Staying on Budget

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Extreme Menu 1 – Family of 2

Featured this week: Saucy Pork Chop Skillet ~ ~ Italian Hot Dish ~ ~ Mexican Beans and Rice

Andrew asked me to start a new segment of balanced meals but at a lower cost. I know some of you are paying down/off debt while trying to navigate the rising cost of food. I realize that there is not a lot of variety in these menus but the more items I add the higher the bill. I will do my best to keep cost down while continuing with healthy well rounded dinners for your families.

Dinners for the week - About $38.80

  • Thursday
  • Friday
    • Leftover Italian Hot Dish
    • Roasted Green Beans
  • Saturday
    • Leftover Mexican Beans and Rice
    • Corn

Grocery List - Store brand (Metro Detroit)

Prep the week!

prep week

I like to gather my storage containers before I start my prep.  I love the look of the table with all of the containers and as I make progress the containers disappear leaving me with a sense of accomplishment and encouragement to keep going. This picture is an example of one of my prep weeks.

Storage containers needed:

I like to use a sticky note or paper with a piece of tape to label my prep containers with the name of the meals.

  • 1 cup; sliced onion (Saucy Pork Chops)
  • 2 cups; 1 small onion, 1 small green pepper (Italian Hot Dish)
  • 3 cups; 1 med onion, 1 med green pepper and celery (Mexican Beans & Rice)
  • ¼ cup container; green onions (Mexican Beans & Rice)
  • 2 cups; brown rice (Mexican Beans & Rice)
  • 4 cups; green beans (Side)
  • 6 cups; chopped broccoli (Side)

Let's start prepping!

I like to use a vegetable chopper to speed up this process. 

  • Trim the green beans. Do not wash; refrigerate.  
  • Chop broccoli into bite size pieces. Do not wash; refrigerate.
Saucy Pork Chops
  • Slice 1 small onion; refrigerate.
Italian Hot Dish
  • Chop 1 small onion and place in a 2 cup container and set aside.
  • Chop 1 green pepper and add to the 2 cup container with onion; refrigerate.
Mexican Beans & Rice
  • Cook 1 cup of long grain brown rice to package directions using either a pot or rice cooker
  • Dice 1 medium onion and place in a 3 cup container and set aside.
  • Dice 1 medium green pepper and add to the 3 cup container with onion; set aside.
  • Thinly slice 2 celery ribs and add to the 3 cup container with onion and green pepper; refrigerate.
  • Chop 2 green onions; refrigerate.

Tips and Tricks for the weekly meals to go flawlessly!

Always start by reading the recipe all the way through then read my tips.  Doing this before you start will help prevent “surprises” along the way. 

If I’ve posted it then I have eaten it and called it good.  Also, I know that the portions should work because I have done it.  No guess work here. Measuring out your portion might be new for you and still leave you hungry after the meal. This is normal and it will take your body time to adjust. Try these tips:

  • Don’t miss your afternoon snack because being ravenous at dinner time will lead to over eating. 
  • Drink 8 ounces of water before you begin your meal and after you end your meal. 
  • Eat a salad or raw vegetables with your meal.
  • Eat a piece of fruit after a meal like an apple, pear, orange, etc. This will subside the hunger and it’s good for you. 
  • Wait 1 hour after your meal and if you are still hungry make some pop corn.  
Saucy Pork Chop Skillet
  1. Rinse 3 heaping cups of broccoli and leave in the colander until ready to cook.
  2. Follow the recipe as directed 
  3. Put on a pot of water and bring to a boil for the broccoli when you start to brown the meat.
  4. Once you are ready to add the flour water slurry to the pan add the broccoli to the boiling water for 3-4 minutes until crisp tender. Enjoy!
    • 1/2 cup broccoli is a serving.
**Be sure to set aside 4 servings of rice, pork, sauce and 2 cups broccoli for dinners on Monday and Tuesday.
  1. Take a paper towel and get it wet and squeeze the excess water out.
  2. Drape the paper towel over the rice then warm rice, pork and broccoli in the microwave. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set aside 2 servings of rice, pork, sauce and broccoli for dinner on Tuesday.
  1. Take a paper towel and get it wet and squeeze the excess water out.
  2. Drape the paper towel over the rice then warm rice, pork and broccoli in the microwave. Enjoy!
   Italian Hot Dish Recipe
  1. Prep green beans
    • Rinse the green beans
    • Add the green beans to a sheet pan with ½ tablespoon canola oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper mix well.
  2. Follow the recipe as directed.
    • I like to drain the tomatoes I have from the leftover Saucy Pork chop Skillet and add them when I add the tomato sauce.
  3. When you add the pasta dish to the oven add the green beans as well. Stir the green beans after 15 minutes. The beans will be done when they are fork tender. Enjoy!
    • 1/2 cup green beans is a serving
**Be sure to set aside 2 servings of pasta and green beans for dinner on Friday.
Mexican Skillet Rice Recipe
  1. Follow the recipe as directed. 
  2. Once the Beans and Rice are simmering, bring a small pot of water to boil.
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 cups of frozen corn. Cook for 4 minutes.
  4. Drain, and add 1 teaspoon butter and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
    • Serving size of corn is 1/2 cup
**Be sure to set aside 2 servings of Mexican Beans and 1 cup of corn for Saturday night’s dinner.

Warm Italian Hot Dish and green beans. Enjoy!

  1. Take a paper towel and get it wet and squeeze the excess water out.
  2. Drape the paper towel over the rice then warm rice and corn in the microwave. Enjoy!

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Christin Lee

FULL TIME BUDGET BLOGGER

It is fun to think that there might be a short cut but the reality is planning plus diligence equals financial freedom.

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