Making a plan can help you get organized, save money, and choose healthy options.*
What you need: Chickpeas, Tomato Sauce
What you do: Soak chickpeas overnight, buy or make your own tomato sauce. Skip soaking beans if you buy canned. Combine sauce and chickpeas into one pot. Let cook until sauce thickens. Serve warm.
Note: You can also add sausage and/or dice some potatoes and add them to the mix or serve with rice on the side for a more filling meal.
Mashed Potatoes with Chicken and Broccoli
As simple as it sounds.
Pasta is one of the most affordable products you can have in your pantry and can be a life-saver for nights when you're running late or didn't get a chance to go to the grocery store. You can score a box of pasta for less than $1 (off-brand) and whether it's buttered noodles or spaghetti and meatballs, a box of pasta can go a long way especially when money is tight.
Rice and Beans with Pork Cutlet
Rice and beans are pantry staples. For this meal, any leftovers can be used the next day for tacos. Pork is an affordable protein option. However, it can also be substituted for chicken or turkey or even tofu if you're looking to make this vegetarian.
What you need: Rice, beans, pork cutlets
Tacos are a great week-night meal because it allows you to use up any leftovers you may have accumulated over the week like veggies, beans, rice, or even meat. You can get really creative when it comes to taco night.
What you need: Flour or corn tortillas, your choice of protein, corn, beans (can be leftovers from the night before), any other toppings you may like such as lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.
Steak Kabobs with Baked Potato
These kabobs are quick and easy to make however, for those who may not have 'kabob sticks' you can always do a stir-fry with your favorite veggies and protein. Additionally, baked potatoes can be microwaved or baked.
What you need: Ground turkey, onions, tomato sauce, bell peppers
What you do: Cook turkey and onions. Then add tomato sauce. Mix well. Cut bell peppers in half, remove seeds and membrane. Stuff them with the turkey mix. Top with cheese. Bake until peppers are tender and can be pierced with a fork.
Note: You can also mix in rice or quinoa.
*United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Healthy eating on a budget. MyPlate, from https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/healthy-eating-budget