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Five meals-One grocery bag-Under 30 dollars

Updated on April 22, 2012

What's for Dinner?

Here is the answer to the age old question. Below are five recipes and meal plans for a week of dinners accompanied by a small grocery list to create them; all under 30 dollars. The amount of food is plenty for 2-4 people and can always be stretched with a salad, canned veggies or a piece of bread.


Monday:Chicken Florentine with Bowtie Pasta

Tuesday:Beef Stew and Cornbread

Wednesday:Spinach and Potatoe Quiche

Thursday:Pulled Beef Sandwich with Hand-cut French Fries and Honey-Glazed Carrots

Friday:Chicken and Strawberry Salad

Grocery List


Fresh Spinach

2lb. potatoes

asiago cheese

1 oz. sliced almonds


Bowtie pasta

Cornbread Mix

1 lb. Chicken breast

1lb. chuck/sirloin roast

1 lb. carrots

4-ct. buns



milk oil


bbq sauce



salad dressing

Chicken Florentine


1/2 lb. chicken

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 cups of fresh spinach

1/2 cup of grated asiago cheese

1/4 cup of milk

2 teaspoons butter

1 pound of bowtie pasta

Grill chicken breast with some salt and garlic seasoning until done

Cook pasta until done

On low heat, mix butter, milk, asiago, spinach and garlic powder in a small saucepan until heated thoroughly, do not overcook and scorch the sauce.

Slice grilled chicken julienne-style and place over pasta, then pour sauce over both.

Beef Stew


1/2 lb of chuck meat trimmed and cubed

1 lb potatoes peeled and cubed

1/2 lb. carrots grated with a vegetable peeler

1/2 onion diced

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

corn bread mix

1 egg

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp. sugar

In a medium stock pot put spices (excluding sugar), meat, onion, 2 cups water and the peeled carrots in to medium high heat till boiling. After that cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add in diced potatoes and cook until the potatoes start to round out.

Meanwhile make the cornbread as directed and then add the sugar. (Cornbread takes about as long as the potatoes do to cook, so keep that in mind with your timing.)


1 1/2 cups spinach chopped

1/4 onion diced

1 lb. potatoes preboiled and sliced

6 eggs

1tsp butter

1/2 cup of grated asiago cheese


In a medium skillet on low heat mix butter, spinach, pre-boiled potatoes and onions, stirring occasionally till onions are opaque.

Pour ingredients into a baking dish and then cover with beaten eggs and cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes on 350 degrees, or until knife in the middle pulls out clean.

Pulled Beef Sandwich and Sides


1/2 lb. chuck/sirloin roast

1 lb. potatoes washed and cut into 1'' sticks

bbq sauce

1/2 lb. carrots washed, peeled and quartered



cayenne pepper flakes

2 tsp. honey

rolls or buns


Put meat in a medium saucepan and cook on low with 1 cup of water and bbq sauce. Meat will need to be cooked on low for at least two hours- meat will start to string and come apart easily when tender.

Toast buns and serve open faced with meat on top.

In another medium stock pot or pan, heat 2 cups of oil on medium high heat and when hot cook potatoe sticks for 6-8 minutes. The inside should look like mashed potatoes when done.

In small sauce pan add 1 teaspoon of butter, honey, spices and carrots on low heat until desired doneness is achieved.

Chicken and Strawberry Salad


1/2 lb. chicken breast

2 cups strawberries washed, topped and halved

1 oz. sliced almonds

2 cups of fresh spinach




1/4 cup of grated asiago cheese

Grill chicken breast and cut julliene style 1'' strips

Arrange chicken on spinach and then add strawberries, almonds and asiago cheese.

I hope you enjoy these simplified recipes and menu plan and as always substitute when necessary. The asiago can be swapped for parmesan or even feta cheese. The almonds and pasta can be replaced with whatever you have on hand. I would like to hear about your recipes you have used to save money and time.


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    • profile image

      katie 5 years ago

      This is good because its just my boo and cat at home love the cheap part who doesn't hey

    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 5 years ago from West Virginia

      No problem Minnetoka, my recipes will always be cheap. I really think you don't have to spend much to eat great. Thanks for reading.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Great recipes and thanks for keeping it so cheap too. Great useful ideas.

    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 5 years ago from West Virginia

      The last salad taste great, even my three year old adores it! I hope you find the recipes easy to make and great tasting!

    • Heather Says profile image

      Heather Rode 5 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

      That last salad sounds heavenly. I used to hate the idea of mixing lettuce and fruit, but I'm glad I got over it because it's so yummy. Great hub!

    • HawaiiHeart profile image

      HawaiiHeart 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Very useful post. I always tell myself to start planning meals and shopping trips better but I never get around to it. This hup will give me inspiration!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      It looks great, thanks for doing the hard part, now all I have to do is cook it! I've voted this up and useful, also I hope you don't mind that I have shared it on Pinterest.