I’ve noticed on Facebook lately that a lot of people are needing help figuring out what to feed their families on little money. I wanted to share an emergency meal plan that can be used if you’re struggling to stretch your grocery budget. This is a very basic meal plan, without a lot of variety but will feed your family and they will be full! I know that you can eat a lot cheaper than what I have but I added meat to this meal plan making it cost a little more. I did this because I know that a lot of families would not be satisfied with little to no meat.  I really hope that if you’re struggling to stretch your grocery budget that this meal plan will help you.

A few remarks before we get started:

  • I based this meal plan off of my family of 6 ( 2 adults, 4 children) if you have a smaller family you won’t need to cook as much.
  • The prices are from the Walmart in my city, your prices may vary depending on where you’re located. 
  • The shopping list is based off of an empty kitchen. You probably have most of the items in your kitchen already which will save you more money.
  • All of the recipes or links to the recipes are at the bottom of the post.

 

Emergency $65 Weekly Meal Plan for a Large Family!

This is what you will be eating this week:

Breakfasts:

  • Oatmeal
  • Biscuits & Gravy
  • Pancakes

Lunches: 

  • Bean & Cheese Burritos
  • Pb&J Sandwiches
  • Leftovers

Snacks:

  • Fresh Fruit
  • Muffins
  • Peanut Butter Cookies

Dinners:

  • Chicken & Dumplings
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Pinto Beans, Rice, Cornbread
  • Chicken Gravy with mashed potatoes and Veggies
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Rice, Veggies
  • Fried Rice

Beverages:

  • Milk
  • Water
  • Sweet/Unsweet Tea

Here is the meal plan:

Monday –

  • Oatmeal
  • Pb&J Sandwich
  • Chicken & Dumplings
  • Choose a Snack: Cookie, Muffin, Banana

Tuesday –

  • Pancakes
  • Leftover Chicken & Dumplings
  • Pinto Beans, Rice, Cornbread
  • Choose a Snack: Cookie, Muffin, Banana

Wednesday –

  • Oatmeal
  • Bean & Cheese Burritos
  • Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Rice, Veggies
  • Choose a Snack: Cookie, Muffin, Banana

Thursday –

  • Pancakes
  • Pb&J Sandwich
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Choose a Snack: Cookie, Muffin, Banana

Friday –

  • Oatmeal
  • Bean & Cheese Burritos
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Choose a Snack: Cookie, Muffin, Banana

Saturday –

  • Pancakes and Eggs
  • Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Fried Rice
  • Choose a Snack: Cookie, Muffin, Banana

Sunday –

  • Biscuits & Gravy
  • Eat up whatever is leftover from the week
  • Chicken Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Veggies

Shopping List & Prices:

These prices are from Walmart in my city.

Chicken leg quarters – $7.14 10 lb bag (this is priced at Walmart, I like to purchase at a local grocery store because you can usually find these bags for around $3)
Pinto beans – $2 for 2 16 oz. bags
Rice – $1.44 for 32 oz bag
Corn meal – $2.74 for 5 lb. bag
Eggs – $1.10 for 1 dozen
All Purpose flour – $1.93 for 5 lb bag
Chicken bouillon powder – $1.78 for 7.9 oz container
Salt and pepper – $1.56 for the salt and pepper combo pack
Vegetable shortening – $3.14
Sugar – $3.76 for 10 lb bag
Tea bags – $1.48 for 24 family size bags
Oatmeal (quick cooking) – $2.46 for 42 oz container
Milk – $3.29 gallon
Potato flakes – $1.48
Butter – .84 for 4 sticks
Big bag of frozen veggies – $2.22 (32 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies)
Bread – $1.76 for 2 loaves
Syrup – $1.33
Pasta – $2.14 for 16 oz. bag egg noodles
Fresh fruit (whatever is cheapest) – $1.80 (bananas .18 each)
Carrots – .67
Celery – .98
Cinnamon – .98
Peanut butter – $1.64
Jelly – $1.72
Baking powder – $1.24

Cumin – .98
Bbq sauce – .98
2 packs hamburger buns. – $1.76
Soy Sauce – $1.62
Corn Starch – $1.27
Block cheddar cheese – $1.83
Diced tomatoes with green chilies – .50

other items you may need:

Gallon size freezer bags – $1.94 for 40 freezer bags

$63.50

 

Ok now I’m going to share what you can do each day to prepare your food and prep what you can for the rest of the week. You’ll want to grocery shop the day before your week starts for your plan. So you can get some prep done. For the sake of the blog post I’m going to start at the beginning of the week, so we grocery shop on Sunday. 

