I have the best of intentions on the weekend, “I’m going to do a ton of meal prep and have our meals all ready for the WHOLE week!” But inevitably, 8 o’clock Sunday rolls around, and I barely even managed to get groceries put away, let alone made into things we could eat. That’s why there’s a list of about 10 foods I keep on hand for the weeks that I just know are going to be crazy. These items can be made into edible meals with almost no effort at all. Gourmet? Heck no. But it’s better than McDonald’s and it fills us up in a pinch. Sometimes, it’s all about convenience.
10 Healthy Foods I keep On Hand to Feed the Family In a Pinch
What Can I Make From All This Stuff?
A LOT! Quesdillas, black bean tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, French toast, cheese and veggie omelettes, eggs & toast, hard boiled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, spinach scrambles, spinach salad, chicken with steamed veggies, chicken & veggie stir fry, grilled chicken salads, and the list could go on and on. These are all things you can make in just minutes, in a pinch, yet you’re still feeding your family fairly healthy, real food.
Next time you’re in a pinch during a crazy week, grab these simple items and you’ll be feeding your family in minutes! 🙂
If you like my frugal meal plan series, you’ll LOVE my Ebook! 1 Month of Dirt Cheap Dinners brings you an entire month of easy, frugal & delicious recipes, along with meal plans and shopping lists! Best part, it’s only $1.99!
As you may have noticed in Week 1, Week 2, & Week 3, my family and I tend to gravitate towards comfort food. I love the meals in my previous weeks because they are so inexpensive, and they taste SO good! However, we’re making an effort in our family to eat a lot healthier these days, and this week’s meal plan shows it. Actually, this meal plan helped me to lose 5 pounds! Not because I wasn’t eating delicious food and staying stuffed all the time-I was! Everything was filling and tasted great! It was just super healthy.
We live on a budget to help bring us closer to achieving our dream of being completely debt free!
We cook at home because it’s healthier, it tastes better, and it’s a fraction of the price of eating out. We feed our entire LARGE family on a budget of under $200 per MONTH! This is less than what most people spend in a WEEK! Our average shopping trip is under $50 per week. In fact, some weeks it’s only about $40. We only shop once a week, on Saturdays. We ONLY shop at Aldi. They have, by far, the best prices and quality. This week I fed our family for under $50! This makes me so so so happy! 🙂
This is based on a family of 5… Three adult eaters (our oldest is 18 now) and two little guys.
My meal plan includes a week of dinners and breakfasts for us all, plus lunches for 1-2 adults (since the entire family isn’t always home during the day).
These calculations assume that you already have some basics stocked in your pantry, like seasonings, oil, butter, etc. Also, it doesn’t figure in the things I buy in bulk and stockpile, like canned veggies, because I only buy those 1-2 times per year when I can get them on sale (or use coupons) for about 20 cents per can. We also can, or vacuum seal and freeze veggies in the summer and eat them all year long. We also enjoy fishing, and have friends who hunt, so we have access to free meat sometimes. Told ya were frugal!
A couple things to note, I use meat sparingly in dishes and bulk things up with veggies to save money. Also, the price of beef, even ground beef, has sky-rocketed recently. Ground turkey is super inexpensive at Aldi, just $1.89 per pound, so that’s my new go-to meat on-the-cheap. It’s healthier, too!
Sunday: Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Carrots – Morningstar Black Bean Burgers are one of the only things I get at Walmart rather than Aldi. But I do use sandwich thin buns from Aldi. Top with greens, mustard, and sriracha.
BREAKFAST: I started everyday this week with coffee and a protein shake. Over the years we have fallen in love with Multi-Pro Whey from IDS. Our favorite flavors are Swiss Chocolate, Vanilla Cake, and Vanilla Cinnamon. We’ve only ever found it online, and you can buy it here. I’m not affiliated with them in any way, I just really love their protein powder and have been using it regularly for over 6 years now. The containers are huge and last forever.
LUNCH: To streamline lunches and keep from over-eating this week, we made it pretty simple. We ate a spinach salad every day topped with as many veggies as we had in the fridge, and either: chicken, tuna, eggs, or tofu.
Here’s my shopping list for the week. I usually shop only at Aldi, but since this week was a little different a few items came from Walmart. “W” indicates what was purchased at Walmart.
Bag of frozen shrimp
Frozen or fresh green beans (canned will even work, but drain and rinse thoroughly to remove excess sodium)
Bag frozen asparagus
4 frozen tilapia filets
2 large sweet potatoes
1 small onion
Bag of baby carrots
Small can Rotel tomatoes (use the Aldi brand)
1 bag dried lentils (W)
1 carton veggie broth
1 can corn
1 can black beans
Small package of very thinly cut, inexpensive pork chops
Small package tofu (W)
2 bags spinach for salads
1 can salmon
1 can green beans
Frozen Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burgers (W)
1 package sandwich thin buns
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 carton of eggs
I hope this post helps you with your meal planning this week, and helps you make your money-saving goals!
Don’t forget to check out the previous weeks in my budget meal planning series!
If you liked this post, you’ll LOVE my Ebook! 1 Month of Dirt Cheap Dinners brings you an entire month of easy, frugal & delicious recipes, along with meal plans and shopping lists! Best part, it’s only $1.99!