Meal Ideas

A new friend of mine is getting a bit stressed when making up menus and staying on the cheap.  I made this up for her and thought it maybe helpful to others as well so I'd post it here.  These seem to be our go to dinner meals that are cheap and easy to make with real food!  If you want any recipes please let me know and I’ll type them out/find it for you.  I'll keep adding things as I think of them as well.  Please note, if you're a vegetarian I'm sorry.  We like our meat and it's benefits to our health around here so this probably won't benefit you much.  If anyone has any ideas or tips please feel free to comment!  I love hearing your ideas.

Main dishes:

Tacos/burritos, make your own refried beans from dry beans in the crockpot!





Chili (then have chili dogs another day with leftovers)

Crockpot rotisserie style chicken, I make it with different seasonings for variety then use bones for stock

Spaghetti with rice pasta

Fried rice sometimes with meat sometimes not

Burgers with homemade buns, very easy especially if you have a bread maker

“Ham” & beans, we use the leftovers when getting steaks or get a piece of pork butt

Breakfast type foods. Soaked pancakes or biscuits are our base usually because they're cheap

Homemade pizza

Beef roast with veggies in the crockpot

Meatloaf in the crockpot

Sandwiches with tuna salad or a turkey cooked in the crockpot

Chicken and dumplins (great use of leftover chicken/stock from a crockpot chicken)

Soup, this usually consists of me throwing a bunch of stuff in the crockpot with a little leftover meat and stock.

Sloppy Joes




We tend to eat rice quite often.  It's easy, nutritious when soaked, and easy.

Vegetables that are in season either raw or steamed/sauted with butter.

Sometimes I'll also some biscuits or something similar to go with it.


Shhh, it’s good for them and they don’t know!!

We just had a very amazingly yummy smoothie for breakfast with hidden greens.  It got me thinking about the parents I know that really want to feed their kids extra vegetables but the kids won't eat them/don't like them.  We don't really have issues with getting our boys to eat vegetables (they're weird that way) but I sneak in things as well as giving them to them just for the extra boost.  Okay, I'll fess up.  It maybe for us, as parents too because honestly I'm not too fond of most vegetables.  If I can "hide" them from myself and not taste the gross ones I'm happy.  I know I'm still getting the nutrition but I'm also loving the food I'm eating.  It's a win – win.

For the green smoothies it's very simple.  Make them as you would normally with fruit and add in some greens.  I'm amazed that you can't taste them.  Yes, it makes it have a green tent but it doesn't have the flavor.  For today's I used a 2 handfuls of mixed spring greens, a 2 tablespoons of milk kefir (you don't have to use this but it makes your belly happy), a frozen banana (freeze them whole and run water over them to release the , about 1/2 cup peanut butter, half & half until the blender starts going (cream or milk would work too), and a few squirts of local raw honey.  Very easy.  Throw it all in your blender and mix it up!  You could use whatever fruit your children like best.  I find it easiest to use frozen fruit just because then you don't have to add ice to give it the smoothie texture. 

Another way we hide our veggies is by shredding them and using in chili, sauces, soups, ground, etc.  Just shred them or chop them really finely and add it in.  I've heard a lot of poeple use pureed vegetables, which would be even more hush hush but we don't need to so I don't.  Here's a good site to learn more about it. 

I hope this helps some of you out!

Meal Plan Monday 6/27/2011

Our 7th anniversary is July 6th!

I don't know if you caught that but our anniversary is this week.  :)  I've been so blessed to be married to such an amazing husband, father, and Jesus chaser.  I can't wait to spend many more years with him!

We tried a few new recipes last week and they were yummy!  One was a new pizza dough instead of the planned meal on Friday.  It was so good!  You can find that recipe for here.  Scott (yes, he cooks and excellently I might add!  I told you I was blessed.) didn't use dry milk because we don't use it.  It's because of the way it's processed, which causes oxidized cholesterol.  "Oxidized cholesterol is used in research to cause atherosclerosis.  So when you drink skim milk or low fat milk because you think that it will help you avoid heart disease, you are actually drinking this oxidized cholesterol which initiates the process of heart disease." (taken from DIRTY SECRETS OF THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRYI'll pass on that, thanks.  Anyhow, Scott used 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of real milk.  It turned out beautifully.  We also don't use vegetable oil because of the process by which it's created.  There's some explanations of the process on the link for the milk information as well for oils.  Anyhow, he used olive oil but I think we'll try real butter next time with a bit of garlic added in for extra flavor.

