Menu Planning Monday: my menu for the week of 3/22

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 and see my shopping trip for the week 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!
My menu plan this week starts on Monday.  I had “plans” for dinner last night, but it didn’t quite work out like I had planned and we ended up eating frozen pizza.  Here’s my menu plan for the week:

MONDAY ~ Chili (slow cooker) – this was on our menu last week, but we ended up using a gift card and going out to eat instead, so this is a “carryover”

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) – cheese and any additional toppings are “extra”

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

2-3 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.

WW points = 6 points/serving (add 2 points for 1/2 c. rice or pasta or 4 points for 1 cup rice or pasta)

WEDNESDAYMelt in your mouth meatloaf (slow cooker)

2 eggs
3/4 c. milk (we use skim)
2/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs
2 tsp dried, minced onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I use ground turkey instead)
1/4 c. ketchup
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well (mixture will be moist.) Shape into a round loaf; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Spoon over the meat loaf. Cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

WW points = 5 per serving with the ground turkey, ground beef may be more (makes 6 servings)

THURSDAY ~ Chicken licking good pork chops (slow cooker)

6-8 lean pork chops, 1-inch thick
1/2 cup flour (omit if you don’t brown chops in skillet)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp oil (omit if you don’t brown chops in skillet)
1 10.5oz can chicken & rice soup

Dredge pork chops in mixture of flour, salt, dry mustard & garlic powder. Brown chops in oil in a large skillet. Place browned pork chops in crockpot. Add can of soup. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3 1/2 hours. If I don’t brown the chops, then I just toss the salt, dry mustard & garlic powder in the crockpot instead of dredging the chops.

*Note: When making this meal, I use a can of family size chicken & rice soup and drain off some of the broth – it keeps the meat tender and there is more of the chicken & rice mixture for everyone! If you don’t have time to brown the chops first in a skillet, I’ve also just dipped it into the flour mixture and put it straight into the slow cooker and it works fine that way, too.

WW points = 6 servings, 7 points per serving

FRIDAY ~ Ritzy chicken –  Misty posted this recipe on a message board I belong to and several of the ladies that tried it have RAVED about it, so I can’t wait to check it out this week!

1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons celery salt
1 teaspoons paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 whole chicken breasts, skinned, boned and halved (I’m going to use boneless, skinless)
1½ cups crushed Ritz crackers
½ cup butter
top with poppy seeds (optional)

Combine sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper, with chicken breasts. Marinate at least 15 minutes but up to 24 hours refrigerated. Remove the coated chicken from the mixture and roll in cracker crumbs. Arrange in a single layer baking pan. Melt butter and pour half over chicken. Bake uncovered 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Spoon remaining butter over the chicken, sprinkle with poppy seeds and cook 15 minutes.

WW points per serving = 8 (makes 4 servings)

SATURDAY ~ Pork fajitas – these are already seasoned and just need to be cooked – we will serve with homemade guacamole (I’ll have to post the recipe later)

If you’re looking for a way to organizes the recipes you find, to do lists, books to read, restaurants to try and everything else you can think of all in one place (online), check out Springpad – it’s totally free and I love it!