Who says making nutritious meals for your family has to be expensive? It’s amazing what you can get for under $50 at . No clipping coupons required! On a recent trip, I got all these goodies for just $44, which was enough food to feed my family of four dinner for a week and have plenty of stuff left over:

Whole chicken
1 lb. ground beef
10 lb. potatoes
Cheese slices
Smoked sausage
Three bell peppers
Four-pack tomatoes
Tomato sauce
Tomato paste
Orange juice
Fresh green beans
Whole wheat bread
Peanut butter
Whole wheat pasta
2 gallons milk
Romaine hearts
Canned pears
Garlic bread

Here are the meals I was able to create:

Meal One: Chicken, potatoes and fresh green beans (keep that carcass! Boil it to make chicken stock to use in your chicken and sausage jambalaya. Also, keep 1-2 C. of diced chicken too.) Roast chicken is SO easy (here’s my Aldi Roasted French Chicken Recipe).

Meal Two: Whole wheat pasta with marinara meat sauce, garlic bread and green salad w/croutons, fresh cucumber, onions, and tomatoes. Marinara meat sauce is made from:

1/2 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 C. water
Season to taste. I use fresh basil and parsley from my garden when I have it, otherwise dried spices are fine too. I sometimes add a dash of Worcestershire and Tabasco too. Yum!

Meal Three: Chicken and sausage jambalaya
I used this recipe from Allrecipes and just omitted the shrimp. I had leftover chicken from meal one, and used the carcass to create my chicken stock.

Meal Four: Spanish omelets w/onions, peppers and potatoes. Breakfast for dinner is always frugal, quick, and yummy.

Meal Five: Leftovers.

Meal Six: Grilled cheese sandwiches, canned pears, and fresh green beans

Meal Seven: Well, I didn’t quite get this far. We usually go out to eat once a week, so I took night seven “off.” However, we would have had enough food left over to make something. I still had plenty of potatoes, rice, onions, eggs, pepper, and 1/2 lb. ground beef left after making all these meals.

This meal plan didn’t really include breakfast and lunch, but note that I was able to eat leftovers for lunch after almost every meal – plus we had enough left over to do a “leftover night” too. Plus, we had PB&J toast and orange juice for breakfasts as well.