Staying on Budget

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Menu 4 – Family of 2

Featured this week: Garlic-Ginger Turkey Tenderloins ~ ~ Beef Tacos ~ ~ Italian Sausage and Vegetables ~ ~ Decadent Tortellini Primavera

I love meals where I can toss everything into the slow cooker and run out the door knowing dinner will be ready when I get home. This dish is full of vegetables but the freshness of a salad really brings this meal together. I prefer spicy sausage in this dish versus mild italian sausage. Give it a chance, you won’t be disappointed! 

Rice – 

I prefer the taste of long grain rice, basmati rice or jasmine rice versus minute rice. I know cooking rice can sometimes be tricky but just watch your heat to water ratio and you will be just fine. I bought a rice maker and it has taken away the worry of burning rice on the stovetop and generates perfect rice every time. I highly recommend getting one if you don’t already have one.

Dinners for the week - About $69.60

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:

  • 1/2 cup; 10 cloves peeled garlic
  • 4 cups; 1 pound trimmed green beans
  • 4 cups; 24 oz. brussel sprouts
  • 4 cups; 2 zucchini, 2 red pepper, 1 onion
  • 3 cups; 3 onions chopped
  • 1 sandwich bag; shredded cheese

Let’s start chopping!

  • Peel 10 cloves of garlic; refrigerate.
  • Trim green beans but do not rinse; refrigerate.
  • Trim brussel sprouts and cut in half but do not rinse; refrigerate
  • 2 medium zucchini cut into 1 inch pieces; refrigerate
  • 2 medium red peppers cut into 1 inch pieces; store with zucchini
  • 1 onion cut into wedges; store with zucchini and red peppers.
  • 3 onions, chopped; refrigerate.
  • Use a box grater on the largest side to grate pepper jack cheese block. Add to sandwich bag and store in refrigerator.

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. 

Garlic-Ginger Turkey Tenderloins Recipe_ How to Make It
  1. Preheat oven to 375°

  2. Gather all the ingredients and place them on the counter.

  3. Prep to cook:

    • Mince 3 garlic cloves in one prep bowl and 3 garlic cloves in another prep bowl.

    • Mince 1 tablespoon fresh gingerroot into each of the prep bowls with the garlic. This is a lot of ginger and if you are not a huge ginger fan I would suggest using 1/2 tablespoon in each bowl.

      • Mince the remainder of the ginger. Measure it by 1 teaspoon at a time and place into an ice tray to freeze. Once frozen (24 hours) place the ginger in a freezer bag for a later use.
    • Grab one of the prep bowls with garlic and gingerroot then add 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 3 teaspoons of soy sauce and ¼ teaspoon pepper; set aside.

    • Coat a 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray, add turkey and prepared sauce from above.  

    • Grab the other prep bowl with garlic and gingerroot then add 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 5 teaspoons soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon pepper; set aside.

    • Add 1 cup chicken broth and 1 tablespoon cornstarch to a prep bowl. Mix then set aside.

  4. Follow recipe as directed. 

  5. Cut potatoes into quarters and place them in a steamer basket.

  6. Rinse brussel sprouts and add them to the potatoes then steam for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

**Be sure to set aside ½ garlic-ginger turkey tenderloin, potatoes, and brussel sprouts for Tuesday night’s dinner!
Beef Tacos and Rice
  1. Gather all the ingredients and place them on the counter.
  2. Prep to cook
    • Mince 1 clove of garlic in a small prep bowl
    • Measure 12 ounces of picante sauce in a measuring cup
  3. Follow recipe as directed. Enjoy!
  1. Warm garlic-ginger turkey tenderloin, potatoes, and brussel sprouts. Enjoy!

  1. Warm beef tacos and rice then serve with toppings. Enjoy!

  2. There will be more leftovers and it makes for a great lunch!

Italian Sausage and Vegetables Recipe_ How to Make It
  1. Gather all ingredients on the counter

  2. Prep to cook:

    • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces; leave on cutting board.

    • Measure spices and place in crockpot

    • Open tomatoes and place in crockpot. Stir.

  3. Follow recipe as directed.

  4. Right before dinner add salad to a bowl and chop 1 tomato for the salad. Enjoy!
Decadent Tortellini Primavera Recipe_ How to Make It

I consider this a cheat night or a special occasion dinner. It has just the right amount of richness to make you feel satisfied. I like to use 1/2 the spinach in this recipe. If you love spinach then go for the whole amount!

  1. Rinse green beans
  2. In a medium sauce pan add 1 inch of water, 1 peeled garlic clove, and green beans. Bring to simmer, cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes until green beans are tender.
  3. Bring pot of water to boil for the tortellini
  4. Gather all ingredients on the counter
  5. Prep to cook:
    • Mince 2 garlic cloves into a small prep bowl; set aside
    • Chop tomato and put in a small bowl; set aside
    • If spinach is not thawed then use the microwave to thaw; set aside.
  6. Follow recipe as directed and enjoy!
  1. Warm Italian sausage and vegetables and serve with salad. If you are low on lettuce you can cut the remainder of the iceberg from taco night and add to your salad. If you still have a tomato add that to your salad as well! Enjoy. 

  2. There will be more leftovers and they make for a great lunch!

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Menu 7 – Family of 2

Featured this week: Strawberry Salad with Mojito Vinaigrette ~ ~ Lemon Olive Chicken with Orzo ~ ~ Roasted Lemon & Herb Cauliflower ~ ~ Hearty Beans and Rice ~ ~ Bell Peppers and Pasta

Menu 6 – Family of 2

Featured this week: Grilled Pork Steak ~ ~ Thai Restaurant Chicken ~ ~ Vegetarian Bean Tacos ~ ~ Breaded Cod

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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