Staying on Budget

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Extreme Menu 4 – Family of 2

Featured this week: Pork Chops Charcutire ~ ~ Pineapple Stir-Fry ~ ~ Healthy Hoppin' John

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 $36.08

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; onion and shallots (Shallot Gravy Pork Chops)
  • 4 cup; onion, carrot, celery (Pineapple Stir-Fry)
  • ¼ cup; garlic
  • 2 cups; onion and carrots (Black Eye Pea and Chicken Sausage)
  • 2.5 cups; green pepper and red pepper (Pineapple Stir-Fry)

Let's start prepping!

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

  • Peel 2 garlic cloves and place in ¼ cup container; refrigerate
Shallot Gravy Pork Chops
  • Finely chop 1 small onion (1/2 cup) then place in a 1 cup container; set aside
  • Finely chop 4 shallots then place in 1 cup container with the onion; refrigerate
Pineapple Stir-Fry
  • Dice one large onion (1 cup) then place in a 4 cup container; set aside
  • Peel and chop 2 carrots into 1 inch then slice carrot in half. Place in 4 cup container with onion; set aside.
  • Slice 2 celery ribs and leaves then place in 4 cup container with onion and carrot; refrigerate
  • Slice 1 green pepper and place in a 2.5 cup container; set aside
  • Slice 1 red pepper and place in a 2.5 cup container; refrigerate
Black Eyed Pea and Chicken Sausage
  • Slice 1 large onion (1.5 cups) then place in a 2 cup container; set aside
  • Peel and thinly slice 2 carrots then place in 2 cup container with the sliced onion; 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.  
Shallot Gravy Pork Chops
  1. Gather all the ingredients
  2. Prep to cook:
    • Wash potatoes
    • Wash broccoli
    • Measure 1.5 cups of beef broth. Place the rest in a container in the refrigerator for a later use.
    • Chop 2 tablespoon of celery leaves
  3. Add potatoes to the steamer pot.
  4. Follow the recipe as directed.
    • Sprinkle the pork chops with celery leaves.
  5. When the potatoes are fork tender remove and add broccoli to the pot for 4 minutes.
    • I like to add a little sauce over my potatoes. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set aside 2 pork chops, 2 potatoes and broccoli for Tuesday night’s dinner.
Pineapple Stir-Fry

When portioning out this meal I line up 2 glass containers and 2 plates. I use a 1/2 cup measuring device and divide evenly. Enjoy! 

**Be sure to save 2 servings for Wednesday night’s dinner.
  1. Warm pork chop, sauce, potatoes and broccoli. Enjoy!

  1. Warm pineapple stir-fry. Enjoy!
Black Eyed Pea and Chicken Sausage
  1. Follow recipe as directed.
  2. After step 7 start a pot of water on to boil for the peas. 
**Be sure to save 4 portions for dinner on Friday and Saturday.
  1. Warm rice, chicken sausage, and peas. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set aside 2 servings for dinner on Saturday.
  1. Warm rice, chicken sausage, and peas. Enjoy!

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Christin Lee


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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