WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Monday Meal Plan 1-4

Posted January 4, 2010
Updated January 5, 2010

Here’s my frugal Monday Meal plan. Remember, the goal is to provide healthy meals with high quality protein, veggies and carbs for $5 per meal or less (for a family of 4). That averages out to $1.25 per person per dinner. Some nights I spend more and some nights I spend less. The overall cost for the week for dinners averages out to $5 per meal for our family of 4 (the kids are 8 and 10).This week is a busy week for us so we are having some easier to prepare meals.  I need a break after all the holiday cooking!

What's on your frugal menu this week??

Ravioli (BOGO Celantano frozen mini cheese ravioli from Lowe’s Foods a couple weeks ago for $2.50– the kids love these! Lowe’s Foods brand frozen ravioli are on sale at Lowe’s this week for $2.99 for 24-25 oz beef or cheese ravioli)
Bertolli Garlic and Olive Oil Marinara Sauce (.60 on sale BOGO with coupon at Lowe’s a couple weeks ago)
Brussel Sprouts (Steamfresh frozen for 28 cents with sale and coupon)
Orange Slices (on sale for .60/lb last week)
Apple Cake (thanks for the delicious cake, Martha!)
Total cost of meal for 4 people: $4.00

Fat Free Hebrew National Beef Hot Dogs (Hebrew Nationals on sale at Kroger this week for $2.50 for a 12 oz. package)
Hot Dog Buns (on sale for $1 at Kroger this week)
Pasta Salad with whole grain pasta, green peppers, carrots, tomatoes and black olives (green peppers on sale at Walmart for .50 each last week and roma tomatoes for $1.28/lb last week)
Pineapple Slices

Salmon Burgers (Trident frozen salmon burgers on sale for $3.99/box at Lowe’s Foods last week – 4 burgers per box)
Buns (on sale $1 at Kroger this week)
Long Grain and Wild Rice (free Uncle Ben’s with sale and coupon a few weeks ago)
Broccoli (free Steamfresh veggies with sale and coupon at Lowe’s a few weeks ago)
Total cost of meal for 4 people: $4.99

Teriyaki Tofu (2 packages using tofu from Trader Joe’s at $1.79/package for firm tofu)
Stir Fry Veggies (16 oz. Bird’s Eye frozen peppers stir fry veggie mix on sale for 28 cents a few weeks ago with sale and coupon at Lowe’s Foods)
Rice (Steamfresh brown rice – free with sale and coupon at Lowe’s Foods a few weeks ago)
Total cost of meal for 4 people: $3.86

Pierogie Casserole (see recipe below) We didn't end up having pierogies last week, as planned, so they are on this week's menu in a casserole.
Garlic Bread

Spinach Salad

Garlic Shrimp and Pasta

Pierogie Casserole Recipe

This recipe is actually on the back of the Mrs. T's Pierogies box so I didn't come up with this one myself. I did change a couple things though.


1 box frozen pierogies
1 jar pasta sauce
4 oz. shredded cheese (I usually use 4-cheese
Mexican or Italian cheese blend)
1 green pepper diced, 1/2 onion diced
garlic powder, Italian seasonings

Put frozen pierogies on bottom of 9 x 13' pan. Sprinkle veggies on top of pierogies. Pour sauce on top. Sprinkle cheese evenly over sauce. Finally, spice to taste with garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

Sometimes I add diced chicken, shredded beef or tofu cubes for extra protein. You can pretty much add any cooked meat. I also love fresh spinach in this recipe. The recipe on the box suggests adding pepperoni.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes uncovered until bubbling. Serve with garlic bread and a salad for a delicious and frugal meal. Enjoy!


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  • judithlangdon Jan 6, 2010

    I save leftover vegetables, meats, etc. to make "What's in the Kitchen" Soup every week or so. The base for the soup is bone- in chicken breasts that are left over from chicken stir frys from another meal.
    Peel off the skin before slicing the slightly thawed bone-in chicken breasts. Slice thin strips for your stir fry, leaving some meat on the bones.
    Quickly pack up your leftover chicken bones with meat in the freezer to use in soup later on. I collect several before making the chicken vegetable soup and I label the package for soup only. This idea can make lots of different kinds of soup.

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Jan 5, 2010

    That sounds very tasty oceancandle! Thanks for sharing.

  • oceancandle Jan 5, 2010

    Pierogies also taste really good by boiling them, then putting them in a baking dish and covering them with sour cream, bacon bits and shredded cheese and baking them till the cheese is melted.

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Jan 5, 2010

    10 hummingbirds - I totally agree! When I first saw the recipe on the back of the Mrs. T's pierogies box, I also thought it was a strange combination. I was very pleasantly surprised at how delicious it is and how easy it is to make. And - my whole family likes it, which is even better! Let me know what you think once you try this dish.

    coffeecrazy - thanks for your input. We love leftovers and most go into lunch for us the next day. We rarely buy lunch out and my husband takes his from home. It always amazes me when I am teaching a workshop and someone says that their spouse won't eat leftovers. I always joke that if my hubby didn't eat the leftovers when I served them, I guess he wouldn't eat! ha ha. Luckily, he understands the importance of not wasting perfectly good food and he enjoys leftovers as much as the rest of us. FYI - if you are spending $200/wk on groceries, I am sure you can bring it down. How many people are in your family? My grocery budget is $65/wk for 4 of us.

  • coffeecrazy Jan 5, 2010

    One thing that we have done to saving money at my house is USING OUR LEFTOVERS! When I make my grocery list, I think of ways to use the leftovers for a new and different meal. Examples: Roast beef leftovers turn into soup or steak quesadillas; baked sweet potatoes - slice 'em up and pan fry (the kids love them that way); left over veggies, even small amounts, go into the freezer for the soup I will make from the roast beef.
    Also, Harris Teeter still had turkeys $0.49 per pound last weekend. I bought 3 and had the butcher to cut them in half. We can now have enough turkey for my family of four to eat SIX times this year at a low cost of about $5 per meal. Much cheaper than off-season turkey prices.
    This may be a common thing for others, but for my family it is new. With grocery store visits nearing $200 every week - it was time to analyze what we were doing wrong, which for us was wasting leftovers and not buying super deals in large quantities.

  • 10hummingbirds Jan 4, 2010

    I absolutely love pierogies. We ate them all the time when I grew up in PA. But I'm not too sure about this recipe. Pasta sauce with the mashed potatoes just doesn't seem to go together for me. I'm going to have to try it to see though. I love just boiling them and then frying them lightly in butter, add salt & pepper. Perfect!! Yum. Makes me want to go get some tonight.