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Menu 5 – Family of 2

Featured this week: Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup ~ ~ Spud Stuffed Peppers ~ ~ Lemon Mustard Pork Chops ~ ~ Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce

Is there anything better than a bowl of hearty soup with a grilled cheese on a cold winter day? In my opinion, no! This soup is packed full of vegetables so I don’t feel guilty at all pairing it with a warm grilled cheese. I hope you find it as satisfyingly as we do!

Dinners for the week - About $57.68

  • Thursday
  • Friday
    • Leftover Lemon Mustard Pork Chops
    • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
    • Sautéed Cabbage
  • Saturday
    • Leftover Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce
    • Stuffing
    • Steamed 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.

  • 2 cup; small onion, celery, carrot (Hearty Vegetable Barley)
  • ¼ cup; 3 peeled garlic
  • 1 cup; 1/2 cup onion, chopped. You will add green pepper to this container later in the week. (Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce)
  • 1/2 cup; 1/2 cup onion, sliced (Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce)
  • 4 cups; shredded cabbage (Side)
  • 3 cups; chopped broccoli (Side)

Let’s start prepping!

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

  • 3 peeled garlic; refrigerate
Side
  • Shred cabbage; refrigerate
  • Chop broccoli but do not wash; refrigerate.
Hearty Vegetable Barley
  • 1 small onion chopped place in a 2 cup container.
  • 1 carrot, sliced add to small onion container.
  • 1 celery, sliced add to small onion and carrot container; refrigerate.
Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce
  • 1 medium onion chopped. Measure 1/2 cup in one container and 1/2 cup in another; 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.  
Vegetable Beef Barley Soup
  1. Follow recipe as directed.
  2. Once soup is 10 minutes from being done start grilled cheese.

Grilled Cheese 

    • Instead of the shredded cheese use two slices of sliced cheese.
**Be sure to set aside 3 cups of soup for Tuesday nights dinner. 
Potato Stuffed Pepper
  1. Prep to cook
    • Cut tops off peppers; set aside the large part of the pepper.
    • Chop the tops into small pieces and place in the onion container for Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce. Put the onion and pepper container into the refrigerator.  
  2. Follow the recipe as directed.
  3. Serve with a side salad. Enjoy!
  1. Warm soup in a pot or microwave.

  2. Make grilled cheese

Grilled Cheese

    • Instead of the shredded cheese use two slices of sliced cheese.

Lemon-Mustard Pork Chops
  1. Add 4 potatoes and 1 peeled garlic clove to a pot. Cover with water then bring to a boil for 15 – 20 minutes.
  2. Follow the recipe as directed.
  3. After the pork chops have been turned start the cabbage.
    • Add 2 tablespoons butter to a sauté pan melt on medium heat.
    • Once butter is melted: add cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ¼ pepper, and 2 tablespoons water.
    • Cover stirring occasionally for 5 – 6 minutes.
  4. While the pork loin chops are resting mash the potatoes.
    • Add cooked potatoes and garlic to a bowl.
    • Mash with ¼ cup milk and ½ tablespoon of butter. Enjoy!
**Be sure to save 2 pork chops, 1/2 the potatoes and 1/2 the cabbage for Friday nights dinner.
Stuffed Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

I consider this a cheat meal. It is a lower calorie version of stuffed chicken but still a little decadent.   

  1. Follow the recipe as directed except make the whole box of stuffing to package directions. Add 3/4 cup of stuffing to a separate bowl. 
  2. After the chicken has been cooking in the oven for 30 minutes bring a pot of water to boil.
  3. Rinse broccoli
  4. Once mushroom sauce has been fully cooked place on warm stirring occasionally.
  5. Add broccoli to the boiling water for 4 minutes.
  6. Drain the broccoli and serve with chicken and stuffing. Enjoy! 
**Be sure to set aside 2 chicken breast, 1/2 the stuffing, 1/2 the broccoli and 1/2 the mushroom sauce for Saturday nights dinner.  
  1. Warm stuffing, chicken, mushroom sauce and broccoli. 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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