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Menu 5 – Family of 4

Featured this week: Sausage Orecchiette Pasta ~ ~ Mexican Skillet Rice ~ ~ Potato Vegetable Quesadilla ~ ~ Southwest Chicken Soup ~ ~ Teriyaki Beef Stew ~ ~ Roasted Honey and Garlic Carrots

This weeks meals are super simple to prepare and satisfying. I know we featured the Mexican Skillet Rice dish but my favorite is actually the Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla and Southwest Chicken Soup. I love crock pot soups because the flavors really come together by cooking slow all day. The Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla is the perfect side to this satisfying soup.  

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

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:

  • ¼ cup container for 12 garlic cloves; peeled
  • 6 cup container for broccoli; chopped
  • 4 cup container for carrots; sliced
  • 1 cup container for 2 small onion; chopped
  • 2 cup container for cooked rice
  • ½ cup container for 2 green onions; chopped
  • 3 cup container for 1 zucchini, 1 red pepper and 1 small onion; chopped
  • 2 cup container for 1 medium onion and 1 medium green pepper; chopped

Let’s start chopping!

  • Cook 1 cup of long grain rice; refrigerate

  • 2 small onion or 1 medium, chopped (about a cup); refrigerate

  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled; refrigerate

  • Cut broccoli into bite size pieces, refrigerate. Do not wash; refrigerate

  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled then sliced 3 inches long. If they are not the same diameter then cut carrot in half or quarter so they will cook evenly; refrigerate

  • 2 green onions, chopped; refrigerate

  • Dice: 1 zucchini, 1 red pepper, 1 onion to the same size about ½ inch. Store in the same container; refrigerate

  • Dice 1 medium onion and green pepper then place in the same 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. 

Two pot meal: 25 min.
Recipe Serves: 6           
Portion Size: 1 and 1/3 cups
Sausage Orecchiette Pasta Recipe_ How to Make It
  1. I prefer spicy sausage for this recipe. If you can’t find it just add 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

  2. Fill a large pot with water and put it on to boil. This is for the 4 cups of pasta.

  3. Gather ingredients and place on the counter

  4. Prep to cook:

    • Mince 3 garlic cloves into a small prep container; set aside.

    • Measure 1 cup of white wine or chicken broth; set aside. Save extra chicken broth if using for cooking rice later in the week.

    • Open can of diced tomatoes then drain; set aside.

    • Retrieve 4 cups broccoli from refrigerator then rinse; set aside.

    • This recipe needs more spices. In a small prep bowl measure 2 teaspoons italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
    • Remove casings from turkey sausage and place the turkey in a large sauté pan (12” or larger). 

    • Add 1/2 cup onions to the pan with the sausage.
  5. Follow recipe as directed.

    • In step 2 add the spices.
  6. After adding ingredients for step 2, while pasta is simmering prepare the side salad. Enjoy!

**Set aside 2 servings for leftovers on Tuesday!
One pot meal: 30 min.
Recipe Serves:6           
Portion Size: A little over 1 cup

Mexican Skillet Rice Recipe_ How to Make It

  1. Gather ingredients and place them on the counter.

  2. Prep to cook:

    • Mince 2 garlic cloves into a small prep container; set aside.

    • Open and rinse black beans then place in a mixing bowl; set aside

    • Open and drain mexicorn or southwest corn or fiesta corn add to beans; set aside.

    • Open roasted sweet red peppers, drain, slice then add to corn and beans; set aside

    • Chop ¼ cup cilantro place in a prep bowl; set aside

    • Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken then chop into 1 inch pieces, leave on cutting board.

    • Place 1 egg in a small bowl and beat.

    • Grab green onions, cooked rice, and onions from the refrigerator; set aside.

  3. Follow recipe as directed.

  4. Serve with a side salad. Enjoy!

Set aside 2 servings for leftovers on Tuesday!
  1. Split Sausage Orecchiette pasta between two plates then warm in the microwave.

  2. Split Mexican Skillet Rice between two plates, wet a paper towel and squeeze dry. Place the paper towel over the plates then warm in the microwave.

  3. Serve with side salads. Enjoy!

Southwest Chicken Soup
Slow Cooker: Soup 8 – 10 hours
Recipe Serves: 8           
Portion Size: 1.5 cups
  1. In the morning start the soup.
  2. Gather ingredients for the soup
  3. Follow the recipe as directed.
Potato Veggie Quesadilla
  1. In the evening:
    • Add 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup cheddar cheese to a container with a lid. Mix well. You will use ½ the cheese for this meal and ½ the cheese for Friday’s meal.
    • Optional: There is 2 cups of unused broccoli from the prep. If you like roasted broccoli you can rinse and add it to the potato mixture along with 1/2 tablespoon oil. It adds a nice flavor to the quesadilla and uses up the remainder of the broccoli.
    • Optional: You can chop 2 green onions for an additional topping.
    • Optional: You can chop some fresh cilantro for an additional topping.
  2. Set out the non-mixed cheddar cheese cheese, sour cream and salsa for soup and quesadilla toppings. Enjoy!
** Be sure to set aside ½ the vegetable filling and 6 cups of soup for Friday night’s dinner!
Teriyaki Beef Stew
Slow Cooker: Stew 6 – 8 hours
Recipe Serves: 8           
Portion Size: 1/2 cup stew mixture, 1/2 cup rice, and 1/2 cup carrots

In the morning

  1. Follow the recipe as directed to get the beef stew on to cook.
Roasted Honey and Garlic Carrots

In the evening

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Cook 2 cups of rice. If you have leftover chicken broth start with this liquid then continue with water until you reach the correct amount. 
  3. Follow the roasted carrot recipe. Enjoy!
**Be sure to save 4 servings of stew, rice, and carrots for Saturday night’s dinner.
  1. Place soup in a pot to warm on the stove.

  2. Meanwhile make 4 vegetable quesadilla’s to serve with the soup. Enjoy!        

  1. Wet a paper towel and squeeze dry. Place over the stew with the rice and carrots.
  2. Warm in the microwave. Enjoy!

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Menu 7 – Family of 4

Featured this week: Lemon Chicken Pasta ~ ~ Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini ~ ~ Slow Cooked Pepper Steak ~ ~ Five Cheese Shells

Menu 6 – Family of 4

Featured this week: Smoked Sausage with Vegetable Rice Skillet ~ ~ BBQ Pulled Pork ~ ~ Pan Seared Chicken ~ ~ Homemade Spaghetti ~ ~ Stuffed Peppers

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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