Friday, February 29, 2008

$40 Weekly Grocery Budget ... Part 4

Here is the menu again ...

Monday - Pancakes, Banana, Milk
Tuesday - Oatmeal, Milk and Juice
Wednesday - Banana-Oat Muffins, Milk
Thursday - Waffles, Orange Slices, Milk
Friday - Rice Cereal, Milk and Juice
Saturday - French Toast, Orange Slices, Milk
Sunday - Oatmeal, Milk and Juice

Monday - Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Carrot Sticks, Milk
Tuesday - Ramen Noodles with Egg, Grapes, Milk
Wednesday - Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Lettuce, Carrot Sticks, Milk

Thursday - Pigs in a Blanket, Grapes, Milk
Friday - Egg Salad Sandwiches with Lettuce, Carrot Sticks, Milk
Saturday - Macaroni & Cheese with Tuna, Grapes, Milk
Sunday - Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Carrot Sticks, Milk

Snacks: Popcorn, Celery with Peanut Butter, Carrot Sticks, Muffins, Fruit, Cinnamon Toast, Biscuits and Jelly

Monday - Bean & Beef Burritos, Orange Slices
Tuesday - Chicken Gravy over Potatoes, Green Beans, Cooked Carrots
Wednesday - Shepherd's Pie, Coleslaw
Thursday - Biscuits & Gravy, Fruit Salad
Friday - Hamburger Soup, Garlic Bread
Saturday - Scrambled Eggs, Potato Pancakes, Applesauce
Sunday - Goulash, Salad, Garlic Bread

To save money any milk used for purposes other than drinking, re-constituted instant milk is used. Buttermilk is substituted using 1 tablespoon vinegar plus enough milk to equal 1 cup. When margarine is called for in a recipe, I use oil instead. For sandwiches, I make them open-face making the bread stretch further. Any leftovers from meals unless specified can be used for lunch or snacks.

Below are preparation instructions and recipes.

Monday: Make a quadruple batch of homemade pancake mix using half for this morning's breakfast. The other half will be for the waffles later in the week. While cooking pancakes, start bread dough to be baked and used for lunch today. When in a crunch, I like to make French Bread as it uses just basic ingredients. I use the bread machine (recipe in manual) to make mine. I do have a larger batch recipe (below).

Put the kidney beans on for a quick soak according to package directions. Plan cooking time according to the time you will have dinner allowing some leeway. Half of the beans will be used for tonight's supper. The other half will be saved for the Hamburger Soup on Friday (beans freeze well).

About an hour and a half before supper time make the dough needed for the tortillas. When you cook the tortillas, also start browning one pound ground turkey (used in place of ground beef). When adding the taco seasoning packet contents, add a can of tomatoes undrained and enough water, if needed, to equal liquid needed. Add beans and heat through. Shred some lettuce to go on the burritos.

French Bread Recipe
Tortilla Recipe

Tuesday: Mix up juice for breakfast, and cook oatmeal according to package directions for breakfast. Boil chicken to cook it for tonight's meal and tomorrow's lunch. Cool and de-bone chicken. Cut up chicken and divide it for the two meals. Save broth/liquid for tonight as well. Cool it in refrigerator so fat can be skimmed off the top if desired.

For lunch, prepare the Ramen according to package directions. I add a bit extra water and do not drain after cooking (making it like a noodle soup). Once the noodles are cooked whisk in two beaten eggs.

For dinner, peel 3 pounds potatoes and chunk. Add to water and boil for mashed potatoes. While potatoes are cooking, make a gravy using equal parts of oil and flour (1/3 cup each). In oil, first cook half an onion, finely chopped. Remove onion with a slotted spoon and add flour whisking until a paste forms. Add broth saved from this morning whisking continuously. Turn heat down to low and thicken gravy. Extra chicken bouillon, salt and pepper can be added for seasoning. Add onion and the chicken set aside for tonight's meal. Peel and slice carrots; place in a microwave-safe dish. Place enough water to cover the bottom of the dish and cover with a lid or saran wrap. Heat in the microwave for five or six minutes until cooked but firm. I like to season mine with margarine, salt and pepper (sometimes with a bit of maple syrup for sweetness). Heat green beans (2 cans). Any leftover mashed potatoes and green beans will be used for tomorrow's supper.

