Staying on Budget

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Menu 8 – Family of 4

Featured this week: Green Pepper, Onion, Mushroom and Black Olive Pizza ~~ Mostaccioli with Beef and Turkey ~~ Lemon Garlic Pork Chops ~~ Turkey and Beef Meat Loaf ~~Spinach Chicken Penne Salad

I enjoy cooking with wine, lemon, and fresh herbs in the spring and summer. There is something about the tartness that illuminates the dishes. The Lemon Chicken Pasta dish is a great spring dish because it shows off the fresh herbs and is satisfying.    

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; 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 cups; 1 onion
  • 3 cups; 1 onion and green pepper
  • 3 cups; onion and green pepper
  • 4 cups; zucchini and onion 
  • 1 cup; green onions
  • 4 cup; green beans
  • 6 cup; broccoli

Let’s start chopping!

  • Peel 10 garlic cloves. Place in ¼ cup container; refrigerate.
  • Dice 1 medium onion (1 cup). Place in 1 cup container; refrigerate.
  • Slice 1 medium onion (1 cup). Place in 3 cup container; set aside. 
  • Slice 1 green pepper and place in the same container as the sliced onion; refrigerate.
  • Dice 1 large onion (1.5 cups). Place in 3 cup container; set aside.
  • Dice 1 green pepper and place in the same container as diced onion; refrigerate.
  • Slice 1 large onion (1.5 cups). Place in a 4 cup container; set aside.
  • Dice zucchini into 1 inch pieces. Place in the 4 cup container with sliced onion; refrigerate.
  • Chop all the green onion and place in 1 cup container; refrigerate.
  • Trim the ends off the green beans and cut in half; do not wash. Place in a 4 cup container; refrigerate.
  • Cut 1 pound of broccoli into bite size pieces; do not wash. Place in a 6 cup 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. 

Spinach Chicken Penne Salad

This recipe is very refreshing and finishing it with an apple takes away my sweet tooth so I don’t crave dessert. Follow the recipe as directed and enjoy!

**Be sure to set aside 4 servings of chicken, pasta and salad for Tuesday night’s dinner.  
Lemon Vinaigrette Pork Chops
  1. Start with the pork marinade by following the recipe then follow the steps below.
  2. Start the grill
  3. Wrap 4 potatoes in tin foil and place on the grill when hot. 
  4. In a large bowl add:
    • zucchini and onion
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper; mix well
  5. After potatoes have been cooking for 15 minutes add the zucchini and onion on a grill pan. Cook for 10 minutes then stir and cook for another 10 minutes. 
    • Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Vegetables will be done when they are crisp tender. 
  6. Check to see if the potatoes are done. If a fork can easily be inserted into the center then they are done. 
  7. Remove the vegetables and potatoes then cook the pork. Enjoy!
  1. Assemble the salad and grab an apple. Enjoy!
Mostaccioli with Beef and Turkey
  1. Follow the recipe as directed.
  2. When the Mostaccioli is 15 minutes from being done cook the green beans by adding them to a pot of cold water along with 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 smashed garlic clove.
  3. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. 
    • The beans will be cooked when they are fork tender. 
**Be sure to set aside 4 servings of pasta and 1 cup of green beans for Saturday night’s dinner.
Turkey and Beef Meat Loaf
  1. Follow the recipe as directed. Once the meat loaf is in the oven follow the steps below.
  2. Wash and quarter 4 potatoes and place them in a steamer pot or large pot. Make sure the pot is large enough to add the broccoli later. 
  3. When the meat loaf has 25 minutes remaining to bake start the steamer pot.
  4. After the potatoes are mostly soft about 20-25 minutes, rinse then add the broccoli for 4-6 minutes depending how soft you like it. 
  5. If you have leftover green onions from the penne salad I like to add them on top of my meat loaf. Enjoy!

There will be leftover meatloaf and I recommend it as a sandwich for lunch. Yum!

**Be sure to save 1 cup of broccoli for Saturday night’s dinner.
  1. Warm the Mostaccioli, green beans, 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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