Meal Plan Monday - January 30

The grocery shopping bill for this week turned out to be quite high. I spent a total of $97.02 for this week. Part of the reason for the high cost was the 80 oz. jug of honey that I bought at Walmart. It costs almost $15, but it is much cheaper to buy in bulk this way than buying it in smaller amounts.

In this week's menu I've added a "how I make it" section under some of the recipes. Since I'm always substituting ingredients to make meals less expensive and more heart healthy, I very rarely make a recipe exactly how it's written. In the "how I make it" section, I share some of the ways I change the recipes to fit our budget and lifestyle.

Our menu this week will feature turkey. I cooked the extra turkey that I bought at Thanksgiving and made turkey broth to use in this week's meals.

Here's our menu for this week:


Breakfast sandwiches, oranges
Homemade Instant Oatmeal with frozen blueberries and raisins
Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins, oranges
     -How I make it: substitute butter with unsweetened applesauce and use 1/4 cup of honey instead of maple syrup. I usually leave the nuts out, but I will use some of the nuts that we got as a Christmas gift last month.


Turkey Bisque Soup made with homemade turkey broth, Yogurt Biscuits
     -How I make it: substitute half and half with 1% milk

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie (1/2 recipe)
     -How I make it: leave out the celery and use just half an onion

Turkey Tetrazzini (1/2 recipe), peas, leftover Yogurt Biscuits
     -How I make it: substitute red peppers with green, substitute half of the milk with homemade turkey broth, make my own bread crumbs from bread end slices, use just half an onion and add garlic powder for flavor

Leftover Turkey and Swiss Grilled Sandwich, carrot and cucumber sticks
     -How I make it: I don't use jam and substitute Dijon mustard with yellow mustard

Vegetable Barley Soup, cornbread muffins
     -How I make it: substitute vegetable broth with unsalted chicken broth

Breakfast for dinner: Meatless Hash with scrambled eggs, apple slices

Turkey and cheese wraps with tomato, cucumber and black olives

Get other meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

How I Saved This Week

I used the Amazon gift card that I purchased with Swagbucks last week to order a gift. I also signed up for a 30-day free trial of Prime so that I could get free shipping.

The free Prime trial also includes 30-days of free Amazon Video. One of the gifts we received last Christmas was a Roku and we've set up Amazon Video on our Roku to watch for free during the trial. I've marked the date that I need to cancel Prime on my calendar so that I will be sure that we won't be charged after the trial period.

I entered my receipts on Savings Catcher and was refunded $.44. I haven't been very consistent in entering my receipts, but I want to try to remember to do this every week.

I cooked a 1 pound bag of beans. I used some of them in recipes this week and froze the rest. 

We ate meals at home 6 days this week. The boys and I helped at a community dinner one afternoon and were able to have dinner there.

Last month I had a mishap with my Crock Pot and had to throw it away. It was a wedding gift 12 years ago and I used it many, many times over the years. I decided that I could live without one, since recently I had only been using it to cook whole chicken and make chicken broth.

I found this Crock Pot in the clearance aisle at Walmart for $25 (reg. price $49.95). It is smaller than my old one, but it will be plenty big enough for our family and is big enough to cook a whole chicken. Buying chicken broth has proven to be quite expensive, so I am excited to start making my own chicken broth again!

How did you save this week?

Meal Plan Monday - January 23

I spent $68.60 on groceries for this week. For the month of January, I spent a total of $283.67 or an average of $70.92 per week.

My meal plan for this week:


Scrambled eggs and toast
Homemade Instant Oatmeal with blueberries and raisins
Breakfast sandwiches


Turkey Veggie Meatloaf Muffins, baked potato, broccoli
Spaghetti with Heart Healthy Pasta Sauce, salad
Pizza with whole wheat crust
Chicken Caesar Wraps, carrot sticks
Chicken Taco Salad, carrot sticks
Cheesy Vegeterian Chili Mac, green beans, cornbread
Poor Man's Burrito Bowls, leftover cornbread, carrot sticks, apple slices

Get other meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

How I Saved This Week

I refilled the foaming soap dispenser with a small amount of liquid hand soap and mixed it with water.

I used Swagbucks to purchase a $25 Amazon gift card.

Our family borrowed several books from the library.

When we ran out of cereal this week, I made granola instead of making an extra trip to the grocery store.

I reused freezer bags.

I saved a glass jelly jar that I will be able to use for freezer jam.

I saved the stickers from a Disney offer that came in the mail to put in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

I worked four days this week and brought a lunch with me every day.

How did you save this week?

Meal Plan Monday - January 16

I spent a total of $70.61 on groceries for this week. Boneless, skinless chicken was on sale for $1.29/lb. and broccoli was just $.99/lb. at Food City. I bought a little over 8 pounds of chicken and some of it will be used for meals in a couple of weeks. Solid white tuna fish was also on sale for $.99 each and I bought three loaves of bread at the bread store for $3.09.


Bagels, bananas
Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins (with honey and applesauce/yogurt instead of butter), oranges
Homemade instant oatmeal with raisins and/or frozen blueberries


Leftover Split Pea Soup from last week
Tuna salad with lettuce, orange, carrot sticks
Turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato, orange, carrot sticks
Leftover Macaroni Salad


Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry, rice, carrot sticks
Tuna melts with tomato, salad
Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
Chicken Corn Chowder, Yogurt Biscuits
Enhanced Macaroni Salad*, leftover Yogurt Biscuits
Seasoned chicken, broccoli stuffed baked potatoes, green beans

*To make this salad a little more frugal, I use regular plain yogurt and leave out the celery. Instead of adding red peppers, I will use a green pepper that I bought on sale last week.

