Printable Menu Planner – October 2013 – Week One – Meal Plan – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks – Recipes – Budget Meal Plan with Grocery List – A Week of Meals for $52

Happy October!  Already!  I can’t believe how quickly September went – I feel like I blinked and the month was over.  Like I said in the initial menu post, I am going to post the menu for each week of October instead of each day.  I have broken down this weeks menu into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, and have also included a grocery list and the details of how much the meals cost.

The post is somewhat long (the bulk of it is recipes), so grab a cup of coffee (or whatever you like to drink), and sit back, relax, and start saving money by slashing your grocery budget and saving money without sacrificing delicious meals!

Week One Menu (October 1-6):


Tuesday – eggs in a hole
Wednesday – oatmeal
Thursday – cereal
Friday – parfait with fresh fruit
Saturday – egg muffins (mini frittatas)
Sunday – eggs & sausage


Tuesday – spinach salad
Wednesday – minestrone soup
Thursday – roasted tomato soup and grilled cheese
Friday – Caesar salad
Saturday – leftover pizza
Sunday – chicken noodle soup


Tuesday – jalapeno popper chicken with rice and zucchini fries
Wednesday – sloppy jose’s with corn
Thursday – chicken enchiladas
Friday – homemade cheese pizza
Saturday – roasted chicken with hassleback potatoes and corn and peas
Sunday – herb roasted pork loin with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans


CrockPot apple sauce
homemade hummus and baby carrots

Now with all of this food, and remembering that I planned to feed a family of four, what do you think it would cost?  $100?  $200?  Nope!  Only $52.71 for the week!  And this includes making a double batch of three recipes to freeze and serve next week.  By really shopping around, and buying fresh, seasonal produce you can save a good deal of money and eat healthier, more balanced meals.

Tuesday – $4.61
Wednesday – $11.58
Thursday – $11.20
Friday – $8.92
Saturday $8.27
Sunday -$8.13
Snack – $5.11

Total:  $52.71

For you busy mom’s (and those of you who aren’t moms), I understand you’re reading this, and are probably thinking “how the heck do I make homemade chicken noodle soup for lunch with kids running around and when I have to work?”  My suggestion; prep and plan ahead!  I like to spend one day of the week, and prep all of my vegetables and meats for the week, and package them in Ziploc bags with labels and then make some meals that just take a lot of time.

In this case, there are three soups during the week that take a while to make – spend a day on the weekend, or during nap time, or on a day off, and make them, let them cool, and freeze in individual or family size portions.  Additionally, make a double or triple batch of the recipes, and freeze them just the same for quick and easy make-ahead meals.  If you’re anything like me, and addicted to Pinterest, you’ll see that freezer meals are all over the place.  They are such a great way to make mealtime effortless so you can spend more time as a family, and less time cooking.

We know how much it costs, and what’s for dinner, so here are the recipes for this weeks menu.

Week One Menu Recipes:


Eggs In A Hole



Salt and Pepper


  1. Use a cup, and cut a hole in the center of bread.  Remove bread circle.
  2. Melt butter in a non-stick skillet.  Once melted, place bread in the middle, and shake around in the pan, until coated with butter.  Flip, and do the same to the other side.
  3. Once both sides of the bread are coated in melted butter, crack one egg in the hole.
  4. Cook until firm, and flip
  5. Continue cooking until desired doneness.
  6. Don’t forget to fry up your bread circle in the pan as well!
  7. Serve with bacon, or sausage!



1 1/2 cups yogurt of your choice (I usually get plain organic yogurt)
2 tbsp. lime juice or juice of your liking to compliment fruits (optional – use if you choose a plain yogurt)
1 cup fresh fruit (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, mango, peach etc.)
For Granola:
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/8 cup raw honey
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon, optional


  1. To make granola: In a medium sized bowl, mix granola, honey, olive oil, salt and cinnamon, if using. Pour onto a prepared sheet pan (with parchment or a sil pat) and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. stir, and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Make flavored yogurt, if you’re making your own. Mix juice and yogurt together, and stir really well.
  3. Start assembling your parfait: – Place yogurt in bottom of a dish (or wine glass) – Top with fruit of your choice – Top with granola
  4. Keep layering in that order (yogurt, fruit, granola), until you have reached the top. Top with granola, and chill until ready to serve.

Egg Muffins


8 eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup cheese of your choice
2 cups veggies, chopped
½ cup crumbled bacon or ham
salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a muffin tin by spraying with Pam or brushing it with olive oil
  2. Whisk eggs and milk together and pour into prepared muffin tin
  3. Add desired amount of cheese, meat and veggies to each muffin cup
  4. Bake 10-20 minutes until the eggs have risen and are firm to the touch.
  5. Let cool about 2-3 minutes and use a butter knife or an offset spatula to remove from muffin tins, and enjoy!


