Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3

Monday, January 19, 2015

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3
Happy Monday lovelies!! So we are on our third week in January! Man this month is already zooming by! This past week of meal planning went over fairly smoothly. I hadn't realized that with book writing and then the holidays, I had gotten out of the habit of really menu planning. I would stick to a few simple recipes, so I could get everything on my to do list done. Well with the holidays over and my book now off to the editors, I have been enjoying menu planning and making more then the same five meals over and over again. Sometimes repetition in the kitchen can be quite mundane. I am excited for this new menu format and the ability it gives me to share with you what we're eating and all those recipes. I hope you are liking the new format as well. 

So without further is what we ate last week and my frugal tips, tricks, and recipes to go with. Enjoy! :)

Monday 1/12/15- Fried Flounder, Mashed Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli

We have been trying to incorporate a bit more fish into our diet. I usually can't work it into our budget very often, since it is more expensive to eat fish, but when I was at Wal-Mart a while back they had the bags of individually wrapped fish fillets on sale. I ended up snagging some tilapia, salmon, and flounder.

For fish night, I decided to try the flounder. I dipped the fish fillets in eggs and then lightly breaded it with homemade bread crumbs (I'll include the recipe). I then fried them in oil for 3 minutes on each side. These were fairly quick to make and the family loved them. I added red chili pepper flakes, seasoning salt, and black pepper to my bread crumbs. It gave it a great kick, which Hubby loved!

I steamed the broccoli in my rice cooker and made pressure cooker mashed potatoes. Yum!

Tuesday 1/13/15- Creamy Mushroom Zucchini Bake with fresh fruit 

I love this mushroom bake, since it is easy to whip up and is a meatless entree! Using wheat berries instead of meat is a great way to save money, without skimping on the protein. Wheat berries are also suppose to lower blood sugar and cholesterol! We buy ours in bulk from the LDS Cannery. You can also buy them from Winco, Bountiful Baskets, and Costco. I cook 4 cups of dried wheat berries in my pressure cooker and then bag them in 1/2 cup portions to freeze. That way it is easy to quickly pull out a bag and thaw in the microwave when I want to throw them into a casserole. You can also eat them hot with milk for a filling breakfast/snack!

Wednesday 1/14/15- Cheese Quesdillas with Crunchy Sweet Potato zucchini Sticks

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3 Zuchinni sticks

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3 Sweet Potato Chips

On Wednesday I received a goodie package in the mail from Food Should Taste Good. These yummy chips were in there, along with three bags of multi-grain tortilla chips. Well  the littles and I busted open the sweet potato chips in two minutes flat. We then continued to consume them with bean dip for a pre-dinner snack. Thankfully there were two bags of sweet potato chips, so I could make Baked Parmesan zucchini Sticks to go with our cheese quesdillas. They were really good and will definitely be had again in our house:)

Food Should Taste Good has a lot of recipes, with a bunch being vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free. I was pretty excited. We've been eating less meat and upping our whole grains and beans, so their recipes are right up this mama's alley. I am thinking about these Nachos for next week. Don't they look good?

Thursday 1/15/15- Crock-pot Ham, Potatoes, and Carrots

Last week, when I made the sugar honey baked ham, I placed all my leftover meat into baggies and froze them. Thursday morning I took a bag of that leftover meat and made it into a crockpot meal. This was one of the easiest and yummiest meal to come out of my crockpot lately.

I cut up my veggies, placed them in the crockpot and added the meat! It was so dang simple. I served it with applesauce and fresh baked bread. It filled tummies and was pretty dang good. I also loved that I didn't have to slave away over the stove to make it. Oh how I love my crock-pot! Fix it and forget! Best phrase ever!

Friday 1/16/15- Leftovers 

Saturday 1/17/15- Asian Chicken Spinach Salad

This recipe came together when I bought a Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Salad Dressing. It was definitely an impulse purchase. It was on sale and I fell victim to the under $2 price tag! Haha! I'm a weak mama! It ended up being great though because I came up with a new family favorite salad recipe. We have been trying to up our veggie intake and so salads have become a regular part of our day. I love tossing a salad together for dinner. It is quick, easy, and healthy! Triple Win!

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3 Asian Spinach Chicken Salad

Sunday 1/18/15- Vegetable Barley Soup with French Bread

The vegetable Barley Soup was a meal I found when I went through my freezer. I decided that if I was going to make a dent in my freezer chest, I should probably go through and organize it. As I went through it, I was pleased to find I had quite a few freezer meals I had completely forgotten about. Often when I make soup, I will make a large batch. Doing a huge batch in my crockpot, not only uses up all those pesky leftover vegetables, but it allows me to make two meals. One for us to eat that night and one to put in the freezer for later in the coming months. Well that is what I had done when I made this barley soup.

Cooking a double batch of something is a great way to stock your freezer with quick and easy meals. It is also a great way to use up anything in your fridge that is on its way to expire.

I don't have an exact recipe for this soup, but I can give you a few pointers to making a vegetable soup. I always look in my fridge and pantry for a few basic ingredients: carrots, potatoes, celery, and onions. If I have these things than I am doing good. Sometimes I will only have one or two of them. When that happens I try to look at what else is in my pantry/fridge. Do I have barley, rice, or pasta that could replace my potatoes? Do I have tomatoes, green beans, peas, corn, or other leftover veggies that could replace carrots? I also try to have broth in my freezer or pantry for my soup base. Once you have these few things in place, you can make a soup. Try to Google a few soup recipes and see if you have anything in your pantry that can work with that recipe. I Googled it here and you can see how a TON of recipes pop up. I do this a lot when I am trying to think of a yummy season mix to add to my soup. You may not have exactly what the recipe calls for, but if you think outside of the box you can substitute and make a yummy meal for your family. Oh and adding home baked rolls or bread to soup night will always make the soup taste 100 times better. Trust me on this ladies! My hubby is not a barley fan, but when I pair it with yummy bread, he is all about it :)

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3

This week was a great week. We stuck to the menu plan and were able to use a lot of fresh ingredients and some staples from my pantry staple list. On an unrelated note, how cute is our dear Watson up above? When the kids are outside playing, he loves to sit on this chair and paw at the window. It is super adorable! Can you tell we are loving having dear Watson around? He's the best!

Now onto the recipes. You can find all of this week's recipes in a printable version HERE. Have a fabulous day lovelies!!

What did you guys have on the menu plan this past week?
XO Danielle


  1. We're trying to do better about eating what we have on hand instead of rushing to the store because we don't have one ingredient. So this week we're making artichoke chicken pasta. It has lots of fresh vegetables and we have everything we need. We also found some 'oldies but goodies' that fell to the bottom of the freezer that were forgotten about and are new to us again. Don't you just love that? It's a surprising way to save money and change things up!

  2. Everything up there sounds amazing! I wish I loved to experiment as much as you! I so prefer baking to cooking!

  3. When you made your ham and veggies, does this turn out "dry" as if you roasted it all?


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