Wednesday: For breakfast make muffins using this muffin recipe. Instead of sour cream, I use the substitute for buttermilk in the muffin recipe. Also add in some oats and a mashed banana. If bread is needed for lunch, begin making it now using the French bread recipe. You can also make the chicken salad with the reserved cooked chicken or wait until lunch. For stretchers in my chicken salad, I add shredded carrot, thinly sliced celery and/or chopped hard boiled egg.

For supper, brown one pound of ground turkey; drain if needed. Add a can of tomato soup and pepper to taste. Place in the bottom of an oven-safe dish. Place a layer of green beans on top of meat mixture (be sure to use any leftovers plus the one can left, draining first). Mashed potatoes go on top of the green beans. Make more if needed to add to any leftovers from last night. Place in oven and heat through. I use a round Pyrex dish because it is smaller on the bottom so to hide I might have used less meat. ;) While Shepherd's pie is heating, make coleslaw using the recipe below.

Coleslaw Recipe

Thursday: For breakfast, make waffles using what is left of the pancake mix. It is prepared the same way, just cooked differently of course.

For lunch, make biscuit dough using the buttermilk substitute instead of real buttermilk and oil for the shortening (7/8 cup of oil per 1 cup of shortening). The recipe is below. Cut hot dogs into thirds. Wrap each hot dog piece in a biscuit. Place on a greased cookie sheet and cook at 400 until biscuit portion is lightly browned. This will make 24-30 pigs in a blanket.

For supper, make more biscuits. While biscuits are baking, make up gravy similar to Tuesday night's supper but using milk, the reconstituted kind, instead of broth. Season with salt and pepper. Make a fruit salad.

Biscuit Recipe

Friday: For breakfast, make rice cereal using below recipe. Remember to use reconstituted milk for all cooking. Mix up some juice. Start a batch of bread dough for today's lunch and dinner.
For lunch, hard boil some eggs for the egg salad adding diced celery and/or shredded carrot for nutritious fillers if desired.

For supper, brown a pound of ground turkey with some chopped onion; drain if needed. Add peeled and sliced carrots, potatoes, celery along with enough water to cover. Add in pepper and bouillon to flavor. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Diced cabbage may be added as well. Before serving, add reserved kidney beans and heat through. While soup is simmering, slice a loaf of french bread. Butter one side of each slice and sprinkle with garlic powder. Place on a cookie sheet margarine side up. Toast at 350 until margarine is melted and bread is lightly toasted.

Rice Cereal

Saturday: For breakfast, I dip slices of bread into a mixture of egg, milk and some cinnamon. I then cook them on a greased electric griddle (350) until cooked.

For lunch, make macaroni and cheese according to package directions. Add can of drained tuna after having mixed in cheese.

For supper, start the potato pancakes. While the potato pancakes are cooking, make up some scrambled eggs.

Sunday: For breakfast, cook oatmeal according to package directions. Mix up some juice. Begin making bread dough for lunch and supper if needed.

For supper, cook macaroni according to package directions. Return to pot after draining. While macaroni is cooking, brown ground turkey and some diced onion. Drain and add to macaroni after it is cooked and drained along with spaghetti sauce and canned corn (undrained). Season to taste with pepper. Heat through. While goulash is heating, make garlic bread (see Friday's instructions). Can serve with any extra vegetables, salad or fruit.

*Note: Some of the ingredients for the recipes are not included. The recipes turn out fine without them so were not include for the sake of saving money for my budget experiment. I left the recipes in their entirety so they can be used at any time.

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