Spinach Salad

2-3 handfuls of mixed greens (about half a bag)
1 handful of baby spinach
2 handfuls of romaine lettuce
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pecans (optional)
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced


  1. Toss all ingredients together and serve with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Raspberry Vinaigrette


1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raspberry preserves
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1tsp dry tarragon
salt and white pepper


  1. Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor
  2. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while the food processor is running

Caesar Salad


1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/2 lb. bacon
Parmesan cheese, sliced – I use the vegetable peeler
Caesar Dressing


  1. Fry your bacon, and let drain on a paper towel
  2. Chop lettuce up, and use your vegetable peeler to slice some parmesan cheese.
  3. In a big bowl, mix all of the ingredients and enjoy

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 qt chicken stock (preferably homemade)
2-3 carrots peeled and cut into small pieces
2-3 stalks of celery cut into small pieces
**make sure all your veggies are the same size, they will cook evenly this way**
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cups egg noodles, cooked
1-2 chicken breasts or things or left over chicken cut into 1/4″ chunks
Salt and pepper


  1. In a large pot heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and add chicken (if you’re not using leftovers) then add your veggies.
  2. Cook for 3-5 minutes then pour over chicken stock.
  3. Bring to a boil (now would be the time to add your left over chicken) then reduce to simmer for 20-25 minutes until veggies are soft.
  4. Meanwhile, cook your egg noodles in a separate pot of salted water and drain.
  5. Bring soup back up to a boil and add egg noodles. Cook for 2-3 more minutes and enjoy!

Minestrone Soup

2 small zucchinis, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 tbsp. garlic
1 stalk celery, chopped
2-3 carrots, thinly sliced
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp. each, salt and pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups uncooked pasta (use something small like elbow or ditilini)
1 can cannellini beans, drained


  1. In a small pot, cook tomatoes out on medium heat covered for 10-15 minutes while you cook other veggies.
  2. Add all vegetables to a separate pot, except tomatoes.  Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  3. Cook veggies for 8-10 minutes, until soft.  Add tomatoes and drained beans.
  4. Cook tomatoes out for 5 minutes with the rest of your vegetables, and then add chicken stock.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, bring heavily salted water to a boil, and add pasta.  Cook until al dente.  Drain but DO NOT rinse, and add to soup.
  7. Stir and Enjoy!

Roasted Tomato Soup


1 can plum tomatoes (get the skinless no added salt kind)
6 plum tomatoes, cored and sliced in half
4 cloves garlic
1/4 white onion, cut into chunks
2 tsp each salt, pepper and basil
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oik
1 container chicken stock
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp each salt and pepper
3 fresh basil leaves


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
  2. On a cookie sheet, toss your fresh  tomatoes, garlic and onion with the olive oil,  salt, pepper and basil.
  3. Roast for 30-35 minutes until they are caramelized and golden
  4. When your veggies are roasted transfer them to a food mill over a big stock pot with the canned tomatoes (juices and all), and run it through until all of the tomatoes and veggies have been made into pulp and all you have left is the seeds and tomato pulp.
  5. Remove the food mill, and pour the container of chicken stock into tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 35-40 minutes, until the liquid reduces by about 1/3.  Add your basil leaves, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.


Jalapeno Popper Chicken


4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 jalapenos, minced
4 tbsp cream cheese
4 tbsp shredded Mexican cheese blend
salt and pepper
4 slices bacon


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Lay chicken flat on a cutting board, and shmear 1 tbsp of cream cheese on each breast
  3. Lightly press ½ of the minced jalapeno into cream cheese
  4. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of shredded cheese over the top of the jalapeno
  5. Roll chicken breast up, starting with the small side.
  6. Wrap each chicken breast in 1 slice of bacon (more if you need it)
  7. Place chicken on a wire rack on a cookie sheet, and bake for 25-35 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees and the bacon is brown and crispy.

Perfect White Rice


2 cups white rice
3 ¾ cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt


  1. Add all ingredients to a medium pot, and stir.
  2. With the lid off, bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, and cover with a lid.
  4. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat, and fluff with fork.  Let sit for 5 minutes with lid on before serving.


Zucchini Fries


2 zucchini, cut into large matchsticks
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Place a wire rack on a sheet tray and set aside.
  3. Set up a breading station and dip zucchini into eggs and then into bread crumbs.
  4. Place on wire rack
  5. Bake for 10 minutes and then carefully flip
  6. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Chicken Enchiladas


4 cups shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 ½ cups enchilada sauce
1 can diced green chilies
8 large flour tortillas


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Mix chicken, 1 can enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and green chilies in a bowl.
  3. Stuff tortillas and place in a large baking dish
  4. Cover with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the cheese is bubbling

Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Sauce

2 tbsp minced thyme
2 tbsp minced sage
2 tbsp minced rosemary
1 ½ lb pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
For Sauce:
1 tbsp butter
1 medium shallot, minced
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
1 cup pomegranate juice
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp red wine vinegar


  1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees
  2. In a small bowl, combine thyme, sage and rosemary.  Set aside.
  3. Season pork with salt and pepper, and place a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.  When the oil is shimmering, add the pork and sear until brown on all sides – about 3-5 minutes per side.
  4. Use tongs to remove pork from skillet, and coat with mustard.  Generously sprinkle herbs over the top, and return to skillet.  Transfer to oven.
  5. Roast until pork reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees – about 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer pork to cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
  7. While the pork is resting, make your sauce.  Add butter to skillet, and sautee onions until soft and translucent.  Add red wine vinegar, and stir.  Add chicken stock and pomegranate juice and bring to a boil.  Make a slurry with cornstarch and water, and add to pan and stir.  Add pomegranate seeds, and stir until warmed through.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  8. To serve, slice pork tenderloin and spoon sauce over the meat.  Serve immediately.

