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Five Dinners with One Bag of Groceries

Updated on October 29, 2011

What's For Dinner?

This is an answer to the age old question, “What’s for dinner?” Here is five recipes, one bag of groceries, twelve items under $25.00 and all you need in your pantry is some flour, oil, eggs and spices. Just enough to make you and another person a home-made fabulous dinner every night of the week, helping to reduce on waste and save a little money.


Monday: Grilled Chicken with Baked Potato and Mixed Vegetables

Tuesday: Classic Spaghetti and Salad

Wednesday: Herb Baked Chicken with Stuffing and Mixed Vegetables

Thursday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy with Buttered Corn

Friday: Chicken and Mushroom Risotto with Salad.


3lb. potatoes

Whole chicken

1lb. Hamburger

1lb. Spaghetti Noodles

Loaf of Bread

Small jar or can of Spaghetti Sauce

1lb. bag of frozen mixed veggies. (any variety)


Fresh Mushrooms


Salad Mix (any variety)

Corn (canned, frozen, or fresh)

PANTRY ITEMS: Spices, flour, egg, cooking oil

Grilled Chicken with Baked Potato and Mixed Vegetables

First you must start by cutting the breast fillets out of your whole chicken, if you don’t get it all, that’s fine cause remaining meat will be used before the weeks out. Also if the other person you are cooking for is a kid, you can always slice the breasts into strips, batter and fry for home made chicken tenders.

Cook breasts in a mix of seasonings,(sage, paprika, cumin) (garlic, salt, pepper)or for a bit of Asian flavor (Soy sauce, sugar, garlic and red pepper flakes).

Bake potatoes and pan sear your vegetables for dinner in 20-30 minutes. Baked potatoes can be exchanged for hand cut French fries if this is more to your liking.

Classic Spaghetti and Salad

Use half of the hamburger you bought for the week, (1/2 lb.) and mix with 1/8 cup of milk and one slice of bread. For best results, first let the bread soak the milk up before mixing.

Next add a few spices, garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper and oregano. You can also add a little diced onion at this point if you so choose.

Cook meat on medium high heat and mix with spaghetti sauce and cooked noodles.

Use half your salad mix and top with any veggies or topping in your fridge.

Before you finish in the kitchen, set out half of the loaf of bread out in a mixing bowl to dry out.

Herb Baked Chicken, Stuffing and Buttered Corn

Cut the thighs, legs and wings off of your bird.

Coat chicken lightly with oil and rosemary, garlic, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Put into a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165. (180 for legs)

Next, take the rest of the chicken and boil in a large stock pot with water, salt and half an onion diced. (Remaining carcass and stock will be used on Friday.

Cutting the bread in pieces, add sage, garlic, thyme and a cup of the chicken stock with cooked onion pieces. When all liquid is absorbed, throw it in the oven to bake for around 15 minutes with the chicken.

In a small saucepan cook your corn, adding a little butter and salt to taste.

Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy with Mixed Vegetables

Mix remaining hamburger (1/2 lb.) and two pieces of bread with milk in a bowl. Dice your remaining onion up as well to mix in.

Form a loaf with the meat and bake for 40-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

While baking, peel and quarter several potatoes and boil to make mashed potatoes.

Use the dripping from the finished meatloaf to heat and add a tablespoon on flour in a pain. Cook the flour a few minutes before adding a half a cup of milk or water to make a quick gravy.

Serve with the remainder of your mixed vegetables.

Chicken Mushroom Risotto

Take remaining chicken off the bones and heat in a large frying pan with half the stock and onion pieces on medium high heat. Slice fresh mushrooms and add to liquid and chicken. When it comes to a simmer, add a cup and half of risotto. Turn down to medium as soon as it starts to boil with rice in it. As the risotto soaks up the stock, add more to save from burning until the risotto and mushrooms are tender. For best results, keep remaining stock heated so it can continue to cook risotto when added.

Serve with the remaining salad and Viola you made it through the week!


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    • sacredlilac profile image

      sacredlilac 6 years ago from Canada via England

      This is fantastic! I love the way you have things flow from one meal into the next. Great for time saving.

    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 6 years ago from West Virginia

      Thanks Deborah. I started cutting it up before cooking so I could use different cooking styles and spices. It is just me and my son so it helps to lessen leftovers that usually get wasted. But who doesn't love roasted chicken, Mmmmm.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 6 years ago from Iowa

      Great hub! Voted up and useful. I buy whole chicken a lot, but I always roast it and use the meat all week and make stock with the carcass. I've never tried cutting it up. I recently posted a hub on three meals to make with basic ingredients you have on hand. Similar concept; you may want to check it out. : )

    • bell du jour profile image

      bell du jour 6 years ago from Ireland

      Very useful hub! thanks for sharing :-) voted up