Meal Planning (and a Shrimp Scampi Recipe)

Since there was so much interest in our $250 a month grocery budget, I thought I’d share my meal plan for this week.  You can check out my personal grocery shopping rules here and my meal planning technique and last week’s meal plan here

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday – Chicken Pot Pie

Friday –Spinach Lasagna (new recipe, I’m giving Lasagna another go)

Saturday – Leftovers

Sunday – Shrimp Scampi (shrimp is on sale this week).  I use a recipe from the Joy of Cooking that I love because it calls for ZERO butter.  And because it’s delish.  Here it is:

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice

In a big skillet heat olive oil and cook garlic over very low heat until garlic is golden – 10 minutes.  Don’t skimp on the time here, it’s important.  Toss your shrimpys in the skillet and cook until they are pink on the bottom, turn over and add parsley.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Serve over rice pilaf or pasta and top with lemon juice.

Monday – Leftovers

Tuesday –  Homemade Chicken Fingers and sweet potato fries

So that’s what we’ll be eating over the next week.  The spinach lasagna’s a new recipe, everything else is tried, tested and Mr. B approved.  Is this something you guys want me to post every Wednesday for a couple weeks, or are two weeks worth of meals enough to give you an idea of what we do? Thoughts?


  1. Thanks for sharing these recipes and how you meal plan. Its one of the areas that I need a lot of help with even though my hubby does 90% of the cooking.

  2. Hi Emily! I have been following your blog for awhile and I love it!! I feel a bit stalker-ish because I also live in Denver (er, well Arvada now). I feel like I’m spying on someone that lives down the street. Anyway, I enjoy reading your blog!

    I’m really enjoying your posts about menu planning. I absolutely loath menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking! Every night in my house is drama about what we are going to eat….who is going to cook….is a trip to the store necessary???…DRAMA! Honestly, I would just give up and eat cereal most nights, but we have an 18-month old boy at home that actually eats food, so there is even more pressure to put healthy, well balanced meals on the table each night. If I’m being honest, I fret about serving a healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as snacks throughout the day. It’s enough to drive me insane! Needless to say, I would love to see more posts on how you menu plan and shop, while keeping things simple and inexpensive. Maybe I’ll be inspired!!


    P.S. I’m dying for Ikea to open!! I drove by the still-under-construction Ikea the other day and did a mini happy dance in the car as I drove by. CAN.NOT.WAIT! Maybe we could do a blind date and meet up on the opening day of Ikea??????

  3. Shauna – IKEA can’t come soon enough! I’m thinking that the CO area bloggers all need to meet-up opening day.

  4. Hi Emily,

    Ok. I’m gonna have to be a debbie downer here and ask a few questions. First off, I LOVE that you guys follow Dave Ramsey – we did and paid off $16k worth of debt! And, I love that you are able to feed your family on $250 a month. BUT – I have to ask, it doesn’t seem like ya’ll eat very many veggies? And what about lunches? How do those factor in? (forgive me if lunch was already discussed).

    If I were only buying for dinners, I could live off of $250 a month as well, so I am very curious…


  5. Hi Jen –

    I’m openly a one-pot meal kind of girl, but we do eat veggies – I just don’t plan them out like I do my meals, and frequently they’re a part of the main dish. This morning at the grocery store, I had sweet potatoes, spinach and carrots in the cart. I make full meals and B and I both eat leftovers for lunch or turkey sandwiches. All of this factors into our $250 a month budget. At the end of the month, if we strictly buy only food to eat for meals (which we pretty much do) we’ll stock up for the next month or buy snacks.

    So basically – we choose to eat simple foods and meals – we’re not foodies, if we’re craving something really special, we’ll plan a date night and go out to eat, but we eat three meals a day for about $200 – 250 a month. For breakfast, we all eat oatmeal. For lunch, dinner leftovers or sandwiches, B likes yogurt. For dinner, lots of one pot meals, and sauteed spinach is our go-to veggie if veggies aren’t accounted for in the meal (like the shrimp scampi). Hope this helps.

  6. I’m really enjoying this series. I do all of the grocery list making and cooking and Stephen does all of the shopping. I could benefit from increasing the variety of go to meals that we eat on a budget!

  7. I saw that chicken-finger recipe last week-can’t wait to try it. Even without a kid we can like chicken fingers right? Thanks for sharing your shrimp recipe I stock up on the frozen stuff at BJs.

  8. Thanks for posting the ideas. I think maybe you could just post any new recipes you are trying out for the week — and let us know how they turn out. Always nice to add another meal into the favorites!

  9. you know you’re amazing, right?

  10. Thanks so much for posting this. I’ve been wanting to do meal planning but for some reason it just seemed overwhelming. Looking at yours, I now see it’s really simple. I guess I’m a bit slow, haha! Thanks for sharing!!

  11. Kirsten Victor says:

    Yes, please post weekly!