Meal planning for the week ahead, doesn’t have to be impossible!
In fact, we stick to a very simple meal plan each week that includes cooking on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and eating leftover the following day.
On Sunday night, we might do something simple like sandwiches or frozen pizza.
I’m going to show you what a typical week of recipes looks like.
Don’t forget to grab my free printable recipes (the ones in this post are included), and monthly meal planning calendar.
7 Day Budget Dinner Plan Example
Monday: Simple Parmesan Chicken
The first recipe in the video is simple Parmesan chicken.
You can get the full printable recipe for this delicious Parmesan Chicken here.
This is super easy. It’s really delicious, and even the kids eat at least the spaghetti.
First I make the coating for the chicken breast.
We mince garlic and put some garlic with olive oil in a little bowl.
Then you just put it into the microwave for about 30 seconds, and that’s what we’re going to use to actually dip the chicken breast in.
Heating it up just makes it more flavorful.
It’ll help the coating to stick to the chicken breast before you put them in the oven.
We use a baking pan and coat it with an olive oil cooking spray.
We use Parmesan cheese in so many recipes. Basically, the coating for the chicken is just breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Stir it up. Now dip the chicken breast into the oil and garlic, then into the coating and coat the chicken breast really good.
These are really delicious, really super easy, and really good.
I have another recipe for ranch chicken. I make it very similar, except I dip them in milk, and then I dip them in the Parmesan with the bread crumbs and also a packet of ranch, like the ranch salad dressing mix. It’s so good.
While I have the chicken breast going, I’m get the spaghetti ready.
I already had the pot boiling in the background and am just going to make whole box.
Sometimes we make just half of the box. But, this time, we made the whole thing because my husband also likes to eat spaghetti with cottage cheese for lunch. I’m not a fan, but he likes it.
We bake the chicken breast at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes on each side.
We eat frozen broccoli on the side. We eat frozen veggies on the side of our meals often because it’s super easy.
This recipe is personally one of my least favorites because there’s so many steps like the sauce, the spaghetti, the chicken, and the broccoli.
Even though — I feel ridiculous saying that because telling you the steps now I’m like, “Oh, this recipe’s actually really easy.”
The spaghetti’s done, and the broccoli’s done. Now I’m going to get the sauce out.
Again, Kroger, generic spaghetti sauce. Unless there’s a sale on brand-name stuff that makes it cheaper than the generic, we always get the generic.
We measure things out, too, which make them last a lot longer.
I put about one-fourth of a cup of sauce on each person’s serving of spaghetti.
The meal is ready to eat! We double it, and this will be for the next day.
It just makes it so much easier because I get tired of cooking. This way on the second day I won’t have to cook, and we’ll still have dinner.
Tuesday: Left Overs
Wednesday we are doing meatloaf.
You can get the full printable recipe for this delicious meatloaf here.
I used to scoff at meatloaf when I was a kid, but I think it’s actually really delicious.
This recipe is really good. We serve it with mashed potatoes and green beans.
I used almond flour because we had some left over, but I would usually use breadcrumbs as a more frugal option.
I’m put a little onion in there and garlic.
We use a lot of garlic. You can get minced garlic already pre-made, which is so much easier, but it’s so cheap to buy this garlic. It’s like 25 cents.
Then add Kroger tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce.
Usually I measure things out, but there was just a tiny bit left, so I just dumped it all in. And two eggs, and Italian seasoning.
This makes eight servings.
Our kids don’t eat this, so me and my husband will eat it and I’ll just freez the other half.
Then, in a couple weeks, when it’s time for meatloaf again, we’ll already have it mixed, and I’ll just have to defrost and throw it in the oven.
I’m just filling up the pan with the rest of the meatloaf mixture.
Also, when I just cook half the recipe, it cooks through a lot faster.
It’s really hard for me to get the meatloaf to cook all the way through.
I just pop it in the oven at 350 for about 35-45 minutes.
So, while that’s cooking, I cut up some petite red potatoes.
We like to make our mashed potatoes with red potatoes, and we don’t blend them fully. We like them kind of chunky.
So I just cut them up because they cook through a lot better if you cut them first before you put them in the pan.
Then, we have a rice cooker, which I love. We make rice a lot, and quinoa and things like that, but it also has a steamer in the top, so I’m just going to steam some green beans.
Wash and cut them up, then pour some water in, setting the green beans in there and mince some garlic to go in with the green beans and turn it on.
Back to the meatloaf: I put a little ketchup on top and pop it back in the oven for, probably, about 15 more minutes. So, usually a total of about 45 minutes for the meatloaf.
While that’s finishing up, I’m going to put some sour cream and butter and milk in the potatoes and mash them up.
When everything is read to go, it’s the perfect meal! Simple, comfort food, and we’ll have plenty for the next night.
Thursday: Left Overs
Friday: White Corn Tortilla Tacos
Friday is taco night!
You can get the full printable recipe for this easy taco recipe here.
We just do a really simple taco recipe.
We put some cilantro in the ground beef and use some Kroger, generic taco seasoning.
First, I’m just going to brown the meat.
We use half a packet of the Kroger generic taco seasoning because my husband does not like spicy food.
That’s super frugal because they’re like 49 cents a pack, but I guess it saves money and makes it less spicy.
I just measured out half a pack and stir it in with 2/3 cup water.
Let the sauce thicken and then chop up fresh cilantro and put that in the beef mixture.
I have a goal this spring/summer to start trying to grow my own cilantro and basil because we use a lot of it.
It’s ready to go!
Then we just fill white corn tortilla tacos, generic from Kroger with the beef mixture and top with cheese and red onions.
This meal is one of our favorites, and we serve it with a side of frozen corn.
Saturday: Left Overs
Sunday: Frozen Pizza, Sandwiches, or something easy!
I hope you guys really enjoyed this easy week of budget dinner ideas.
I hope it gave you some inspiration and some motivation to get your grocery budget under control and get some easy recipes going in the kitchen.
Even really simple recipes will get your family fed and keep you on budget so you can pay off debt fast, or save money for your goals.
Make sure you grab your free, printable recipes and meal planner. It will help you stick to your grocery budget so much better if you plan ahead.