Staying on Budget

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Extreme Menu 3 – Family of 2

Featured this week: Buffalo Chicken ~ ~ Tomato & Garlic Butter Bean Dinner ~ ~ Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet

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 grocery 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 $39.40

  • Sunday
    • Buffalo Chicken
    • Potatoes
    • Broccoli
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
    • Leftover Buffalo Chicken
    • Potatoes
    • Broccoli
  • Wednesday
    • Leftover Tomato & Garlic Butter Bean Dinner
    • Green beans
  • Thursday
  • Friday
    • Leftover Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet
    • Green beans
  • Saturday
    • Leftover Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet
    • Broccoli

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.

  • ¼ cup; garlic cloves
  • 2 cup; onions (Tomato & Garlic Butter Bean Dinner & Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet)
  • 4 cup; green beans (Side)
  • 6 cup; broccoli (Side)

Let's start prepping!

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

  • Peel  3 garlic cloves then place in a 1/4 cup container; refrigerate.
Tomato & Garlic Butter Bean Dinner & Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet
  • Dice 2 onions then place in a 2 cup container; refrigerate.
Sides
  • Trim green beans ends, cut into one inch pieces, do not wash then place in a 4 cup container; refrigerate.
  • Chop broccoli into bite size pieces but do not wash then place in a 6 cup container; 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.  
1 – crockpot and 1 medium pot; 4 hours
Recipe Serves: 4          
Portion Size: 4 ounces of chicken, 1 potato,  1/2 cup green beans
  1. Gather all the ingredients including:
    • 4 potatoes 
    • 1 pound chicken
    • garlic powder
    • black pepper
    • hot sauce
  2. Prep to cook:
    • Wash and wrap 4 potatoes in tin foil; set aside.
    • Measure 1/2 cup of hot sauce; set aside.
  3. Place potatoes against one side of the crockpot one on top of the other.

  4. Place the chicken in the crock pot next to the potatoes.

    • Sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder and pepper then add half of the the hot sauce over the chicken.

    • Turn the chicken over. 

    • Sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder and pepper then add the remainder of the hot sauce over the chicken.
  5. Set the crockpot on low for 4 hours.
  6. When the chicken is ready to serve:

    • Bring a pot of water to boil.

    • Rinse 2 cups of broccoli and add to boiling water for 4 minutes.

  7. Serve the broccoli with chicken and potatoes.
    • I like to top my chicken with ranch or blue cheese dressing. Enjoy!
**Be Sure to save 8 ounces of chicken, 2 potatoes and 1 cup of broccoli for Tuesday night’s dinner. 
1 – deep skillet and 1 – large pot; 30 minutes
Recipe Serves: 4          
Portion Size: 1 1/4 cup sauce, 3/4 cup pasta, 1/2 cup green beans
Tomato & Garlic Butter Bean Dinner Recipe_ How to Make It
  1. Gather all the ingredients including:
    • 1 cup diced onion
    • salt
    • 8 ounces shell pasta
  2. Prep to cook:
    • Mince 2 garlic cloves then place in a small prep bowl and set aside.

    • Rinse 2 cups of green beans then place in a small prep bowl and set aside.

    • Rinse butter beans and place in a small prep bowl and set aside.

    • Measure 1 teaspoon of italian seasoning instead of ½ teaspoon and place in a small prep bowl and set aside.

  3. Bring a pot of water to boil for the noodles.

  4. Add noodles and green beans to the boiling water. Cook until noodles are al dente.

  5. While the pasta and green beans are cooking, add oil to the pan and heat the pan.

  6. Add onions to the pan and season with salt and pepper then sauté onions until soft.

  7. Continue with the recipe as directed.

    • I like to separate the pasta from the green beans so I can have the tomatoes on top of the pasta and the green beans on the side. Enjoy!

 

**Be sure to save 2 servings of noodles, sauce and green beans for Wednesday night’s dinner.  
  1. Warm chicken, potatoes and broccoli. Enjoy!

  1. Warm tomato and garlic butter beans with the pasta and green beans. Enjoy!
1 – deep frying pan and 1 – sheet pan; 30 minutes
Recipe Serves: 6          
Portion Size: About 1 cup macaroni mixture and 1/2 cup roasted vegetables
Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet Recipe_ How to Make It
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F
  2. Gather all the ingredients including:
    • olive oil
    • salt
    • pepper
    • 1 onion
    • 1 garlic clove
  3. Prep to cook
    • Chop chives then place in a small prep bowl and set aside.

    • Mince garlic clove then place in a small prep bowl and set aside.

    • Rinse remaining broccoli and place to one side of the sheet pan.

    • Rinse remaining green beans then place them to the other side of the sheet pan.

    • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper evenly over the vegetables then mix well.

  4. Roast for 20 minutes stirring half way through cooking time.

  5. Once the vegetables are in the oven start the macaroni skillet.

  6. In step 1 of the directions add one cup diced onion. After you drain the meat add the minced garlic for 1 minute before going to step two.

  7. Continue with the recipe as directed. Enjoy!

 

**Be sure to portion out 4 servings of macaroni and vegetables for Friday and Saturday night’s dinners.
  1. Warm cheeseburger mixture and roasted vegetables.
**Be sure to set aside 2 servings  of cheeseburger mixture and 1 cup of roasted vegetables for dinner on Saturday.
  1. Warm cheeseburger mixture and roasted vegetables. Enjoy!

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