Menu Planning Monday: My menu for the week of 3/14

I started my spring break this week and so I told my husband he could pick out our recipes for the week since I’ll have plenty of time to cook.  Plus, I’m in a bit of a “recipe rut” so I was happy for the help!

If you’re new to meal planning or trying to cut your grocery budget, I’ll be sharing a “frugal” or “from the stockpile” recipe several days this month (at least that’s my goal!). To help me with this task, I’ll be having guest posts (if you’re interested in sharing a guest post/frugal recipe, e-mail me!) from some of my favorite frugal bloggers, too!

For those of you who may be doing Weight Watchers, I have included the points per serving calculations for each of my recipes this week. I used the “Recipe Builder” feature on the e-Tools program to input all of the ingredients and calculate the points, so it should be pretty accurate.

You can read more about my $40 weekly budget in this post here.

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! Check out hundreds of other meal plans at!

SUNDAY ~ Perfect Enchiladas – The basis for this recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman, but she uses ground beef and I’m going to use chicken (last time I used pork and that was yummy, too!)  Marci posted the recipe on her blog awhile back and I finally got around to trying it a few weeks ago and it was a hit, so we’re having it again.

Our “filling” – I’m going to put 2 frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot on low with a can of enchilada sauce (red) and some taco seasoning.  I’ll shred the taco meat and that and some cheese will become our “filling”

The sauce (from Marci’s blog)
1 T. canola oil
1 T. flour/cornstarch
1 large (28 oz) can enchilada/red sauce
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
2 T. chopped cilantro

-In a large saucepan over med. heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for 1 min.
-Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and cilantro, and bring to boil.
-Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 min.

I’m going to use 1 dozen flour tortillas.  Whenever I make enchiladas, I always put a little bit of sauce along the bottom of the pan to keep the enchiladas from stocking to the pan.  I’ll fill each tortilla with the shredded chicken breast and cheese, roll it, and place it in a 9X13 Pyrex baking dish. Then, I’ll cover the rolled enchiladas with the sauce and some cheese and bake it in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 350 until the cheese is melted.

WW points = 9 per serving for 2 enchiladas

MONDAY ~ Lemon chicken saute – This recipe has come to be known as “Grandma’s chicken” around our house because it was a recipe from my husband’s grandmother that his mom used to make for them

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (this is what we need for our family, adjust accordingly for yours)
3 T all purpose flour
PAM no-stick cooking spray
1/3 cup butter or margarine (we use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
3 T lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp sugar

Roll chicken in flour to coat. Spray large skillet with Pam or other cooking spray. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add chicken breast and saute till 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 fork tender (2-3 minutes)

Serve over cooked rice.

WW points – 5 points per serving with chicken; 2 points for 1/2 cup rice or 4 points for 1 cup with rice, 1 point for the asparagus recipe below

Serve with Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce – I got this recipe from Marci’s blog and it sounds yummy!

1 bunch fresh asparagus
cooking spray
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. butter (We use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
1 T. soy sauce
1 t. Balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Snap ends off of washed asparagus and place on baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes or until tender. Melt the butter in a sauce pan or in the microwave. Stir in soy sauce and Balsamic vinegar. Pour over baked asparagus and serve.

TUESDAY ~ BBQ Spare ribs (slow cooker) and baked beans (slow cooker) – these are both recipes from my mother in law and are yummy!

BBQ spare ribs

Spare ribs
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. catsup
1 med. can tomato sauce
1 to 2 teas. liquid smoke
1 1/2 T. dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in crock pot and stir…put meat in and turn the crock pot on low heat – I usually cook them for 8-9 hours and the meat is so tender that it is just falling off!

WW points = 10 points per serving (for 6 people) – this may be slightly off because the only “spare ribs” I could find in the catalog were Hormel Always Tender which may already be seasoned

Baked Beans

for each 1 lb. can baked beans (we use Bush) add:

2 T. brown sugar
1 T. syrup from pineapple juice
1 T. catsup
1 teas. prepared mustard
Add a small can of crushed pineapple or some tidbits drained
You can also add either bacon, hotdogs, or ham pieces.

I place all of this in the slow cooker on low and stir it occasionally until we are ready to serve.

WW points = 2 points per serving (for 6 people)

WEDNESDAY ~ Steak stroganoff (slow cooker) – This is a family favorite!

2T flour
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 3/4 lb. boneless round steak
2 cans 10 3/4 oz cream of mushroom soup (I use 98% FF)
2 c. water (or 1 can 100% FF beef broth for more flavor)
1 envelope beef stew mix
4 oz can mushrooms, sliced and drained
1/2 c. sour cream
1 T minced parsley

Combine flour, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika in slow cooker. Cut meat into 1 1/2 inch strips. Place in flour mixture and toss until meat is well coated. Add soup, water, and stew mix. Stir until well blended. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours. Stir in mushrooms, sour cream, and parsley and then cook on high 10-15 minutes until heated through. Serve over egg noodles. (Depending on the consistency of the sauce, you may need to add cornstarch to thicken or add more water/broth to thin)

To freeze: Pour into gallon freezer bags (I used Ziploc containers for this one). Allow to cool before freezing.

To reheat: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Warm on stove and serve over rice or egg noodles. (Add sour cream when warming if you left it out of the initial recipe)

WW points = 7 points/serving, 6-8 servings (add 2 points for 1/2 c. cooked pasta or 4 points for 1 cup)

Sides = “green” veggies (green beans or broccoli) and a green salad

THURSDAY ~ Cheesy rigatoni bake – this recipe came from this cookbook: Girlfriends on the Go: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Make-Ahead Meals (it can be frozen although I have never tried it that way)

1 16 oz pkg rigatoni noodles
2 Tbsp butter or margarine (we use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
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 (we use fat free or reduced fat 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.
(I prepare this in the morning and refrigerate. I just pop it in the oven when I get home).

WW points = 10 points per serving, serve with green salad and a “green” veggie (broccoli or green beans)

FRIDAY ~ Sesame chicken – This is another recipe from Marci’s blog that I have been wanting to try for awhile

3 chicken breasts
1/4 c flour
2 T peanut or sesame oil
salt and pepper
1/3 c soy sauce
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c green onions chopped

(I toasted my sesame seeds in the pan first…no oil, just with heat)
Cut chicken into pieces and add flour and salt and pepper in a bag to coat.
Brown in of oil.
Mix the soy sauce, sugar and green onions and pour the mixture over the chicken.
Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
Top with sesame seeds and serve over steamed rice.

SATURDAY ~ Chili (slow cooker)


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.

WW points = 7 points per serving (6-8 servings)


  1. JonesFamilyBlog says:

    Melissa, I've been following your blog for a few weeks now and I really admire how you get such great deals. I'm discouraged myself because of a few setbacks, such as this posted example:
    Have you had these kinds of experiences?

  2. Your hubbie did a good job this week. 🙂

    I've tried getting mine to help pick out some of the meals, but when I do that, I usually hear things like hot dogs and pizza. Go figure!

    Here's our menu plan for this week.
    http:// balancingactbasics. blogspot. com/2010/03/menu-plan-monday-315-32110.html

  3. DeAna ~ Those are usually the responses I get, too and we actually did have hot dogs for lunch Sunday at his request. I think he just got tired of me asking week after week, so he figured if he came up with some good ideas, I'd let him off the hook for awhile 🙂