 

Sunday: 

  • Label 4 freezer bags – chicken noodle soup, chicken gravy, chicken pot pie and bbq chicken. 
  • Place 2 chicken leg quarters in each bag and put in the freezer, place last 2 leg quarters in a covered container and place in the fridge. 
  • Make up a bunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches using your 2 loaves of bread and put the sandwiches back into the sandwich bags and place in the freezer. Keep out as many sandwiches as you need for lunch tomorrow and place them in the freezer in a bag.
  • Mix up a triple batch of peanut butter cookies and place them in the oven to cook.
  • Quickly clean up your kitchen while the cookies are cooking.
  • Place the cookies on a cooling rack. When they are completely cooled place them in a cookie jar for snacks throughout the week.
  • Make a double batch of muffins, add in some bananas or cinnamon to the batter to give them some more flavor. These will also be for snacks throughout the week. Keep them in a covered container after they cool.
  • Make a pitcher or 2 of sweet tea for tomorrow.

 

Monday:

  • For breakfast this morning you’re making oatmeal. Cook it according to box instructions. Add cinnamon, sugar, and butter to make it yummy!
  • For lunch everyone gets one of the PB and J sandwiches you made yesterday.
  • For snack everyone gets a choice from the 3 snack items available.
  • Get started on Dinner pretty early. You’ll need to boil your chicken and make your dumpling dough. Be sure to make enough so there are leftovers for tomorrows lunch. If you think you’re family will eat all of it, separate it as soon as it’s done before you eat. That way you know for sure there’s some leftover.
  • After dinner, Clean the kitchen and make sure everything is ready for tomorrow. You’re having beans so there’s no meat to take out of the freezer, but if you do this step usually you can take your beans out, wash them and let them soak overnight. I don’t usually do this but a lot of people do. 
  • Make 1-2 pitchers of tea for tomorrow. Put in the refrigerator.

Tuesday:

  • Today you’re having pancakes for breakfast. If you want you can take this time to batch cook the amount of pancakes you will need for the rest of the week. Just cook them, cool them completely and put them in a freezer bag. You can probably just store these in the fridge for the week, or you can put them in the freezer if you’re more comfortable. pop them in the microwave or the toaster to warm them up.
  • If you have an instant pot you can wait until closer to dinner time to make your beans. If not you’ll want to get them started early so they can cook all day. Just follow the recipe in the link. I think she cooks them in her crock pot but you can definitely just cook them in a pot on the stove. just bring them to a boil, cut the heat down to med. low and cook for several hours until done. To make them in an instant pot, cook high pressure for about 45 minutes. 
  • Lunchtime! Take the chicken and dumplings out of the fridge and warm them on the stove. So easy!!
  • Again, let everyone choose from the options available for snack
  • When it’s close to dinner time you’ll want to get started on your rice. I really like to cook mine in my Instant pot, high pressure for 7 minutes. You can just cook on the stove. 1 cup rice, per 2 cups water…bring the water to a boil, add the rice. cover and simmer for 20 minutes. You can go ahead and make all the rice you will need for the week if you want. Just label the bags with the meal ( Fried Rice, BBQ chicken) split the rice into the bags, wait until it’s room temp. and put into the refrigerator.
  • Follow one of the recipes at the bottom of the post for the corn bread. I have a link to a sweet cornbread recipe, and I have a recipe for southern cornbread. Make whichever one you prefer.
  • MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BEANS LEFTOVER!! YOU NEED THESE FOR 2 LUNCHES THIS WEEK
  • After dinner, clean the kitchen and make sure you have everything ready for tomorrow. You’re having shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches so you need to get the chicken out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
  • Make 1-2 pitchers of tea for tomorrow. Place in the refrigerator.

Wednesday:

  • Today is oatmeal day again for breakfast. Make according to package instructions. Add cinnamon, sugar, and butter to make it yummy!
  • Immediately after breakfast you need to start preparing lunch. Follow the recipe in the link below to make a bunch of homemade tortillas. You need to make enough to have lunch today and one other day. You’re going to batch make the bean and cheese burritos and store the ones for the other lunch in the freezer until they’re needed.
  • Once the tortillas are done. Follow the recipe below for the burritos and make them. When you’re finished it’s probably time to feed the family. Make everyone’s plate and put the rest in a labeled freezer bag until they are needed. 
  • As usual everyone can choose from one of the three options for snack.
  • For dinner, boil your chicken. Once done, let cool and shred as much meat from the bones as you can. place into a bowl and add some BBQ sauce and mix well. 
  • For the rice, grab the labeled bag of rice out of the fridge and we’re going to season it and heat it up for dinner. In a skillet add some oil (butter, or a little bit of shortening) pour in the rice and add some chicken bouillon powder and salt and pepper. heat until warm. Heat up some of the mixed veggies with some butter, salt and pepper.
  • After dinner, clean the kitchen and get prepared for tomorrow. Dinner tomorrow is Chicken pot pie, so grab the package of meat from the freezer that’s labeled and place it into the fridge to thaw. Grab some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of the freezer and place them in the fridge as well for lunch tomorrow. If you premade pancakes they need to be taken out of the freezer too if you decided to freeze them. 
  • Make 1-2 pitchers of tea for tomorrow.

