So for this week’s meal plan, we’re focused on making 5 large wholesome meals for 25 ingredients or less. To do this, we will be using a lot of the same ingredients in order to reduce the amount of items we need to buy.
This is probably one of my all time favorite meals, especially along-side Spanish rice. I love it because it’s so full of flavor, but so easy on the wallet.
To get started, let’s look at our ingredients:
2 Chicken quartered legs
Season your chicken, then bake in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degree. Let cool, then de-bone.
I almost always go with quartered chicken legs because they can be found as cheap as 49 cents /lb at local grocery stores.
Cup of black beans
To cut costs, buy dry beans and soak them overnight. Black beans are the quickest and easiest beans to cook. Simmer them on medium heat for 1 hour or until tender.
Canned or bottled green Chile salsa (optional, if you like a nice extra kick, I recommend this.)
Can of green Chile enchilada sauce (white sauce)
I like to buy mine from Target because it’s self price is only 1.09! It often goes on sale for cheaper as well.
Mexican blend cheese, or any cheese of your choice.
I can purchase a pack of 50 tortillas for about 1.50.
If you don’t like corn tortillas, flour tortillas works just as well, but it can be a bit more costly. Because the cost of tortillas is so cheap, I like to double layer mine. It keeps them from falling apart as well.
After your chicken is cooked and shredded, and you’ve got your black beans all ready, set your oven to 325 degrees. While the oven preheats, start making your enchiladas.
Go ahead and add your chicken, black beans, salsa, and a little bit of cheese to your corn tortillas and roll it as tightly as you can. Repeat as many times as you want, or until you fill your pan. Any rectangular baking dish works fine, or even a brownie pan.
Any remaining salsa, go ahead and pour on top of your enchiladas.
Next, pour the enchilada sauce evenly over all of your enchiladas.
Sprinkle as much cheese as desired over the enchiladas.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 325 degrees. Keep in mind that everything is already cooked – what we really want is for everything to mold together and the cheese to get nice and bubbly. Check the enchiladas after 10 minutes. If it’s just starting to brown over, it’s ready!
Right now I’m slow roasting 3 massive chicken breasts in green chili verde sauce. It’s going to go into our burrito bowls tonight, on top of fully-loaded nachos tomorrow night, and it’s going to make the gawd-dang best enchiladas everrr on Friday night!
While the chicken is doing it’s thang, I’ve got pre-broiled brown rice on the stove to make a “novice” version of lime and cilantro pilaf. We’re getting fancy up in here. Well – not that fancy. I’m literally just going to mix some chopped cilantro in the rice and squeeze a lime on it. LOL #topchef
I’m super excited about this week’s meal plan. Not only did I come under budget, spending a mere $31 bucks, I also have groceries left over from last week’s haul ($41 spent last week)! Can you believe that? So, we basically didn’t even need to buy any groceries for our lunches – though, I am sure we’ll have more than enough leftovers because we’re making SEVEN whole dinners this week (in comparison to the FIVE last week). We also purchased 2 big boxes of generic cereal from the bodega across the street. We have a quite a bit of eggs, black beans and tortillas to play around with for breakfast.
Here are the details for this week’s meal plan & grocery haul:
Breakfasts: Lots of cereal! Egg sandwiches, egg wraps, omelets – basically anything you can do with eggs, we can do for breakfast this week.
Among all the different ways there are to save money on groceries, I find that meal planning, specifically with “themed” weeks, is by far the most efficient way to put a dent in your money management goals in regards to food. First things first: What the heck is themed weeks? Themed weeks is picking a type of cuisine for each week to reduce the amount of ingredients purchased. How is this cost effective? Buying a single ingredient in bulk is much more cost effective than purchasing small amounts of many different ingredients.
Here’s an example – next week, our theme will be mexican food. So, we will be buying lots of tortillas and beans. A large pack of a few hundred corn tortillas is where we would start. Add a few bags of dried beans (pinto and black beans) and that will last us all week!
Our task for Saturday night will be to soak the beans. On Sunday we will cook the whole lot of them. Yum!
These two ingredients will be the staple of all our meals.
We will probably buy additional ingredients such as chilis, onions, tomatoes, and garlic – perhaps salsa as well! If it’s in the budget, we’ll probably purchase a nice size container of sour cream to top on everything and a bag of mexican blend cheese. Buy some avocado too if you can fit it in the budget. If you can find it for 50 cents a piece, buy 1 for each day of the week!
What can we make with this? We can have enchiladas, burritos, tacos, nachos and tortilla soup! Let’s add a can of tomato sauce – now we can have chili too! Buy a few cartons of eggs and breakfast is served – my favorite low cost, yet filling meal of huevos rancheros!