Roast Chicken


1 whole chicken, giblets removed

salt and pepper

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut off the wing tips, and remove excess fat from the inside of the chicken.  Trim off the excess skin at the next and remove giblet package.
  3. Wash the inside of the chicken with cold running water, and pat dry with paper towel.
  4. Season the entire bird, inside and outside with salt and pepper.
  5. Place chicken on a roasting pan with 1 cup of chicken stock, white wine or water.
  6. Roast for 1 hour to 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until a thermometer stick into the thigh of the chicken registers 160 degrees.

Basic Pizza Dough


¼ cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast (one package)
1 cup water
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt


  1. Pour warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  If you don’t have a stand mixer, just pour the water into a large glass or metal mixing bowl.
  2. Add yeast, and whisk by hand to blend.  Allow the mixture to sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast is activated and looks creamy.
  3. Add the 1 cup of water and 3 tbsp. of olive oil and mix by hand.
  4. Add flour and salt.
  5. Knead the dough on low speed (or with your hands) until it comes together in a cohesive mass.
  6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rest for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the mixer to medium-low and continue to knead until the dough is firm, elastic and smooth.
  8. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl and scrape dough into the bowl.  Turn the dough around the bowl to cover the ball with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest and rise at room temperature until doubled in size – about 60 minutes.
  9. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and press lightly to get rid of some of the air bubbles.  Form into two balls, and roll out to form pizza.

Cheese Pizza


1 recipe pizza dough
1 recipe pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
all purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and position a pizza stone on the bottom rack.
  2. Pull and stretch pizza dough out to desired thickness on a round pizza pan.  Make sure that you do not stretch the dough too thin, or it will make holes while cooking, and cause a big mess.  If it gets sticky, lightly dust with flour.
  3. Place a big spoonful of pizza sauce in the middle of the dough, and swirl around leaving about ½ inch crust.
  4. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top into an even layer.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes on pizza pan or cookie sheet, and then carefully transfer to pizza stone to finish cooking – about another 8 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove from oven, and cut!

Hassleback Potatoes


3-4 potatoes
½ cup olive oil
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Slice potatoes almost all of the way through, leaving it attached at the bottom
  3. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes.
  4. Season with salt, pepper and parsley
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until crispy

Sloppy Jose


2 lb chorizo
½ cup salsa
shredded Mexican cheese blend


  1. Over medium heat, cook chorizo breaking up with a wooden spoon – about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain fat, and add salsa to pan.
  3. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, simmering.
  4. Spoon equal amounts onto buns and top with shredded Mexican cheese blend


CrockPot Apple Sauce


3 lbs apples, peeled, cored and chopped
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
1 cinnamon stick, or 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, optional


  1. Place all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours
  2. Puree with an immersion blender to desired consistency.


Grocery List


  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 pt strawberries
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 3 lbs apples
  • 4 potatoes
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 8 zucchini
  • 1 lb carrots
  • Celery
  • 3 onions
  • 1 head garlic
  • ½ lb spinach
  • 1 bunch parsley


  • 18 eggs
  • 1 gallon milk
  • 1 lb Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese
  • 1- 8oz block cream cheese
  • 1 32-oz yogurt


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2 lb chorizo


  • 2 large cans tomato sauce
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • flour
  • yeast
  • honey
  • cinnamon

What’s For Dinner NEXT WEEK? Click the picture for the PRINTABLE menu plan.

Click to Enlarge – October Menu Plan Calendar


  1. missing a ton of ingredients for shopping list!! I was super excited and upon review was pretty disappointed at the misleading. Here is what I had to add to your shopping list: Bread, Veggies for egg in hole, 4 onions (you had three with no specifics)- 1 yellow, 1 white, 1 red, and 1 purple, Parmesean Cheese, Chicken Stock, Egg noodles, noodles for minestrone soup, 1 can cannellini beans, white rice, bread crumps, tortillas, enchilada sauce, 1 can diced green chilies, Dijon mustard, shallots, pomegranate juice, red wine vingar, salsa, buns. that has to at least double to triple the price! I know some are “staples” and some already have them in the home but I almost left the house without checking and would have been peeved if I was mid meal prep and realized half the ingredients were missing every day! Great meals, great recipes, wonderful organization just the grocery list needs to be updated with true price

    • You’re right – this list needs to be updated. I have a pretty stocked pantry, and if you look at my post about how to stock your pantry so that at a drop of a dim you can make almost any meal, I’m sure many of those ingredients are on there.

  2. Maybe I overlooked it but where is the Recipe for the pizza sauce?

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