Thursday:

  • Pancakes today! If you premade them you can take them out of the fridge and pop them into the toaster to warm them up. If you don’t have a toaster, just put them in the microwave. If you don’t have a microwave you can warm them up in the oven. 
  • Give Everyone a Peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch
  • Let everyone choose from the 3 options. or whatever is left for snack. You may need to take some time and prepare another batch of cookies or muffins.
  • For dinner today you’re having Chicken pot pie. You will need to make a batch of biscuits for your topping. Follow the recipe in the link below to make a yummy, easy batch of drop biscuits
  • Prepare the mixture in the recipe below. 
  • After dinner, clean the kitchen and prepare for tomorrow. Chicken noodle soup tomorrow, go ahead and take the chicken out of the freezer and place in the fridge to thaw. Bean and cheese burritos for lunch, if you froze them, take them out and place them in the fridge as well. 
  • Make 1-2 pitchers of tea for tomorrow. Place in refrigerator.

Friday:

  • Breakfast is oatmeal. Cook it according to package directions. Add cinnamon, sugar, and butter to make it yummy!
  • Lunch is bean and cheese burritos, put them in the microwave or oven to warm them up.
  • Snack is whatever is available from the snack options.
  • Dinner is Chicken noodle soup. Start your chicken boiling. clean and chop your celery and your carrots. label a bag “veggie scraps” place all the scraps you cut off the carrots and celery into the bag and place in the freezer. You can use these to make a pot of homemade chicken stock later on. There is a recipe at the bottom of this post.
  • Follow the recipe below for the chicken noodle soup recipe. Be sure to make enough for leftovers for tomorrows lunch. If needed split it up before you serve it to make sure there is plenty left.
  • After dinner, clean the kitchen and prepare for tomorrow. Pancakes for breakfast, if you batch cooked them, take them out of the freezer and place them in the fridge. Fried rice for dinner so there’s no meat to take out. You will need the other bag of rice you put up. 
  • Make Tea for tomorrow if needed.

Saturday:

  • Today you’re having eggs with your pancakes. So while the pancakes are warming go ahead and cook eggs for your family the way you like them.
  • For lunch, pull out the leftover chicken noodle soup, warm it up and serve.
  • Don’t forget snack! Everyone choose from available options
  • Follow the recipe below for the fried rice. Save any leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
  • After dinner, clean the kitchen and prepare for tomorrow. Take the final bag of chicken out of the freezer and place in the fridge to thaw. 
  • Make tea if needed.

Sunday: 

  • This morning you’re having a special breakfast. Biscuits and Gravy!!! This was my favorite breakfast when I was a kid! Follow the link below for the biscuits and I’ve included the recipe below for the milk gravy.
  • Lunch today is whatever dinner or lunch leftovers are left in the fridge! If you’re lucky you have plenty of fried rice left and you can just warm it up for everybody.
  • Snack is fruit, cookie, or muffin.
  • For dinner follow recipe below for the Chicken gravy. make up a batch of mashed potatoes using the box. make sure to add plenty of milk, butter, salt, and pepper to make them taste good! cook up the rest of the mixed veggies to go along with it! 
  • After dinner, clean up the kitchen and make your meal plan for the week! 

Recipes

 

Corn Bread

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
mix well, add ingredients to greased pan (or cast iron skillet) bake until golden on top and edges are crispy
*if you save bacon grease use that to grease your pan!

Milk Gravy

melt 1/2 stick of butter in a skillet
add in about 3 tbs of flour
stir around for about 3 minutes to cook the flour
slowly pour in milk a little bit at a time stirring the flour in between pouring to make sure there no clumps…add milk until you get the desired consistency….salt and pepper to taste
serve over biscuits.

