I’m not a planner and I’m in no way organized. But some people still see me this way, which I think is terribly sweet and kind of them.
Alright, sometimes I do get a little bit organized – but most of the time when that happens it usually centers around planning and budgeting for meals. This just kind of comes naturally for me now, after years of performing the grocery balancing act we all have to contend with each day.
Scroll below to get all of the recipes I am referencing here.
- 10 pound bag of potatoes – I’ll use these to make mashed potatoes for Shepherd’s Pie, Ground Beef Stew, Chicken Stew, and Parmesan Oven Fries one night. I’ll still have plenty left over to make Stewed Potatoes one night too. $4.99
- 2 pound bag of carrots – These are in the Ground Beef Stew and for snacking. I will alter the stew recipe some to accomodate what I have on hand. (about $2.00)
- 5 pound bag of onions – Deep Dish Pizza, Beef Patties, Chicken Stew, and the rest I’ll keep on hand or make pickled onions out of and can. ($4.00)
- 5 pounds ground beef – I divide this up into sections. I’ll mix 1+1/2 pounds of it up with an egg and cracker crumbs to make patties out of it for one of my recipes. The rest, I will brown all at once today and package in predetermined portions inside zipper seal freezer bags for the rest of my meals – and I’ll store those in the freezer until I need them. 1 pound for Shepherd’s Pie, 1 pound for Deep Dish Pizza, 1/2 pound for Taco Soup, 1/2 pound for Ground Beef Stew, 1/2 pound for Spaghetti…patties – 1 pound. ($10.00)
- 10 pound bag chicken leg quarters – I’m going to cook these for a long time in a large pot to make a nice rich broth. Half of that broth will be used to make chicken and dumplings along with half of the chicken and the rest will be used to make Chicken Stew. I plan on making them both at the same time and putting the chicken stew in the refrigerator to reheat for supper the next day since it actually tastes better after the flavors have had time to blend. (paid about $6 but will end up with twice the meat I would have had if I had bought a fryer for that amount)
- 1 bag frozen mixed veggies for shepherd’s pie (on sale for $1)
- 1 bag frozen corn for chicken stew ($1)
- 1 bag frozen pepper blend for uptownpatties (cheaper than buying fresh bell peppers) $1.
- 2 cans biscuits for dumplings ($1.50)
- 4 large (4 cup size) bags of shredded cheese because it was on sale for what I usually pay for 2 cup bags. I am using some of that and put two bags in the freezer as soon as I got home. I paid $2.69 for each of these.
I spent about $40.00 to get what I didn’t have on hand for the meals below.*I buy rice in 50 pound bags from Sam’s Club for around .35 cents per pound and keep it in 2 liter bottles for those times when I need to stretch a meal. Click here to read more about that. Rice can be added to pretty much any meal below for added bulk. If adding it to stews, I suggest adding cooked rice to each individual serving rather than the entire pot to prevent the rice from bloating. The only meals below that I would not add it to are the spaghetti (you already have pasta) and the Chicken and Dumplings (dumplings are your meal stretcher there).
These are regular grocery store prices at Krogers. I could have gotten some better deals if I had of had time to go to Sam’s Club to get some but I find I spend so much more when I go there that sometimes it isn’t worth it to me. Last night was a Kroger’s night.
When I started writing out my list, I used my 35 Ground beef Recipe post as inspiration. Chicken and Dumplings were a given because Katy Rose asks for that every night (EVERY night) and Chicken Stew was a given because my in laws are coming to visit later this week and it is a favorite of theirs.
Here is what we’ll be having for supper over the next two weeks:
Click on the recipe title to go directly to that recipe
Spaghetti – I have the sauce ingredients and noodles for this, just needed the ground beef. Everyone loves this and it is my quick and easy meal that I can make at the last minute. I doctor my sauce up a bit but there is certainly nothing wrong with using it direct from the jar, especially if you find a sale on that stuff!
Another great option that we enjoy is Skillet Lasagna, which I make if I don’t have pasta sauce on hand (it uses canned tomatoes). You can substitute just Mozzarella for the mozzarella and cottage cheese blend in that.
Shepherd’s Pie – I have the gravy mix and soup I needed for this, but needed the potatoes, cheese, beef, and veggies. My son requested this.
Chicken Stew – The leg quarters I am cooking will make the broth for this and 1/2 of the chicken from those will go in it. I have the tomatoes but needed onoins, potatoes, and corn. This will make enough for two meals and I will serve leftovers two days after the original meal so it won’t feel like leftovers. If I need to make this go further, I just add more potatoes.
This makes enough for two meals. I will skip a night in between serving them so it doesn’t feel like leftovers 🙂
Chicken and Dumplings – Needed the chicken for broth, meat, and biscuits for dumplings. This is Katy’s absolute favorite and she is excited about having it this week! A lot of readers enjoy this recipe with vegetables added. If you prefer that, please do so! We never had anything in our chicken and dumplings but chicken and dumplings and my Katy said that is why it is called chicken and dumplings, not chicken and vegetables and dumplings, lol. This is totally a personal preference thing but I encourage you to make all of these recipes to suit your family’s tastes.
Pancakes and Bacon – You know how you have those crazy days where supper sneaks up on ya and everyone is just tired and wants to relax and have a little treat? Well, I have a package of bacon in the fridge and plan on having pancakes to go with it that night. Sure, there won’t be anything green there but hey, no one ever said you had to eat the whole food pyramid in one sitting. I’ll give ya the link to my homemade buttermilk pancakes that we all love and adore (click here) if you want to imagine me making those. God bless you 🙂 In the interest of disclosure though, I’m gonna tell you right now that I’ll be heating up those puppies frozen right in the microwave and we’ll all be glad and happy to have them!
