Each week we plan our meals and then I shop within our food budget. Our weekly budget for food is $170.00, however this week I was able to keep it well under $140. I know budgets are hard work and downright painful to stay on track, but if you can keep up with budgeting long-term, you too can feel the sweet relief of control over your finances. Tonight, for dinner, we are having Beef Enchiladas. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Published October 12, 2021
Updated March 8, 2022
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A few years ago, I went about trying to find an easier way to organize my grocery list. I made this amazing sheet that is double sided and so easy to use. Each day has a spot to list the meal with extra space for ingredients. On the other side of the sheet are three columns to list each individual item you need to shop for. The columns are split into Grocery, Dairy, Produce, Meat, Frozen and Toiletries.
Below are the files to download the menu planner and grocery list I created a few years ago. I am really proud of these and super hope they can help you or anyone you know! At any given time, there are a dozen of them in our Menu planner ready for a weeks’ worth of plans. Be sure to make copies, and for an easier system, print each on the same paper so you have your list on one side and the menu planner on the opposite side. Whenever I go grocery shopping, the list is filled out and the meals have been planned, resulting in my staying on-track for our meal plan.
When I plan a meal, I look at the recipe and write down all of the ingredients and foods that I will need with it. Then I look in our pantry, fridge and freezer for what foods we have on-hand and cross it off the list. What is left is what I shop for, making an easy way to avoid buying multiples or foods that you already have at home. Trust me, this alone cuts down on food cost when you do not have three cans of PAM or two of the same cereal. Those impulse buys or buying something you already have do add up fast while on a budget!
Monday Dinner: Pork Chops, sweet peas and tortellini
Tuesday Dinner: Enchiladas
Wednesday Dinner: Sweet Chili Pineapple Chicken with brown rice
Thursday Dinner: Split Pea & Ham Soup
Friday Dinner: Chicken Dumpling Casserole
Saturday Dinner: Cauliflower Pizza
Sunday Lunch: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Sunday Dinner: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy with green beans
When our family plans for meals, we right down what the main course will be next to the day. Then, below the meal, we write down what is needed for that meal or recipe. Below is a copy of this week’s plan.
Why we budget
Since 2018 when we took Financial Peace University, we have set a budget for our food. Not only food but also our own spending, toiletries, kid related costs, and more. If you are familiar with Dave Ramsey, you know he really stresses setting a budget. Every month Tyler and I sit down and have a budget meeting and look at how the month will go, and then how the previous month had gone.
Yes, it takes time, but it is also so rewarding. As of this year we are officially debt free except our house. No car payments and no credit card debt. We even went on a family vacation, our very first, and paid in cash! Certainly, we would have not been able to do any of those things had we not started a budget many years ago.
I really enjoyed learning how to budget, even though I am such a spender! Tyler really helps me, not only with grace, but with accountability to stay on our budget. Some months are really awesome, and some hit us a little more when we have house projects and see the savings gradually go down.
What groceries were purchased
Ignore the middle where there are a bunch of numbers, those are what cash will come out and fill our envelopes. That is just what we take out of our checking weekly, with the kids and toiletries on a monthly basis. This helps to know how much we spend on shoes, clothes, fun things the kids want and also paying Sam for doing weekly chores. Once the front of the menu planning is done, I then transfer what is needed onto this grocery shopping list.
As I shop, I then cross off items when they get into the cart. Next to a few items are a tally with a circle and those represent the amount of that item is needed, for example, more than one meal required sausage or chicken.
This is all that I need to cook meals each day this week! Below is a breakdown for each meal and what is needed. For some meals, we will use premade sauces, and some are homemade.
Pork Chops, sweet peas and tortellini
Pork chops, frozen sweet peas, tortellini, spaghetti sauce, French Fried Onions, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
Tortillas, Greek yogurt, Homemade Taco Seasoning, cheddar, lettuce, olives, refried beans, ground beef, green onion, tomatoes
Sweet Chili Pineapple Chicken with brown rice
Chicken, peppers, broccoli, pineapple, pea pods, sweet chili sauce, brown rice
Split Pea & Ham Soup
Ham, carrot, onion, garlic, chicken stock, split peas
Chicken Dumpling Casserole
Chicken, frozen peas, beans, carrot, onion, chicken stock, flour, baking powder, egg, milk, salt
Cauliflower, mozzarella, Italian seasoning, spaghetti sauce, asiago, parmesan, sausage, pepperoni
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Bread, sliced cheese, tomato soup, milk, ketchup, BBQ, mustard
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy with green beans
Beef, sausage, potatoes, beef stock, flour, butter, green beans, ketchup, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper
Tonight is Taco Tuesday and that calls for Beef Enchiladas! I ended up making two 9 X 13 pans which equaled twenty enchiladas. After dinner Tyler was still able to have lunch for tomorrow and there was literally three left. Out of twenty we had three. You all… I am scared for the next decade in food cost and consumption. Already with a twelve, nine, five and a three-year-old, plus Tyler, we go through $170 a week budgeted. This week was only $136!
