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next week’s menu plan #12: 6 meals for less than $50!

Today , in honor Luke’s 2 year birthday, we spent 8 hours hill-hiking, brow sweating, bus-riding, drink refilling, sunscreening, shade scrounging, and belly laughing our way through the San Diego Zoo.

Zoos:  love ’em or hate ’em?  Do tell…

My, I’m typically not a big zoo fan…usually it’s hot and stinky and those poor animals look like they’re just dying to join the rest of their species in their natural habitat.  But tell you what:  my son loves him some animals and the joy that radiated from his little heart (and therefore mine) at the sight of the real-deal elephants, lions, giraffes and hippos has pushed me just slightly into the realm of jolly zoo-goer (ok, the truth is we sprung for annual passes…did you know they’re tax deductible?!).

Well we’re back and now it’s time to get down to the business of cooking and planning and errand running and whatever the week has in store.  But thankfully I have 6 meals lined up for the week for you, for less than $50!

Let’s take a look…

Dinner #1Lemon Herb Chicken with Balsamic Roasted Asparagus  ($8.26 for the chicken+$3.32 for the asparagus)

Prepping/Cooking Time:  40 minutes

Dinner #2:  Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta and a side salad ($7.62+estimated $2.00 for a salad)

Prepping/Cooking Time:  25 minutes

Dinner #3:  Southwest Turkey Soup and a side salad ($8.50 for the soup + estimated $2.00 for the salad)

Prepping/Cooking Time:  1 hour, 15 minutes

Dinner #4Cottage Cheese Pancakes and Fruit ($2.68 for the pancakes+estimated $2.00 for fruit)

Prepping/Cooking Time:  15 minutes

Dinner #5:  Goat Cheese and Roasted Garlic Pizza with Arugula and a side salad ($4.91 for the pizza+estimated $2.00 for a salad)

Prepping/Cooking Time:  35 minutes

Dinner #6:  Honey Peanut Chicken with Brown Rice ($5.39 for the chicken with rice)

Prepping/Cooking Time:  45 minutes + a few hours for marinating

Total for 6 nights of dinners:  $48.68! 

That’s about $2 per person.

Shopping List (items you likely don’t already have in your pantry):


3-4 pounds split fryer or 4 split (or boneless skinless) chicken breasts

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pound ground chicken or turkey


3 onions

1/4 cup rosemary (fresh is best)

2 tablespoons sage (fresh or dried)

1 tablespoon tarragon (fresh or dried)

1 teaspoon thyme (fresh or dried)

3 lemons

2 limes

2 bunches asparagus

1 cup corn (can be frozen)

1 bunch cilantro

1 avocado

1 jalapeno

2 heads lettuce

4 ounces arugula

green beans or broccoli for honey peanut chicken

1 head garlic

fruit to serve with pancakes (something interesting on sale)


1 cup white wine

1 pound spiral pasta

1 cup cooked black beans

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 4-ounce can diced green chiles

3 cups chicken stock

taco seasoning

toppings for pancakes – maple syrup, jam, sauteed fruit

1 pizza dough

brown rice

1 1/2 tablespoons natural peanut butter


2 tablespoons asiago cheese (optional for asparagus)

7 ounces goat cheese

1 1/4 cup cottage cheese

8 eggs

1 cup grated mozzarella

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