So that is eleven meals, about a week and a half worth, that are budget friendly, filling, and yummy.
We may end up with a little extra of the Shepherd’s Pie or Deep Dish Pizza so that would be another night or two of meals. I didn’t plan a full two weeks worth because something always comes up or someone ends up craving something and I make a special trip to the grocery store one night. We also have $5 pizzas in our area and those are always a fun and economical treat for a great pizza on family movie night!
Figuring out what to have for supper with limited time and a budget are obstacles that I tackle head on in my new book, Come Home To Supper.
*I made sure to include recipes that are family pleasing, easy on the wallet, and quick to throw together.
*I included recipes for every cut of meat I use and even added in menus so you don’t have to come up with them if you don’t want to!
*Spending far too much on your family’s favorite takeout dishes? I have recipes to let you make those at home, too!
*Do you end up making far too much and wasting food? I have tips and tricks to help you cook just what you need as well as recycle leftovers so you family has no idea they are getting a repeat!
*Extensive beef, chicken, and pork chapters and even a seafood chapter are joined by a large sides chapter and topped off with breads and dessert.
This is my go-to, all inclusive supper cookbook with over 200 recipes!
The best part is that all of this is available for around $10.00,
so you don’t have to dip into your grocery fund to be able to afford it!
Click here to learn more about my book.
For tour dates and locations (I’d love to meet you!), please click here. *Be sure you check out this post if you pre-order to see how you can get a free signed book plate to make your copy an autographed copy, great for Christmas gifts but ya gotta send in soon!
Click here to go directly to Amazon to pre-order it for around $10.00.
I’d love to see how you jazz up your spaghetti sauce. I used to make it and can it but I can’t get my jars to seal on my new smooth cooktop stove 🙁 I’ve got my grandma’s old one in my garage and hope to break it in next summer! I love your posts! Glad you’re doing better. Take care!
Each of these meals sounds great to me and I would love to sit down to supper to any of them. The pinto vs. the black-eyed peas reminded me of growing up. We had a lot of those dried bean suppers! I, like you, favor the pinto…lol. My mama used to fry some potatoes or make macaroni and cheese to go along with the beans and cornbread. If we were really blessed, she would open up a jar of my grandma’s chow-chow to “balance” out the meal. Nothing like a satisfying Southern supper, and thanks for the great ideas.
If you can afford to splurge at all, try to buy better quality ground beef. Try to buy it from a local butcher shop. Now that I’m going through chemo for breast cancer, I’m reading up about food quite a bit. You don’t want antibiotics and hormones added to your meat. You don’t want a high fat content. Girls are so much larger these days, and the added hormones to meat does not help. Be careful with your milk and chicken. Buy hormone free, also butter. I wish I knew then what I know now, and I would have fed my kids differently. Don’t buy ground beef in the plastic rolls. I understand budget issues, but health matters too. Skip high sugar juices or soda or something non nutritional, and buy better, hormone free meat.
I’m a breast cancer survivor too and now buy organic milk , meat and eggs. It is hard but I think it is worth it.
I’m so glad you’re doing well Sarah!
If you are in the North AL area, do you have any recommendations of where to buy meat, beef or chicken?
I recently bought organic ground beef at Aldi for $4.49./lb – a good price on organic.
I wish you the best as you go through your chemo treatments and hope you can say “cancer – free” very soon!!
I’ve made the switch to organic milk and some other products, but have a long way to go.
Many of the readers, I’m sure will be keeping “you,” in prayer… I know for certain I will and I feel sure during all of your reading regarding “healthy food consumption,” as you described above . . . you are so Blessed to also realize how many SURVIVORS we are seeing now adays from this demon, called breast cancer, SO thankfully!! I do, however have to comment that many of these health foods are in reality, fads. . . but, I do agree with your statement regarding hormone free meats… I am a deep south Southern, and happen to remember very well many of our neighbors down the road always grew “free range,” chicken, unlike Tyson, who grows a chick to a full size chicken in a couple of weeks, from all the hormone injections, as I’m sure soo many other “corporate food industries, do also,” I happen to KNOW Tyson does, this and ALWAYS our family would actually purchase a head of beef “grain feed,” and have the local slaughter house prepare it, same went for hog meat. . . LOVE that thick sliced bacon!! Also folks should be as equally informed in today’s market place about ALL THE “meat products,” many markets are IMPORTING. . . lots of frozen FISH, SRIMP, which one “normally,” thinks of as healthy choices. . . NOT SO, research it as well as Halal meats and preparations!! Now those are some very UN-healthy Foods. . . due to how and where they are raised, check into it and Blessings to you~
Kaye : ()
How exactly is halal meat unhealthy? I’ve eaten halal my entire life; my father is a halal butcher and he doesn’t raise the animals any differently than anyone else except that we don’t use hormones and for the most part our animals are free range.
My husband and I married really young; we were both still in college and didn’t have an extra dime for anything. I planned every meal, every day. I shopped for those meals, allowing for leftovers to make more meals. Like you I posted the meals on the frig at least two weeks ahead, sometimes I’d do a whole month. My grown children still laugh about knowing what they were going to eat for supper a month ahead. But I had to do it and it worked. Now that we’re back to just the two of us I don’t do it as religiously, but for those who need to feed families at today’s grocery prices I strongly recommend planning out those meals and leftovers and shopping accordingly
I love your idea of “Balanced,” Christy!
I’m a planner…
My kids are grown but still laugh (and plan) about the menu/meals that would be posted each week on the fridge and I still do “do-overs” and buy what I need each week according to the menu and what I have on hand.
Love your site and recipes, thanks so much for sharing your story of healing and grace. God bless! 🙂
You are a treasure! Thanking God for your continuing recovery!