This Week’s Dinner Menu for under $35 (before coupons!)

Here’s this week’s dinner menu—easy, cheap and kid-approved. Of course, choices and serving sizes will vary from family to family. It depends on how much you eat as a family and what you like. But here’s a start.

I have picky eaters and whether it’s picking out certain veggies, dishing items separately or adding extra soy sauce, these meals are welcomed in my house. Plus, they are easy and quick to prepare.

The costs are based on averages, without prices for basic condiments or spices (hopefully in your pantry already,) and they are priced without coupons or store specials. To save even more, cut coupons, compare ads and buy produce or meat on sale to use right away.

Monday Mac-n-Cheese

(Total $7.40 or $1.85 per serving)

I have been making this recipe for years, it serves four, but I sometimes double it. It’s an easy and yummy one to reheat.

2 cups of pasta (my kids enjoy the smaller noodles)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 – beef sausage
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (or salt and pepper to taste)
2-1/2 cups milk
3 cups of shredded cheese (I like to combine sharp cheddar and mozzarella)

1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Slice up your choice of meat, I use Hillshire Farms beef sausage and add.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add cheese, noodles and meat. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart casserole. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday BLT’s

(Total $5.39 or $1.35 per serving)

This is a simple one. You can fry bacon or cook it in the oven for a crispier, less-mess option. Cook the whole pound of bacon and leave out four slices for tomorrow’s dinner. Toast bread, slice tomatoes, wash lettuce and add desired condiments for a simple and light bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. You can get creative and switch out veggies for different taste buds. A potato or broccoli salad is a nice side.

Wednesday Bacon Cheeseburger Rollup

(Total $8.82 or $2.21 per serving)

This recipe is easy and flexible. I don’t use onions or Velveeta. I use shredded cheese, and the only catch is making sure dough cooks all the way through. It helps to melt the cheese a little or cook longer for a crispier crust (which my family enjoys.) Use leftover, cooked bacon from above and leftover lettuce, tomato and any extra veggies you have for a side salad.

Thursday Kid Pasta with Chicken

(Total $5.49 or $1.37 per serving)

These plain noodles are a neighborhood favorite. My kids and their friends love them. Cook your choice of noodles according to directions and drain. Add butter ( 1-2 tablespoons,) salt, pepper, garlic salt and parmesan to taste. Add grilled, cooked or sauteed chicken and veggies to the side for a balanced dish.

Friday Stir-Fry

(Total $7.64 or $1.91 per serving)

This recipe is easy to add your favorite veggies. Sometimes I scramble and fry a couple of eggs, slice and add. It calls for four cups of veggies, but if you don’t have fresh veggies or want to save time, use a bag of frozen veggies. I like to sauté chicken breast strips in olive oil and soy for the added protein.

Going in to the weekend, you can treat yourself to a night out, order pizza or perhaps eat leftovers! Either way, I hope you enjoy these meals and find even greater ways to save on your meal planning. Let me know what deals or meals you find because I’m always looking for fun, easy and yummy meals during the busy week.

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