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One week of budget-friendly clean meals
Use my list of essentials to always have these budget friendly meals on hand for the week. With a large family and a strict budget, in order to keep it clean and have it be manageable within the schedule, stock up on essentials! For one week’s worth, I have a standard budget of $250 for a family of 6. Five out of 6 are boys so I expect this to only grow as they do, so I plan to learn to become even more thrifty while keeping the food clean! I repeat the same meals each week for 2 reasons: Time management and budget. My husband is deployed and we have 4 kids. We are constantly on the go and I don’t have time to sit down and create a meal plan each week. In order to break up the monotony, I keep 1 day for a new recipe and that’s super easy to add that 1 meal to my recipe list for the week. If we’re in a mega hurry and end up having a pizza night, which is bound to happen, it’s great because I can save that, let’s say spaghetti Saturday, recipe for the following week and I’m still not feeling as if I’m double spending.
Breakfast: Cheese omelets.
Lunch: Full disclosure here, Sundays are a play-it-by-ear day in my house. We may eat out, may barbecue, but we fly by the seat of our pants. If you’re adhering to a strict plan, I would recommend adding a pack of hot dogs into your weekly list and Bush’s baked beans. It’s simple, quick and affordable.
Dinner: Make something NEW! When it’s a hit, switch out one of your days of the week with this new recipe to change things up. If you have leftovers, you can substitute Monday’s lunch to change things up as well.
Breakfast: Pancakes. Homemade pancakes are the most budget friendly way to prepare. I’ll be adding that recipes shortly. You can also buy pre-made mix, which is a little more pricey, that is either organic or non-GMO free. Put the leftover is a freezer bag to use throughout the week.
Lunch: Kefir smoothie for Mom. Kids lunch: Tortilla chips and salsa, carrots and dressing for dipping, Cutie mandarin, bottle of water and an optional fun snack. I like to add in a treat each day for snack. If I made cookies over the weekend, I add one in or I just pick up a bag of Oreos or something and drop 2 in each lunch box. Chocolate chip granola bars are great too!
Dinner: Fish of choice. Salmon is our go to. Add Penne butter noodles as a side along with a veggie. Overcooking is your friend! Save your extra fish in the fridge for lunches throughout the week.
Breakfast: Breakfast smoothie for kids and Kefir smoothie for Mom.
Lunch: Use your leftover fish to add to a salad. Mix 1 tsp oil with 1 tbs balsamic vinegar for an easy home-made dressing. Kids lunch: Can of tuna split, butter crackers (Late July is a great brand), banana and bottle of water.
Dinner: Curry Chicken. Recipe will be added soon. I serve this with a side of rice and a veggie of choice. Freeze leftover chicken for lunches the next day.
Breakfast: Eggs and toast.
Lunch: Kefir smoothie for Mom. Kids: Leftover chicken divided among lunch boxes, mandarin orange, back of chips, water bottle and a snack.
Dinner: Mexican night. I alternate between taco salad or nacho night for this one. Lay out the ingredients buffet style and everyone makes their own.
Breakfast: Leftover pancakes from the freezer. Heat for 30 seconds, add syrup or even chocolate chips for a fun treat! Kefir smoothie for Mom.
Lunch: Salad with leftover Mexican night ground beef or turkey, adding salsa and ranch dressing for a Mexican salad! Kids lunch: Tortilla chips and salsa and any leftovers from Mexican night, carrots and dressing for dipping, Cutie mandarin, bottle of water and an optional fun snack. I like to add in a treat each day for snack.
Dinner: Chinese night. Chicken with rice cooked up stir-fry style, adding in some veggies to the mix. You might want a bag of egg rolls as a side to liven this up!
Breakfast: Cinnamon toast. Toast your bread, add margarine spread, sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon and your good-to-go. Can of tuna split, pretzels, banana and bottle of water.
Lunch: Kefir smoothie for Mom.
Dinner: Meatloaf. Recipe coming soon. Side of mashed potatoes and corn for a starched up dinner! This is great for growing boys. As Mom, I take a light serving and don’t forget to put a little extra cardio in the next day.
Breakfast: French Toast.
Lunch: Hamburgers and chips.
Dinner: Italian night. Spaghetti with veggies side. Broccoli is the go-to in my family that I know at least 5 of the 6 will eat. Eggplant Parmesan can also be used to stand alone and get the protein and veggies in one.