Staying on Budget

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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

  • Thursday
  • Friday
    • Leftover Lemon Mustard Pork Chops
    • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
    • Sautéed Cabbage
  • Saturday
    • Leftover Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce
    • Egg Noodles
    • Steamed Broccoli
    • Sautéed Mushrooms

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:

  • 2 cup; small onion, celery, carrot
  • ¼ cup; 3 peeled garlic
  • 1 cup; 1/2 cup onion, chopped. You will add green pepper to this container later in the week.
  • 1 cup; 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 cups; shredded cabbage
  • 3 cups; chopped broccoli

Let’s start chopping!

  • 1 small onion chopped place in a 2 cup container.
  • 1 medium onion chopped. Measure 1/2 cup in one container and 1/2 cup in another; refrigerate.
  • 1 carrot, sliced add to small onion container.
  • 1 celery, sliced add to small onion and carrot container; refrigerate.
  • 3 peeled garlic; refrigerate
  • Shred cabbage; refrigerate
  • Chop broccoli but do not wash; 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. 

Need: 1 pot and 1 frying pan; 40 minutes
Recipe Serves: 5           
Portion Size: 1.5 cups
Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup Recipe_ How to Make It
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Prep to cook:
    • Mince 1 garlic clove
    • Open the tomatoes
    • Add spices to fresh vegetables
    • Measure barley
  3. Follow recipe as directed.
  4. Once soup is 10 minutes from being done start grilled cheese.
    • Gather the bread, butter and sliced cheese.
    • Heat a 12” sauté pan on medium 
    • Butter 4 slices of bread.
    • Add two slices of bread butter side down in the sauté pan
    • Add 2 slices of cheese to each slice of bread in sauté pan.
    • Top with bread butter side up.
    • Cover the pan.
    • Flip the bread when the bottom is brown about 2-4 minutes for the first side.
    • Cook for  1-2 minutes on the second side until brown. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set aside 3 cups of soup for Tuesday nights dinner. 
Need: 1 large sauce pan, 1 nonstick skillet and 1 small baking pan; 1 hour
Recipe Serves: 2           
Portion Size: 1 pepper
Spud-Stuffed Peppers Recipe_ How to Make It
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. There should be enough water to cover two whole peppers.
  2. Gather all ingredients
  3. Prep to cook
    • Pull out a container of the chopped onion from the refrigerator; set aside. Cut tops off peppers. Chop the tops into small pieces and place in the container with the chopped onion. Put onion and pepper container into the refrigerator.
    • Peel a medium potato and grate.
    • Measure the spices and place in a small prep bowl.
  4. Follow the recipe as directed.
  5. Serve with a side salad. Enjoy!
  1. Warm soup in a pot or microwave.

  2. Make grilled cheese

    • Gather the bread, butter and sliced cheese.
    • Heat a 12” sauté pan on medium 
    • Butter 4 slices of bread.
    • Add two slices of bread butter side down in the sauté pan
    • Add 2 slices of cheese to each slice of bread in sauté pan.
    • Top with bread butter side up.
    • Cover the pan.
    • Flip the bread when the bottom is brown about 2-4 minutes for the first side.
    • Cook for  1-2 minutes on the second side until brown. Enjoy!
Need: 1 broiler pan, 1 pot and 1 sauté pan; 45 minutes
Recipe Serves: 4           
Portion Size: 1 pork chop, 1/2 cup potato and 1/2 cup cabbage
Lemon-Mustard Pork Chops Recipe_ How to Make It
  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. Meanwhile, gather the other ingredients
  3. Prep to cook
    • Mince 1 garlic clove and add to a small bowl.
    • Zest lemon and add it to the garlic
    • Juice ½ lemon. Measure to see if it is 2 tablespoons. If not juice the other half; set aside.
    • Chop parsley add to small bowl with garlic.
    • Measure mustard, rosemary, and salt then add to the bowl with garlic.
  4. Follow the recipe as directed.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Need: 1 baking, 1 pot and 1 sauté pan; 45 minutes
Recipe Serves: 4           
Portion Size: 1 Chicken Breast, 1/2 cup broccoli, 1 cup egg noodles
Makeover Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce Recipe_ How to Make It

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

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Add water to a large pot then set on the stove but do not add heat. 
  3. Gather ingredients
  4. Prep to cook
    • Measure the bread crumbs and add the poultry seasoning place in a small prep bowl; set aside. 
    • In a medium mixing bowl add water; set aside.
    • In a shallow bowl or plate combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper; set aside.
    • Chop mushrooms add them to a small bowl; set aside.
    • In a small bowl add flour and milk then stir; set aside
    • Measure sour cream add salt and pepper; set aside.
    • Rinse Broccoli; set aside.  
  5. Follow the recipe as directed. Start checking the chicken for doneness (170°) at 30 minutes. 
  6. After the chicken has been cooking in the oven for 20 minutes add high heat to the pot of water on the stove to boil water.
  7. Start the mushroom sauce right after you add heat to the pot of water. Sauté all the onion and mushrooms then set half aside.
  8. Add 4 cups of egg noodles and broccoli to the boiling water for 5 minutes.
  9. Continue making the sauce as directed.
  10. Scoop out the broccoli and add it to a serving bowl. Drain the noodles and add 1/2 tablespoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper. 
  11. Add the sautéed onions and mushrooms that were set aside to the pasta. Enjoy! 
**Be sure to set aside 2 chicken breast, 1/2 the noodles 1/2 the broccoli and 1/2 the mushroom sauce for Saturday nights dinner.  

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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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