Meal plans for a $100/month budget

September 3rd – September 9th: $20

Meal Plan for the Week of September 3rd – September 9th  

Budget: $20.00

Alright, week two! So this $100 a month thing is already more challenging than I thought it would be. In coming up with this meal plan, I had to get a little creative in using the remaining ingredients from last week (don’t want to throw anything away), and also find ways to rev up leftovers. This is obviously cost-effective, but it also cuts down on prep time and weeknight cooking. Win!

Here’s the plan this week – healthy, easy, on budget:

Grocery List:

If you started with me last week, you should have the following items leftover:

  • Hot Italian Sausage
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Brown Rice
  • 3-Pepper Frozen Blend
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Penne Pasta
  • Eggs
  • Spinach

We’re going to use all of these this week. You’ll need to pick up these additional items from Aldi:

  • Mushrooms (get the whole mushrooms for $1.29)
  • Strawberries (on sale this week for $1.29)
  • Corn on the cob (on sale this week for $1.29)
  • Cilantro ($0.69)
  • Avocado ($1.49)
  • Whole tomatoes (can) ($0.45)
  • Tomato Paste ($0.25)
  • Salsa ($1.29)
  • Package of dry black beans (This will make SO much. We’ll use half this week.) ($2.99)
  • English muffins ($0.79)
  • Chocolate (I got a different kind this week for $1.49)
  • Sandwich Skinnies (I’m using these instead of pita pockets) ($1.69)
  • Ground Turkey (package from the frozen aisle, not the deli aisle) ($1.89)
  • Chicken Drumsticks (these are on sale this week for $0.69/pound. I got a package of 11 drumsticks, which I separated into 3 ziplock bags to freeze. I’ll use these in recipes next week, too.) ($3.07)

TOTAL = $21.41

Pantry Items on Hand:

  • Olive oil
  • Spices
  • Brown sugar
  • Lime juice
  • Mayonnaise
  • Bread crumbs


Sunday: Caribbean Black-Bean Soup: This is a hearty soup, and the sweet potatoes give it a nice twist. I’m making it on Sunday because it will take some time. But, the time spent will pay off – we’ll use these black beans in other recipes throughout the week. I’ll be omitting the jalapenos and the green onions (garnish).

Monday: Garlic & Paprika Drumsticks: Super simple but tasty recipe using ingredients you probably already have in your house! I’ll be adjusting this recipe for 4 drumsticks (instead of 6) and having it with a side of black beans & rice (leftovers) and some sautéed spinach and garlic.

Tuesday: Sausage & Pepper Baked Ziti: This is easy and we pretty much have all of the ingredients from last week. The recipe is a “freeze now, serve later” dish, so it actually makes two pans of ziti. I’m halving the recipe to just make one pan. It will serve four, so either plan for leftovers or invite a friend over. I’m using shredded parmesan cheese instead of the Pecorino Romano.

Wednesday: Huevos Rancheros: Delicious blend of Mexican seasonings, black beans, eggs over easy – my kind of “breakfast for dinner.” I’m using the black beans I made on Sunday for this, and whole wheat sandwich skinnies instead of tortillas. Topping it all off with some avocado and cilantro. Mmmmm…

Thursday: Turkey Dirty Rice: This is easy and reheats well for lunch leftovers. Sauté chopped onion, peppers, and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add to cooked brown rice (wild rice is even better). Sauté some ground turkey (1/2 pound to a pound) with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and Cajun seasoning. Stir into rice mixture, and add in ¼ cup to ½ cup of parmesan cheese.  This will make a lot, so if you don’t feel like cooking another night you can count on this!

Friday: Leftovers or Sweet Potato Hash: You will most definitely have leftovers and probably won’t feel like cooking. But, if you’d rather whip something up, my Friday night favorite is the Sweet Potato Hash. I slice one sweet potato and sauté with some sliced onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. When the sweet potato is cooked through (home fry style), I top it with two fried eggs. If you want to take it up a notch, add some sausage (see this Paleo/Whole 30-friendly recipe). 

Saturday: Southwestern Black Bean Burgers: Awesome way to revamp those black beans one more time! I’ll be using the black bean soup I made Sunday as the base for this. My Aldi didn’t have pita pockets, so I got whole wheat Sandwich Skinnies instead. Serving with a side of corn on the cob.

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