We also tried the 5 Minute Marinara from the cooking class at Trader's Point.  I'll type that up and post it as soon as I get a chance because it was delish!  And I also got permission from Jen, the instructor to do so.  :)  You're welcome to visit her website in the meantime, http://lovewellnessindy.comIn other exciting food news, we have an itty bitty cucumber growing in our container garden!

2011-06-27 10.08.18

Okay, onto the main event, the menu for the week.  The prices are for our family of 4, unless otherwise noted.  I didn't include prices of spices because they can be stretched such a long way that it's very minimal.  We have only spent $160 for this week and next week so far, which includes things for breakfast and lunch and eating out yesterday for lunch.

Monday: Brats, veggies/butter in foil packets, salad, $7.89

Tuesday: City Group

Wednesday: Tacos, we're having the Daniels over for dinner, $9.89 for 6 people

Thursday: New Recipe!  Chicken Piccata with Mushrooms and Rice Pasta $7.82

Friday: Chili Dogs (can I just say I really like Hebrew National hot dogs?) $7.23

Saturday: Out.  We'll be on the road because we're taking the boys to my parents for a few days!

Sunday: BBQ & Pool Party with Redemption Hill peps.


Check out Organized Junkie for more menu plans.



Monday Meal Plan 6/20/2011

It's that time again!  I went to an organic cooking class tonight.  There will be three of them in a series.  Tonights was how to cook organic whole foods on a budget.  I didn't get many tips I didn't already know but I did get a few good recipes and meet a few people.


Chick-fil-a, I had a cooking class at Trader's Point Creamery so we met Scott.


Pancakes, Eggs, and Bacon for City Group at our house


Beans & Cornbread


Rice Pasta, 5 Minute Marinara (from cooking class), Salad


Crockpot Chicken, Carrots, Mashed Potatoes


Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Salad


Hamburgers, Homemade Fries, Salad


Check out Organized Junkie's Meal Plan Monday for more meal plans from other folks!



Our Container Garden

We are also growing our own veggies on our porch!  I'm sure once they produce it'll help us bring our weekly bill down below the $100.00 or at least then we can buy extra meat to save up!  Have a look…

2011-06-19 17.05.26

These are our four cucumber plants.  I wasn't trying for four of them.  When they were just wee baby plants the wind from a storm knocked all our starters off the window.  I replanted the ones that lived, which I thought were tomatoes, and planted new starters for the others.  Come to find out they weren't tomatoes and therefore we now have extra cucumbers.  There's always next year for tomatoes.  🙂

2011-06-19 17.05.34

Two green pepper plants.  I really hope they grow up soon.  They look rather small.

2011-06-19 17.05.46

And lastly our very sad looking lettuce.  I'm not sure this is going to make it.  I think it's the soil I used.  It was a cheap brand of organic soil.  Next time I'll pay the extra $2.00 for the better stuff!


On another note, I thought about making a grocery list to post along with our weekly menu plans.  Would you find that helpful?  If so I'll do it, just please leave a comment or email me so I know.


Monday Meal Plan 6/11/2011

Here's our meal plan for this week.  Yes, it's a day late but anyone that knows me knows I'm almost never on time.  It's a bad habit I intend to break someday.  🙂

We went to the farmer's market at Trader's Point Creamery over the weekend and picked up a few things and we got our Green Bean Delivery order for the next two weeks.  I shouldn't have to go to the store again for 2 weeks with the exception to running out of eggs or if I go get some Ezekial bread, which is tempting.  This is a lower carb meal plan to follow The Belly Fat Cure.  The goal is to get no more than 120 grams of carbs (It's done by servings, can have 6 servings) and 15 grams of sugar a day (1 g is 1 serving).  On the menu S stands for Sugar, C for Carbs showing how many servings that meal is.  If I have breakfast it'll be eggs.  I usually don't eat until later so it'll just be coffee in the mornings.




Lunch: Salad & Chicken

Dinner: City Group


Lunch: Chicken & Salad

Dinner: Beef & Zucchini Kabobs with Baked Potatoes


Lunch: Quesadilla

Dinner: Mushroom & Onion Burgers (no bun for me) with Fries


Lunch: Salad & Chicken

Dinner: Beans & Fried Potatoes


Brunch: Eggs, Bacon, & Toast

Dinner: Crockpot Chicken & Rice


Lunch: Tacos

Dinner: Leftovers

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