i am always working to feed my family well while sticking to a budget. this week we had our usual $75 to feed the family. throw counting calories & a "diet" or "lifestyle change" into the mix & i am tempted to overspend.
this week happens to be a busy one, too. the farmers' market is opening up so i plan to support our farmers. i am also hosting a girls' night at our home tonight. that means a bottle of wine & some fun snacks. considering the events of the week, i decided to set aside $30 from our budget for those two expenses. that left me $45 for the entire week.
i am excited to share some dinner ideas that i incorporated into our meal plan this week that are calorie-friendly, budget-friendly & delicious!
monday: i made pesto pasta with frozen pesto from last summer. every summer i always freeze bell peppers, can tomatoes & freeze pesto. those are my three staples (do these three things if you aren't already, trust me.). pulling out pesto in a financial pinch is the most delicious & cheapest gourmet trick in the book. if you don't have basil pesto, you can make spinach pesto. spinach is in season right now & can be found for an inexpensive price.
tuesday: i served up a baked sweet potato bar. paired with roasted asparagus (also in season right now & so inexpensive), this was a delicious meal. i usually add a little bit of fresh avocado on the side & plenty of toppings, including coconut oil & nuts.
wednesday: my meal plan for wednesday included a vegetable frittata. having chickens in our backyard makes egg-based meals affordable. i love skinnytaste's low calorie frittata recipe.
thursday: last night's dinner was a delicious crockpot vegetable soup i made from ingredients we already had on hand. i used a bag of frozen veggies (peas, carrots & corn), one potato, homemade chicken broth & stewed tomatoes from last year's garden. it was delicious served with a side of crackers, roasted broccoli (also in season & affordable) & avocado.
friday: tonight's dinner is rice and beans. i make this an exciting meal with toppings such as cilantro, avocado, sour cream, salsa & a side of homemade tortilla chips. also, setting the table with a fiesta theme makes eating rice & beans a little more special.
bonus meal: last week i made skinnytaste's calorie-friendly tuna noodle casserole, which was delicious & affordable. i am not a huge casserole fan, but i will definitely make this recipe again.
- make your dollar stretch by purchasing fresh foods that are in season.
- lean more toward vegetable-based meals rather than meat-focused meals. they're often healthier & always more affordable. if your family loves meat, try one night a week, like "meatless mondays."
- if you're serving a light main dish, always provide a hearty side such as roasted asparagus, avocado or a large salad.
- sunday is the day we eat all of the leftovers. this works for our family because it prevents us from wasting food & it gives me a break from cooking.
i love making our dollar stretch while feeding my family well. i hope you found these recipe ideas useful & the tips helpful. let me know if you use any of these meal ideas!
do you have any recipes that are healthy & inexpensive? please share!