This week is definitely meal planning on a budget! Our budget is typically tight but this week it’s extra tight. So, I’m thankful that I’ve got some meat in the freezer and will just have to buy some extra ingredients for meals! You can eat well and healthy on a budget though!

Turkey Burgers, Corn on the Cobb, Fried Okra

Chicken Fingers, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes

Ham and Swiss Melts, Potato Salad, Cantaloupe

Pork Chops, Pintos, Mexican Corn Bread

Parmesan Chicken over Thin Spaghetti, Salad

The boys and I just made loaded oatmeal cookies (with healthier modifications… hopefully I can share later this week) and since the recipe makes 5 dozen, I’ll freeze some for healthy treats!

Here are a few tips that help me when things get tight:

~Buy sales! 2 weeks ago Sargento cheese was on sale for $2 at WalMart. I bought several packages of regular cheddar cheese since we use it often but I also bought a package of baby Swiss for future use. So, this week it comes in hand! Typically cheese has at least a month or 2 exp date on it, as long as you don’t open it! So, stock up if you are able!

~Always take people up on their offers! My mom often calls and mentions to me when something is on sale at a store she often shops at. A few weeks ago they had chicken breast on sale and she asked if we needed any. Um, yes. Always. So, she bought 2 pkgs of chicken breast! They were put in the freezer and will be perfect this week! Such a blessing!

~Beans. Yes, beans. Dried beans. #1- they are cheap. #2 they are so healthy #3- they aren’t in a can. I have greatly reduced our canned food consumption due to learning about BPA in the lining of cans. And pintos do NOT have to be soaked overnight. I make mine using the Pioneer Woman’s method. So yummy and easy and good for you! And honestly, if I had my way, we’d just have beans and corn bread but I’m adding the pork chops that we didn’t have last week to this meal.. for the meat lovers in the family!

~Meatless Meal. Like I said above, I’d eat beans and cornbread for dinner and be just fine. We do often have meatless meals. My favorites are pancakes w/ scrambled eggs, grilled cheese & tomato soup and Mexican tortilla pie. I also love potato soup in the winter! I really do need to come up with some more meatless meals!

~I would also add grow your own food, except that I don’t unless you count the basil and tomato plant that I have in two pots in my front yard! But my Daddy does have a great garden and we are blessed to get lots of yummy stuff from him (corn and okra!). One day I’d like to have my own garden! I say, if you have the yard space… plant a garden. But well, you’ll have to wait until next year. So, if you’re lucky to know someone who’s willing to share in their bounty.. take it! Oh and for fresh produce look for local food stands/markets. You’ll often find much better prices! And you’ll be buying local, fresher food!

Check out orgjunkie.com and chivetalkin.com for more menu planning ideas!

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