extend off edge by a few inches.

Starting in the center, spread bean dip over tortillas. Spoon chicken mixture over bean dip and cover with 3/4 cup of cheese.

Fold edges of tortillas up over chicken mixture in an envelope pattern. Arrange sliced tomatoes in rows over top of burrito. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake about 18 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are browned.

Cut into rectangles; serve with assorted toppings and enjoy!

Notes: I put my chicken in the crockpot with the taco seasoning, spices, and salsa and then shred it. I also just use regular refried beans rather than bean dip.

MONDAY ~ Bacon-wrapped apple BBQ chicken (slow cooker) – This recipe came from All You Magazine – Marci posted about it on her blog a few weeks ago and I decided to test it out.

1/2 c barbecue sauce
2 apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and grated
juice of 1 lemon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
8 slices bacon (I’m going to use turkey bacon)
salt and pepper

-In a small bowl, combine bbq sauce, grated apple and lemon juice.
-Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around each chicken breast half. Place wrapped chicken in slow cooker and top with bbq-sauce mixture.
-Set slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hours.

TUESDAY ~ Texas Kielbasa skillet – I originally got this recipe from a freezer swap and it has become a big hit with our family

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) CREAM OF CELERY SOUP (I use whatever cream soup I have on hand)
1 1/2 cups WATER
1 Tablespoon BUTTER
¾ cup uncooked LONG GRAIN RICE
1 pound SMOKED KIELBASA SAUSAGE, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 pkg. (10 oz.) FROZEN PEAS

Combine soup, water and butter substitute in a large skillet with a lid.
Bring to a boil. Add rice and sausage. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in peas and mushrooms. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes,
or until rice Is tender. Sprinkle with cheese and serve hot.

WEDNESDAY ~ Chili (slow cooker) – This recipe is super easy and very yummy!

1 lb ground beef (brown in skillet and then place in crockpot)
1 can dark kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can Ranch style beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 packet chili spices

Mix all ingredients in crockpot and cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Sprinkle cheese on top before serving.

I serve it with garlic cheese biscuits (this recipe comes straight from the Betty Crocker website):
1 cup Bisquick Heart Smart® mix
1/3 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (1 oz)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Butter-flavor cooking spray, if desired

1. Heat oven to 450°F.
2. In small bowl, stir Bisquick® mix, milk, cheese and garlic powder to make a soft dough. Drop dough by 5 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake about 8 minutes or until golden brown. Spray warm biscuits with cooking spray before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

THURSDAY ~ Meatloaf – this is a Hormel refrigerated entree – they were BOGO free at Randalls this week and I had $1.50 coupons, too, so it ended up being $4.99 for two entrees – tonight is Open House at my daughter’s school, so it’s going to be a busy night and I needed something quick and easy.

FRIDAY ~ Cream cheese chicken (slow cooker) – this is a family favorite!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper (to taste)
2 pkg. dry Ranch or Italian dressing mix (we usually only use one)
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese – cut into cubes (I use the 1/3 less fat kind)
½ c. chicken broth

Directions: Brush chicken with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in crock pot and sprinkle 1 pkg. dry mix over all. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. About 45 minutes before serving, add soup, second packet of dry dressing mix, cream cheese, and chicken broth. Cook until smooth.
Serve over rice or pasta.

SATURDAYChicken enchilada casserole – This is a recipe that my sister came up with. She uses canned chicken when she makes it. I came up with a little bit of a variation.

2 chicken breasts (shredded) – or 1 can chicken
1 large can red enchilada sauce
corn tortillas
shredded cheese

Directions: (this is what I do) – I put my chicken and the enchilada sauce in the crockpot the night before and then shred it when I get up in the morning. If you are using canned chicken, you can just shred it as you are making the casserole. I spread some of the chicken/sauce mixture along the bottom of the casserole dish so it doesn’t stick. Break corn tortillas into four pieces and layer across the bottom of the casserole dish. Spread a layer of the chicken/sauce mixture and cheese. Add another layer of corn tortillas. Continue until you are out of the chicken/sauce mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.


  1. Wow! $40 a week is amazing! 😀 That is awesome!! You have some great recipes!! The bacon wrapped chicken sounds especially amazing! 😀

    have a great week!

  2. I am happy to see that the 40 a week works for you. I haven't been able to get 80 to work for us. We are all adults.
    The recipes for this week sound wonderful. My room mates and I want to try the BBQ chicken one some time soon.

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