save money by combining ingredients + budget meal plan {oct 14-18}

Did you all catch the yummy cinnamon rolls I shared last night?  They’re mighty good the next day too… just sayin’.

Over the weekend I didn’t cook a lot. I baked cinnamon rolls and pumpkin pie, but made no dinners.  We were treated to delicious dinners with friends and family’s on both Saturday and Sunday night.    But now we’re back to the work week and home in the evenings, so I came up with a meal plan.

One way I’m simplifying dinner and saving money this week is basing most of our meals off of two main ingredients: chicken and black beans.  Let me show you, then I’ll explain.

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Mondaycreamy chicken enchiladas with black beans added in + avocado + sour cream/plain yogurt + fruit

Tuesdaychili egg puff + bacon asparagus + roasted beets

Wednesday – sweet potato/black bean and chicken/black bean egg roll taquitos (adapted from this recipe) with avocado + sour cream/plain yogurt + cucumber slices

Thursday – crockpot black bean soup + cornmeal drop biscuits + fruit

Friday – leftovers

I only planned 4 meals this week since I know we’ll have leftovers and during the weekend I tend to not follow a meal plan very well.  Our plans change up and we end up going away to the lake house or getting together with friends… it’s just easier to wing it.

There’s definitely a Mexican theme going on this week.  Good thing we enjoy it!

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For the black beans that I’m using in most meals, I actually picked up dry beans and soaked 1 lb in water overnight, then covered them with a few inches of water in the crockpot and let it cook low and slow for 8 hours.  Perfectly cooked black beans that are not only cheaper, they have less sodium in them than canned!

I boiled 4 large chicken breasts and shredded the meat.  The plan is to distribute it between the enchiladas, taquitos and also for lunches.  Lunch will be a big batch of curry cream cheese chicken wraps for quick grab and go lunch/snacks.

I ended up actually having a lot of extra chicken and had more than enough enchilada mix, so I made an extra pan of enchiladas for the freezer.  Prep once, eat twice!

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For all of the chicken and beans, it cost me a total of $15.  The chicken was obviously the most expensive part since the beans cost about 95 cents bought in bulk.  I know I could have purchased cheaper chicken for probably 1/2 or 1/3 the cost, but I’m making more of an effort to buy better quality, local foods, so the investment was okay with me.

And in case you’re curious, here’s the breakdown of my grocery shopping trip from yesterday.

Chuck’s Produce

  • Organic milk
  • 2 dozen cage free eggs
  • 4 local, hormone free chicken breasts
  • Organic plain yogurt
  • Whole wheat tortillas 2x
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Asparagus
  • Organic kale
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Total spent at Chuck’s Produce: $43.39

Winco

  • Bulk black beans
  • Bulk corn meal
  • Bulk peppercorns
  • Sea salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Organic low sodium chicken broth
  • Cream cheese
  • Lunch meat
  • Orange juice
  • Sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese

Total spent at Winco:  $33.99

Total spent so far: $77.38

I’m pretty happy with the number.  Last week (and what seems like most weeks lately) I’ve been doing another small grocery trip on Friday’s once we know our weekend plans and it usually comes in around $20-40, so knowing how much I’ve already spent for this week, I can keep the budget under $100.

What’s on your meal plan for this week?  Do you ever base your meals off of a few main ingredients?

Have a wonderful night!

Heather

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