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It used to be the question of the night every night for my husband and I, “what are going to eat for dinner?”  Inevitably, the back and forth answer of, “I don’t know” would often cause us to end up ordering food.  After a few months of this habit, we took a really good look at our finances because we couldn’t figure out why we were scraping by every month.  It turned out, we spent a ridiculous amount of money on food.  At that moment, I took it upon myself to create menu plans, grocery lists & recipes for us to follow.  When I was growing up, my Dad used to brag about how he could make dinner for approximately $2/person.  I thought, ‘hey, I can do that.  I grew up with the man, I’m sure I can figure this out too’.  The idea behind my menu plans is I try to utilize one protein for most of the week, as the end of the week nears, I start with my next protein and so on.  If, for example, you see steak one day and steak salad the next, the thought is that you buy enough steak in bulk to save money and use it more than once.  Same holds true for chicken.  And, of course buying a whole chicken is a lot cheaper than buying pre-cut, skinned, boneless breasts, but it all depends on how much work you want to put into this.

Over the past few months of really, seriously cutting back on eating out and sticking to our menus for the week, we have been able to save a decent amount of money and have started to FINALLY get our front yard re-landscaped.  Double bonus?  It’s far healtheir when you know exactly what you’re putting in your food.

Click the links below for .pdf versions of all the menu plans, recipes and shopping lists.

Menu Plans
Shopping List for Menu Plans
Recipes for Meal Plans

Here’s week 1 of our menu plan:

  Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday
Week 1 Southern unfried Chicken/cauliflower mash/french bread Chicken & carne asada burritos/fajitas Chicken tortilla soup/corn bread Chicken enchiladas
  Wednesday Thursday Friday  
  Pasta/salad/garlic bread/meatballs Ground beef tacos Ground beef casserole/broccoli  
Grocery List for Week 1
2 whole cut up chickens
frozen cauliflower
Sourdough bread
French Fried Onions
Eggs
refried beans
tortillas & taco shells
red bell pepper
green bell pepper
onion
cilantro
tomato
Chicken broth
canned corn
canned salsa fresca
canned black beans
tortilla chips
avocado
pepperjack cheese
corn bread mix
green enchilada sauce
sour cream
diced chilies
Linguini
pasta sauce
salad fixins
ground beef
wide egg noodles
cream of chicken & rice soup
cream of mushroom soup
velveeta
frozen broccoli

Recipes:  Some of the recipes for week 1 menu plan are in our recipe category.  If there’s one you need, but it’s not there yet, please send a comment and we will get the recipe up on the blog and to you as soon as we can.

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