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Weekly Dinners for 4 under $70 – Menu 4

Weekly Dinners featured this week: Provolone Ziti Bake ~ Italian Sausage Kale Soup ~ Crockpot Whole Chicken ~ Beefy Tomato Rice Skillet

Weekly Dinners for 4 under $70 – Menu 4 will give you ideas or the exact menu and grocery list for this weeks dinners. Substitute different vegetables if you don’t like the ones I’ve selected. Also, if you don’t like some of the spices found in the recipes substitute them for ones you do like. 

All recipes are suggestions. I can’t remember the last time I followed a recipe exactly to how it was written. I use what I have to keep cost down. If I don’t have the pasta it calls for I just make one I do have. If I don’t have the type of beans it suggests I use ones I do have. 

Andrew asked me to start a new segment of balanced meals but at a lower cost. I know some of you are paying down/off debt while trying to navigate the rising cost of food. I realize that there is not a lot of variety in these menus but the more items I add the higher the bill. I will do my best to keep cost down while continuing with healthy well rounded dinners for your families.

Dinners for the week - About $54.78


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; 2 medium onions (Ziti Bake and Italian Sausage Kale Soup)
  • 3 cup; onion, celery, and green pepper (Beefy Tomato Rice Skillet)
  • 2 cup; onion, celery (Crockpot Whole Chicken)
  • ¼ cup; garlic
  • 4 cup; carrots (Side)
  • 6 cup; brussel sprouts (Side)
  • 6 cup; brussel sprouts (Side)

Let's start prepping!

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

Multiple Meals
  • Peel 7 garlic cloves and place in ¼ cup container; refrigerate
  • Peel carrots and slice off ends then cut into 1 inch pieces. Place in a 4 cup container; refrigerate.
  • Wash and trim ends off the brussel sprouts and place in 6 cup containers; refrigerate
Ziti Bake and Italian Sausage Kale Soup
  • Dice 2 medium onions (2 cups) and place in a 2 cup container; set aside
Beefy Tomato Rice Skillet
  • Dice 1 medium onion (1 cup) and place in a 3 cup container; set aside
  • Thinly slice 3 celery sticks (1 cup) and place in the 3 cup container with the onion; set aside
  • Dice 1/2 green pepper and place in the 3 cup container with the onion and celery; refrigerate
Crockpot Whole Chicken
  • Quarter 1 onion and place in a 2 cup container; set aside
  • Chop 1 celery stick into 4 and place in the 2 cup container with the quartered onion; refrigerate
  • Dice 1/2 green pepper and place in salad bowl with salad

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.  
Provolone Ziti Bake
  1. Once the Provolone Ziti Bake is in the oven start the sprouts
  2. Heat a deep pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and add:
    •  sprouts
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • sauté until they are brown.
  3. Reduce heat and cover for 15 minutes until the sprouts are fork tender. Stir occasionally.  
  4. Serve with the pasta. Enjoy! 
**Be sure to set aside 4 servings for Tuesday night’s dinner.
Italian Sausage Kale Soup

Serve soup with salad and rolls. Enjoy!

**Be sure to set 4 servings aside for Wednesday night’s dinner.

  • Warm pasta and sprouts. Enjoy! 

Warm soup then serve with rolls and salad. Enjoy!

Crockpot Whole Chicken
  1. In the evening cook 4 servings of rice
  2. Boil a pot of water and add 4 servings of frozen mixed vegetables. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set 2 servings aside for Saturday night’s dinner.
Beefy Tomato Rice Skillet
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° before you start the Beefy Tomato Rice Skillet
  2. Add carrots to a sheet pan with:
    • 1 tablespoon of oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
    • Mix well
  3. Bake for 15 minutes then stir and bake for additional 15 minutes.
  4. Once carrots go in the oven start the Beefy Tomato Rice Skillet. Enjoy! 
**Be sure to set 2 servings aside for Saturday night’s dinner.
  1. Crockpot Chicken: Serves 2
    • Make 2 servings of instant rice and 2 servings of mixed vegetables. 
    • Warm the chicken and serve with rice and vegetables. 
  2. Beefy Tomato Skillet: Serves 2
    • Warm Beefy Tomato Skillet and Roasted Carrots. Enjoy!

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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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