Chicken and Dumplings

boil your chicken leg quarters until done.
remove chicken from the broth and set aside to cool
DO NOT THROW OUT THE BROTH!!!
In a bowl add flour, some chicken bouillon powder, salt and pepper….add water a little at a time and mix until you get the consistency of biscuit dough
Bring your pot of broth to a boil and pour in some of the chicken bouillon powder.
once it’s boiling really good…start pinching off little pieces of your dough, flatten them out in the palm of your hand and drop them in the boiling broth. Do this until all of your dough is gone or you have the amount of dumplings you want in your broth.
Once you’re finished adding the dumplings, remove all of your chicken from the bones and put all of the chicken into the pot with the dumplings. remove from heat, add salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup

boil your chicken and set to the side to cool!
to your broth add, chopped celery and chopped carrots
add some chicken bouillon powder to taste
add salt and pepper to taste
continue to boil until carrots are almost done
add in your egg noodles and cook until noodles are done
remove chicken from the bone and add to the pot of soup
remove from heat
Enjoy!
* put carrot tops and peels and celery ends in a bag and place in the freezer to make chicken stock later.

Chicken Pot Pie

boil your chicken and set it aside to cool
in a pot, melt 1 stick of butter..once melted add 3 tbs flour (add some garlic and onion powders if you have it) cook and stir continuously to cook the flour, then add about 2 cups of chicken broth a little at a time stirring really well in between adding to make sure there are no clumps in the flour. Remove from heat.
remove chicken from bones and add to mixture, add in some frozen mixed veggies and mix it all up well.
add mixture to a baking dish and bake until heated through and bubbly
Once done, top with your favorite Biscuits and Serve.

Chicken Stock

In a large stock pot add:
Chicken bones and fat
chopped celery
chopped onions
ANY VEGGIE SCRAPS YOU HAVE!
fill with water and let it barely boil for about an hour.
once done remove bones and veggie scraps and allow broth to cool.
place in jars and put in the freezer until ready to use.

Chicken Gravy

Season and bake your chicken leg quarters until done.
once done remove from pan and set aside to cool
add a little bit of chicken broth to the baking dish and stir around to release any flavor and juices from the baking pan.
pour the broth into a pot and add more chicken broth.
bring broth to a boil.
place about a cup of the broth into a small bowl and add about 2 tbs cornstarch and mix until dissolved
pour the mixture back into the pot and stir to thicken.
remove chicken from bones and add to gravy.
remove from heat and season to taste.
serve over mashed potatoes.

Bean and Cheese Burritos

cook your pinto beans
drain, mash with a potato masher or immersion blender
add in 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (this doesn’t make them spicy)
add in 2 cups of shredded cheese
mix well and spoon into tortillas, wrap, enjoy!
or make up a bunch and flash freeze for an hour on a cookie sheet, once frozen transfer into a gallon freezer bag, can warm them up in the microwave for a quick lunch.

Fried Rice

Cook rice in chicken broth and set aside.
in a pan add some oil and let it get hot
saute mixed veggies until almost done.
either remove veggies or move to the side, and add 2 eggs and scramble until done.
mix eggs and veggies together…
add in rice, mix well…season with soy sauce to taste.

This is a very versatile recipe…you can use any veggies you have at home…you can add lots more seasonings, and you can add meat! This is one of my favorite frugal recipes!

Sweet Tea

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil
once boiling, remove from heat and add 1-2 family size tea bags
cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
in a gallon pitcher add 1 1/2 -2 cups sugar
remove tea bags from pot and pour tea into pitcher on top of sugar.
stir well to dissolve sugar.
fill with cold water to top of pitcher.
refrigerate.

Links to other Recipes you may need

Tortillas

Biscuits

Pancakes

Muffins

Sweet Corn Bread

Pinto Beans

Peanut Butter Cookies

 

 

 

That’s it! I really hope this helps someone out there that’s having a hard time meal planning this week. Let me know what you think about this meal  plan and if you’d be interested in seeing more posts like this one

Talk to you soon, 

April

2 thoughts on “Emergency $65 Meal Plan!

  1. Thanks this is going to be very helpful going forward. I am not sure about your cornbread instructions:
    Corn Bread
    1 cup cornmeal
    1 cup flour
    1 cup milk
    1 egg
    mix well, add ingredients to greased pan (or cast iron skillet) bake until golden on top and edges are crispy
    *if you save bacon grease use that to grease your pan!
    This should be self rising cornmeal or flour or have some kind of leavening, right?

    1. Yes you can use either self rising flour or corn meal. I’m sorry I forgot to put that in the recipe! I’m so glad that you find the post helpful! Have a great day!

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