Menu Planning Monday: My menu for the week of 6/14

Menu planning on a $40 budget is about to become a LOT trickier. When I am working, my kids eat breakfast and lunch at daycare. Now I am faced with the challenge of planning three meals a day for a family of 4 on $40 a week….

I’m always looking for new recipe ideas, so if you have a menu plan for the week, share it using “Mr. Linky” below!

Here’s my plan for this week:


Breakfast – Puffed Pancakes – I got this recipe from Marci’s blog awhile ago and tried it out. My whole family loved it and it’s super easy to make (perfect for Sunday mornings when we’re running out the door for early church!)

1/2 cube butter (not margarine)
6 eggs
1 cup Milk
1 Cup Pancake Mix (or Bisquick)

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Place butter in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Put in preheating oven until butter is melted. In a blender, combine eggs, milk and pancake mix. Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for a bout 15 – 18 Minutes until pancakes are puffy and lightly browned. Do not open oven while pancakes are cooking. Top with sifted powder sugar.

Serve with warm maple syrup or fruit toppings.

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: Lasagne – I use this recipe from Barilla (if you haven’t tried their oven ready lasagne noodles yet, they are a lifesaver!)


Breakfast – cold cereal

Lunch – peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit

Dinner – Teriyaki Chicken (freezer meal) – if you are wanting to get started with freezer cooking, this is seriously the EASIEST freezer meal to put together and a great one to start with!

1 cup sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup pineapple juice
4 chicken breasts

Mix marinade ingredients together and throw in a freezer bag with the chicken breasts. If you use it as a freezer meal, just defrost and cook as you please when ready to eat!


Breakfast – waffles (Kashi ones from the Target deal)

Lunch – Chicken Pasta Salad with Grapes and Poppy Seed Dressing – I LOVE pasta salad in the summer! I found this recipe on and decided to try it out.

1 box Betty Crocker® Suddenly Salad® classic pasta salad mix
1/2 cup refrigerated poppy seed dressing
1 1/2 cups cut-up cooked chicken
3/4 cup halved red grapes
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1. Empty Pasta mix into 3-quart saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water. Gently boil uncovered 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well.
3. In large bowl, stir together seasoning mix and dressing. Add pasta and remaining ingredients; toss to combine. Serve immediately, or refrigerate.

Dinner – Spare ribs (slow cooker) and BBQ beans (slow cooker) – yes, I have two slow cookers (three actually) which is wonderful!

Baked Beans

for each 1 lb. can baked beans 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.

Spare ribs
I got this recipe from my mother in law and my whole family just loves it!

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!


Breakfast – Pop tarts

Lunch – eating out with friends after our $1 movie (we’re seeing Space Chimps!)

Dinner – Chicken Tortilla soup (slow cooker/freezer meal) – I have some in the freezer taht I’ll defrost and serve!

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla soup
3 cans chicken broth (100% FF)
3 cans cream of chicken soup (98% FF)
3-4 chicken breasts
1 can Rotel
Mrs. Dash original seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot. Add Mrs. Dash’s seasoning to taste. Add broth and cream of chicken soup, and Rotel. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred chicken in crock pot.

To serve: (if frozen)

Defrost in refrigerator. Reheat on stove. Serve and top individual bowls with desired toppings (tomatoes, green onions, avocadoes/guacamole, cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, etc.).


Breakfast- Pancakes – My daughter loves to help me in the kitchen. Marci posted this recipe for “Simple Pancakes” and I thought that it would be a fun one to try this morning! (we’ll add the chocolate chips like she did, too!)

-1 c. flour
-1 T. sugar
-2 t. baking powder
-1/4 t. salt
-1 beaten egg
-1 c. milk
-2 T. cooking oil

-In a mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
-In another mixing bowl combine egg, milk, and cooking oil.
-Add to flour mixture all at once.
-Stir mixture just till blended but still slightly lumpy.
-Cook them up!

Lunch – Tuna sandwiches (yes, my kids will actually eat them!)

Dinner – Braised pork chops – I got this recipe from my mother in law awhile ago – I think she may have gotten it from a Martha Stewart magazine (or online)

2 T. veg. oil
6 boneless center cut pork chops trimmed of fat are preferable (but any will do)
1 teas. Dijon Mustard
1T red-wine vinegar
2 T. light brown sugar
1teas. garlic salt
1 T. worcestershire OR soy sauce

Heat oil in a lg. heavy skillet over med. high heat.
Brown chops on each side 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, site together all other ingredients with 1/3 cup water. Pour over chops. Reduce heat, cover and cook until tender, about 1 hour.

Transfer chops to a serving dish. Raise heat to med. high and cook sauce until thickened….about 5 minutes. Pour over chops and serve.


Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with ham and cheese

Lunch – Crescent dogs – My daughter happened to be next to me when I was browsing Marci’s blog (are you seeing a trend yet?) and she had posted this recipe. She has been begging me to make them ever since and I kept telling her “once summer comes.” The time has come and my daughter is super excited!

8 hot dogs
4 slices (3/4 oz each) American cheese, each cut into 6 strips (we just used shredded cheddar cheese)
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1. Heat oven to 375°. Slit hot dogs to within 1/2 inch of ends; insert 3 strips of cheese into each slit.
2. Separate dough into triangles. Wrap dough triangle around each hot dog. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side up.
3. Bake at 375° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Dinner – Tator tot casserole

1/2 pound ground beef
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 (14.5 ounce) can French style green beans
1/2 (32 ounce) package tater tots
shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef and drain fat. Stir in condensed cream of mushroom soup, water, garlic salt, cheese, and green beans. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized casserole dish and layer with the tater tots. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until tater tots are browned and crispy.


Breakfast – Banana Crumb muffins – I found this recipe on and it looked yummy!

Lunch – Eat out as a family

Dinner – Steak and baked potatoes (our HEB grocery store always runs a “meal deal” around Father’s Day that includes filet steaks and baked potatoes)


  1. Everything sounds delicious. The Puffed Pancakes really sound intriguing. I've been stocking up on breakfast meal recipes to make on the weekend. Fivejs had a breakfast challenge recently & posted some good recipes. I'm going to try her Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal recipe one of these days.

    My kids have developed the taste for bologna sandwiches, but not tuna fish yet. Taste of Home has a good recipe for Cucumber Tuna Boats. You slice the cucumbers lengthwise, scoop out the innards, then put your prepared tuna fish into the hollowed-out cucumbers. I haven't tried it yet, but hubs & I thought it sounded good. Just gotta buy some tuna fish so I can make it.

    Anyhow, to make a long story short, thanks for posting the menu & recipes!

  2. We've got a tuna explosion around here thanks to the pouches that were free at Target awhile ago and the cans that I got a deal on I think at CVS – wish you were closer and I'd give you some!