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1 Week of Dinners for $25

Groceries are expensive! So, I wanted to try to challenge myself to make an ENTIRE week of dinners for only $25. So, with a $25 budget, I made dinners Monday-Friday. I was surprised with what I was able to do when I was really smart, planned, and used up EVERYTHING I used.

The key to this challenge was definitely planning ahead. I needed to think about how to make the most of everything I used. Almost everything I bought I used multiple nights to use it all up and get my money’s worth.

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1 Week of Dinners for $25

Grocery List

Dairy

  • Sour Cream (on sale) – $1.50
  • Monterey Cheese & Mozzarella, shredded (on sale 2 for $4) – $4

Produce

  • Head of Garlic – $0.89
  • Mixed Spring Mix (on sale) $2.29
  • Plum Tomatoes x2 – $1.33
  • Russet Potatoe (x1) – $0.89

Dry Goods

  • English Muffins – $1.69
  • Instant Rice – $1.69
  • Taco Seasoning – $0.69
  • Zesty Italian Seasoning – $0.69
  • Pizza Sauce – $1.19
  • Can of Corn – $0.80
  • Can of Black Beans – $1.00
  • Salsa (on sale) $1.50

Meat

  • Chicken Cutlets (on sale) $4.40

TOTAL: $25.44


Caprese Chicken | 1 Week of Dinners for $25

Monday: Caprese Chicken with Salad and Italian Rice

What You’ll Use: 1/3 of your chicken, 1/2 of a tomato, 1/3 of the spring mix, 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese, 2 servings of instant rice, 1 clove of garlic

  • Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of Italian season (don’t use too much, it’ll be too salty). Add a few thinly sliced pieces of garlic to the top and drizzle in olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees (8-10 minutes for thin cutlets, 20 minutes for thick cutlets). With 3 minutes left, add 2-3 slices of tomatoes and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  • Make 2 servings of the instant rice and add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.
  • Mi 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning with a little olive oil to make dressing for the salad.
  • Dress a small handful of salad and divide between two plates. Add a serving of Italian seasoned rice and one cooked cutlet
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Black Bean Burger | 1 Week of Dinners for $25

Tuesday: Black Bean Burgers with Steak Cut Fries

What You’ll Use: 1/2 can of black beans, 1/3 can of corn, 1 clove of garlic, rice (or breadcrumbs if you have them), English muffin, a small handful of spring mix, russet potato

  • Cut your potato into wedges, coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until golden brown, flipping halfway through
  • In a bowl combine the beans, corn, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and mash. (*Optional: if you have extra veggies to use up in your fridge, cook them until soft and add them in!) Next, you need to add something to bind it. Breadcrumbs are best, but since they didn’t fit into the budget you can also use the rice we bought. If you have an egg in your fridge, this also helps to add to bind the burger together.
  • Form into two patties and cook in a pan on medium heat until browned on both sides and cooked through
  • Toast your English muffin and place cooked burger on top with a little bit of spring mix. If you have condiments in your fridge feel free to use mayo, aioli, ketchup, or mustard (a lemon/garlic aioli is my favorite). You can also eat these without any bun (I like mine just on top of a little salad). Serve with the potatoes.

Chicken Fajita Bowls | 1 Week of Dinners for $25

Wednesday: Fajita Bowls

What You’ll Use: 1/2 can of black beans, 1/3 of the chicken (marinated in taco seasoning), rice, 1/2 can of corn, sour cream, 1/3 of the salad mix, Monterey cheese, 1/2 a tomato, 1 clove of garlic

  • Cook the chicken at 450 degrees (8-10 minutes for thin cutlets, 20 minutes for thick cutlets), when done cut lengthwise
  • Make 2 servings of rice and add 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning
  • Pour black beans into a saucepan with a clove of minced garlic and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Ensemble the bowls by adding lettuce on the bottom and topping with beans, corn, cheese, sour cream, seasoned rice, and chicken
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Enlgish Muffin Pizza | 1 Week of Dinners for $25

Thursday: English Muffin Pizzas with Side Salad

What You’ll Use: 3-4 English Muffins, can of pizza sauce, mozzarella, and Monterey cheese, lettuce, tomato

  • Half the English muffins and top with pizza sauce. Top each with cheese (feel free to do any variation you want, I like doing 1/2 of both.) If you have any other toppings left in your fridge to use up, now is the perfect time to use those up! Bake on 400 degrees for 8-15 minutes until cheese is melted and starts to bubble.
  • Make a side salad using tomato with olive oil and balsamic. I also still had some leftover corn from Wednesday so I used that!

Salsa Chicken | 1 Week of Dinners for $25

Friday: Salsa Chicken with Mexican Rice

What You’ll Use: 1/3 of the chicken (marinated in taco seasoning), rice, a jar of salsa, sour cream, Monterey cheese

  • Place the chicken in a crockpot and cover in a jar of salsa. Cook on low for 4-6 hours until chicken is cooked through. Shred using two forks.
  • Make 2 servings of rice and add 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning
  • Layer rice in a bowl and cover in the shredded chicken. Sprinkle cheese on top and add a dollop of sour cream. I prefer some greens with mine, so I also add in some of the spring mix.