Beef Enchiladas Recipe
2 pounds ground beef
1 10-pack flour tortillas
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Beef Enchiladas Directions
1. Heat a skillet to medium-high and then spray with a non-stick spray.
2. Cook ground beef until fully browned. The time can depend on your heat and also how small or large you want the beef chunks to be. Typically, browning two pounds of beef takes me anywhere from 10-15 minutes.
3. When beef is cooked add 2 Tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning and 1/4 cup water, then stir well to combine. Click the link for the blog all about my homemade taco seasoning recipe!
4. Turn the temperature of the taco seasoned beef to low and then simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Now is the perfect time to prep all the vegetables! On a cutting board, slice the lettuce, slice the olives, slice the green onion, slice the sweet peppers, cut the tomatoes, then place the prepped vegetables in bowls.
6. Shred the cheddar cheese, mozzarella, or any other type that you want for this recipe, then place it in a bowl. To make it incredibly easy I used my Cuisinart Food Processor, and 8-ounces took all of ten seconds to shred.
7. Place the refried beans in a microwavable safe bow, then warm them in the microwave.
8. In a saucepan, add 1 can of tomato sauce and 1 Tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning, then cook until boiling and simmer for five more minutes. When slightly thickened, strain out the seasoning chunks with a strainer and keep the liquid in a bowl and set aside.
9. Lay the tortillas, enchilada sauce, seasoned beef and a 9 X 13 baking pan next to each other. Typically, I make my own tortillas, but the last few days have been busy and store-bought ones for the win!
10. Using a basting brush, brush enchilada sauce onto one tortilla and then place a spoonful of taco meat onto the tortilla near one end.
11. Roll the tortilla up and then place into the baking dish, seam side down.
12. Finish filling the tortillas, roll and then place all of the enchiladas into the baking dish, basting the outsides of the enchiladas with the sauce and spread the tops with cheese.
13. Bake at a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes, then remove the baking dish from the oven and rest for 3 minutes before serving.
Serve with all of your favorite taco ingredients, for example, we use salsa queso, guacamole, olives, tomatoes, sweet peppers and green onions to just name a few.
We have used this silver Lazy Susan stand I found at a thrift shop many years ago for our Taco Tuesday toppings. This tray therefore makes an annoying problem of passing small bowls at dinnertime into a fun way for our kids to serve their own food. As a result, Tyler and I get to eat and not spend half of dinnertime getting food to our kids as they spin the tray and load their tacos or plate with the toppings of their choice.
Beef Enchiladas Recipe
Beef Enchiladas with From Scratch Taco Seasoning
- 9 X 13-inch Baking Dish
- Non-stick spray
- Medium Saucepan
- 2 pounds Ground Beef
- 2 Tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 1 10-pack Flour Tortillas
- Tomatoes diced
- Olives sliced
- Lettuce shredded
- 2 Green Onion sliced
- Refried Beans
- 2 Sweet Peppers diced
- Heat a skillet to medium-high and then spray with a non-stick spray.
- Cook ground beef until fully browned.
- When beef is cooked add 2 Tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning and 1/4 cup water, then stir well to combine.
- Turn the temperature of the taco seasoned beef to low and then simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the taco meat is simmering, prep all of the vegetables and toppings.
- Slice the lettuce, slice the olives, slice the sweet peppers, cut the tomatoes, then set them aside in serving bowls.
- Shred the cheddar cheese, transfer it to a bowl and then set aside.
- Place the refried beans in a microwavable safe bow, then warm them in the microwave.
- In a saucepan, add 1 can of tomato sauce and 1 Tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning, then cook until boiling and simmer.
- When slightly thickened, strain out the seasoning chunks with a strainer and keep the liquid in a bowl, then set aside.
- Lay the tortillas, enchilada sauce, seasoned beef and a 9 X 13-inch baking pan next to each other on the countertop to then prep the enchiladas.
- Using a basting brush, brush enchilada sauce onto one tortilla and then place a spoonful of taco meat onto the tortilla.
- Roll the tortilla up and then place into the baking dish, seam side down.
- Finish filling the tortillas, roll and then place all of the enchiladas into the baking dish, basting the outsides of the enchiladas with the sauce and spread the tops with cheese.
- Bake at a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
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