My Meal Plan For The Next Two Weeks

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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.

Last night I sat down with a budget and a need for meals this week. As I wrote down my menu and plotted my meals based on what ingredients I had versus what ingredients I would need to buy (and making sure I got as much use out of the ones I had to buy as I could!) I thought I’d share with you what I had to go get and what I’m cooking with it.
Just in case you felt like you were in a rut.
Or in case you were curious.
Or in case you wandered onto Southern Plate today and wanted to see what I’d been up to :).
I made out my list of items that used ground beef and shredded chicken since those two meats can go much further than larger cuts. If ground turkey is your thing, you can certainly substitute that for ground beef in these recipes. After making my list, I found I had a good bit of what I needed on hand and only had to buy a few ingredients
Now when I’m planning meals, if one of the things on my list requires a lot of ingredients I don’t have, I weigh the cost against how bad I want to make it. If it is an ingredient that can be used multiple times that week (like the potatoes and onions I bought), it makes it worthwhile. If it is an ingredient that doesn’t cost that much, I go ahead and get it.

Scroll below to get all of the recipes I am referencing here.

Here is what I bought last night:
Note, these prices are estimates because I’ve already lost my receipt 🙂 Remember how I said I wasn’t organized?
  • 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

Super Easy Spaghetti Sauce

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

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. 


Deep Dish Pizza – I have the flour, oil, seasonings, and pizza sauce for this but needed beef, cheese, and a frozen pepper and onion blend (which is cheaper than fresh peppers). My husband requested this one. 
Uptown Beef Patties with Ketchup Gravy – I wanted to have these this week but it uses a lot of beef. I’m going to make 1 pound work by adding extra crushed saltines (you could also use oats) and eggs to it as binders to make my beef go further. This is one of my favorites that I’ve been craving! I’ll serve it over rice to make it a bigger meal.
Taco Soup – I have everything I need for this in my pantry, just needed beef and maybe a little cheese as topping. I bought a large container of taco seasoning a month or so ago at Sam’s and it has saved me a lot of money! This stew can  feed more by stirring 1/4 cup of cooked rice into each serving if need be.
Black Eyed Peas and Corn bread – (I make these the exact same way I make Pintos, click here to see how) This always feels weird to me but my family loves it. Growing up, we used to have pintos and cornbread about once a week as supper. My family doesn’t eat pintos like I do but they love black eyed peas. I make a big pot of dried beans and a pan of cornbread to go with them and they are in hog heaven.
Is it a balanced meal? Well that depends. Some would say it isn’t. Some would say we need veggies and green and all that. Others would say that it is a meal to be grateful for and that many in the world would give all they had to be able to have it rather than dare to complain. I go with that camp. So to make it a balanced meal, hold a bowl of beans in one hand and a small plate of cornbread in the other. Voila! Balanced 🙂
You can always serve these over rice and add in some diced tomatoes for a little hoppin’ johnesque dish.
I have plenty of cornbread ingredients and dried black eyed peas on hand for this. Also have a hambone in the freezer, but that is totally optional. A tablespoon or two of bacon grease makes a great seasoning when hambones aren’t on hand.
beef stew
Ground Beef Stew – I needed the ground beef, carrots, onions, and potatoes for this one. This stew can be made even more filling or to go further by stirring 1/4 cup of cooked rice into each serving if need be.

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.

Amazon Barnes and Noble IB BAM Hoffman

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  1. Thanks for sharing your meal plan!!!! I love it and plan to follow part of it for my own meals! I need all the help I can get when it comes to planning meals!

  2. Thanks for teaching how to plan a weeks+ of (mostly) tasty meals + on a budget! I need to learn those things! I’ll pass on the blackeyed peas & cornbread, being from the PNW! Lol! I have a question for your bookcover photographer though…why use a photo that has a shelf post coming out the side of Christy’s head for her awesome books’ front cover (or anywhere)? I’m puzzled by that choice! Christy-you & your kitchen are beautiful! That shelf post bothers me. If you’re ok with it, then I’ll accept it! I always look forward to your recipe emails, mission adventure stories, your deep faith, & the many positive quotes too!

    1. Ha! I had to laugh when I read this because you are the only person who has noticed or said anything about that! You are far more observant than I am. 🙂 We just loved that photograph and when I look at it all I see are the cabinets my Daddy put in for me and my pretty dishes, lol. I had to stare at it a minute to see what you were seeing. But I gotta tell ya, having a post coming out of my head just might distract from my face and thereby improve appetites of folks who buy the book! 🙂
      I love your email address (no one else can see it, but I can on the back end) and have to ask, were you or a family member a k-9 officer at some point? My dad was 🙂
      Thanks for being here and for your keen eye!

  3. Thats a little more organized than I was. I used color coded index cards with recipes-a different color for 6 weeks. Every six weeks I’d pull out enough for that time period-each color group had more than 7 meals. Then i could make my grocery lists using the in sale adds. It was fun-and everyone would ask what color week is this? Since getting older my diet needs have changed, but some of those old color cards still creep into todays meal planning!

  4. Your meal plan sounds wonderful, but alas, my husband is allergic to rice and milk products. Since today is our 35th anniversary I will be making your Tender Babyback Ribs instead. After being married this long, I have learned to read package ingredients and make substitutions for the things he is allergic to. Who would have thought sweet potato fries would have rice flour on them! I can push him a little with the cream soups, but don’t dare push the rice. Orzo pasta makes a good substitution and Toffuti makes a good sour cream and cream cheese substitution. There is just no decent substitution for cheese though. So, I’ve made my meal plan from your recipes for the week and have just put the chicken on to boil for later in the week. Can’t wait for your cookbook to come out!!!

    1. You know, I always tell people, if you are trying to cook for someone with an allergy, ask their spouse or their mother because they are experts on it! A lot of my daughter’s classmates have food allergies so anytime I cook for the class I just call them up and learn so much! Thank you for being such a wonderful person and wife!

  5. I put your new book on my Christmas wish list:) Look forward to it! I requested and received your first one a couple years ago and my mom (the purchaser!) and sister began following your blog. Anyway…I LOVE this post! It is so hard to come up with meals on a budget that my children and husband will be happy with…but tonight one child requested your corn chowder from the first book! Yea! I need to look in the book more…everything I”ve made has been a winner!

  6. Christy, Thanks for this easy plan! My husband is furloughed because of the shutdown, so I am really trying to budget our meals just in case this goes on a while. Your recipes are often so frugal anyway. Making some pizza rolls for quick lunches today. So glad to see you are getting well!

    1. Thank you so much, Belinda! We live in a town with a lot of furloughs taking place and while my husband still has work (for now), It is hard not to see it all around you and not be affected by it. My prayers are with you and please know that I am working on more dollar stretching recipes for this very reason.
      I emptied and loaded the dishwasher the other day! I know that sounds silly but it was so amazing being able to stand that long and not have to think about it!

  7. If you want to add vegetables to the peas and cornbread, you can always serve coleslaw and/or sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, etc

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