Get other meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

How I Saved This Week

My older son brought his backpack home from school with a broken zipper.  I thought we were going to have to buy a new backpack, but I was able to fix it, and I'm hoping that he will be able to use it for the rest of the school year.

I made Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins with very ripe bananas that needed to be used up. I made a few changes to the recipe - instead of using maple syrup, I used 1/4 cup of honey. I also substituted the butter with equal parts applesauce and plain yogurt. They tasted really good and was a nice change to our breakfast menu.

I price matched at Walmart.

A few of the sale prices I found while shopping for next week's menu were boneless, skinless chicken for $1.29/lb., broccoli for $.99/lb and solid white tuna for $.99 each.

I used online bill pay to pay bills.

I made Split Pea Soup with the frozen ham bone from our Christmas ham.

We ate dinner at home every night this week and I made one meatless meal.

My husband and children borrowed books from the library.

How did you save this week?

Meal Plan Monday - January 9

This week I spent a total of $60.20 on groceries:

$40.14 at Hannaford. (Not shown are milk, bananas, and butter)

Chicken was on sale for $.99/lb. and green peppers were only $.88/lb at Food City. Total spent: $9.78.

I picked up a couple of things at Walmart and one of the boys used a coupon from his Christmas Coupon Book to choose a cereal. Total spent: $7.19.

I also brought three loaves of bread at the bread store for $3.09.

My meal plan for this week:


Cold cereal
Homemade granola
Homemade instant oatmeal with raisins and/or blueberries from the freezer


Chicken Taco Salad, cantaloupe

Oven Baked Fajitas, carrot sticks

Cornbread Chicken Casserole made with Copycat Jiffy Cornbread Muffin Mix

Vegetable Fried Rice, Yogurt Biscuits

Chicken with Sauteed Mushrooms served over rice, peas, leftover yogurt biscuits

Breakfast for dinner: Blueberry Pancakes, Meatless Hash (with green peppers), eggs

Split Pea Soup/Leftover night - I froze the ham bone from our Christmas ham to make split pea soup, but not everyone in our family likes it, so we will also have leftovers.

Get other meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

How I Saved This Week

Last weekend the boys and I helped bake and serve for a community dinner and we were given some of the leftovers to take home. Some of the leftovers we ate for lunches at the beginning of the week and I made Turkey Chili for dinner on Sunday night with the leftover turkey we were given.

I bought wrapping paper at the Walmart for $.74 each and I found packages of small flutes for $.49 each in the Christmas clearance. I am really excited to be able to put the flutes in our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes this year. I think the younger children will really enjoy playing with them.

While I was at Walmart, I also found boys fleece pajama sets on sale for $2 each. I bought each of the boys a set in a bigger size and will save them for next winter.

This week I started meal planning again.

I made granola.

I bought bread at the bread store for a little over $1 each.

We've been turning the thermostat down to 62 at night to save on heating costs.

How did you save this week?

Meal Plan Monday - January 2

Happy New Year! When activities and work took over our schedule this past fall, some things I wasn't able to fit into my week, including meal planning. What better time to start again than a new year?

Since I started working outside of the home, we have been able to increase our grocery budget. I felt really guilty about this at first, but with the rising price of food, two growing boys and the need to buy more expensive low sodium or sodium free foods, I stopped feeling guilty and have even splurged once in a while!

This week I spent:

Walmart    $14.88
Hannaford $69.38
Total: $84.26

I was very happy to see boneless, skinless chicken on sale for $1.69/lb. this week, since it has been a couple of weeks since I have seen a sale. Apples, cantaloupe, grapes and red potatoes were also on sale. I bought extra unsalted chicken stock since it was on sale and I had coupons.

I buy Nature Valley granola bars because my husband likes to take a granola bar in his lunch every day and this brand has a few varieties with the least amount of saturated fat and sodium, but they aren't cheap! I was able to price-match at Walmart and use a coupon to get them for $2 each. Chex cereal was also on sale and I used a coupon and paid $2 each.

My meal plan for this week is below. You will notice that some of the ingredients aren't in my grocery shopping picture because I already had them on hand.


Cold cereal w/oranges leftover from last week, cantaloupe and/or bananas
Homemade granola
Homemade instant oatmeal w/blueberries from the freezer

*One of our Christmas gifts this year included baking supplies and lots of nuts that I will use to make granola. My father-in-law and his wife give this to us every year for Christmas, and since nuts are so expensive and something that I don't buy very often, this is one of my favorite gifts!


The boys: school lunch or home lunch: sandwich, grapes and trail mix and/or goldfish
Me: leftovers or snack-type lunch: crackers with peanut butter or cottage cheese, fruit, carrot sticks
Hubby: My husband takes the same thing to work every. single. day. - sandwich, granola bar, crackers, carrot sticks, fruit and yogurt


Chicken Caesar Wraps, carrot sticks
Tuna Noodle Casserole, salad
"Best Ever" Chicken Nuggets, mashed potato, peas
Chicken Corn Chowder, cornbread muffins
Chicken Noodle Soup, leftover cornbread muffins

Get other meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.