Week 3 – Five Dinners for $60.61 (Plus Leftovers for Day’s)

There's a sale at Whole Foods for 3lbs bone-in chicken breasts for $2.99 a pound this week!!!

That means we can make a whole bunch of good things for super duper cheap!

I'm talking about Sesame Chicken with Broccoli and Rice and Slow Cooker Chicken & Vegetable Soup!

As I was waiting for the nice man behind the counter to de-bone and de-skin my chicken for me, I also came across pork butt for $4.99 per pound...so obviously I grabbed a 2 pounds of that to make pulled pork in the slow cooker this week.

Now that I have three meat meals, I needed something non-meat for a meatless Monday option and an easy and quick dinner for a busy night, so I grabbed an Organic White Cheddar Shells box and a small bag of frozen chopped mixed veggies along with an organic whole wheat thin crust pizza crust 2-pack ($4.99), some local mozzarella cheese (on sale for $4.00) and some Rao's marinara sauce (also on sale for $4.00) and off to the registers I went!

For portions, I tend to only use one chicken breast for the sesame chicken if making it for myself only - but if Ryan is joining me I use two and there's always leftovers so that can also be lunch the next day too.  For the soup, I use two regardless because you can make so much and have that as leftovers as well.

This week was all about serious flavor, easy preparation and nutritional benefits in every meal.  Since I splurged a little on my dinners, I planned to use as much out of my cabinets as possible for breakfast, lunch and snacks.  Luckily I already had oats to make oatmeal with some goodies to throw in like sliced almonds and honey, and I had all the basics to make a few salads for lunch using cans of tuna or having just plain veggie salads and having some leftovers from the night before with it.  Below is the breakdown along with prices...

To make the Sesame Chicken and Broccoli with Rice & Slow Cooker Chicken & Vegetable Soup:

3lbs chicken breasts (on sale at Whole Foods, $8.16 for 4 good size breasts)

2 broccoli crowns (on sale at Whole Foods for $1.89/lb, I bought two small crowns for $2.82)

1 bag organic brown rice ($3.99 at Whole Foods - there are 18 servings in a bag, so this will last and equals out to $0.22 per serving)

1 bag organic carrots ($0.69 at Trader Joes)

1 bag celery ($1.99 at Trader Joes)

2 2.5qt low sodium, organic chicken broth ($1.99 each at Trader Joes)

2 onions ($0.79 each at Trader Joes = $1.58)

TOTAL:  $21.22 for both the soup and the sesame chicken (so approximately $11 per meal, with leftovers)

In the pantry already:  Whole wheat flour, soy sauce, honey, eggs, minced garlic, sesame seeds, seasoning for soup

Get the recipes:

Healthy Sesame Chicken & Broccoli with Rice

Slow Cooker Chicken & Vegetable Soup (I modified the recipe this links to by only using celery, carrots and onions and cooked it in the slow cooker on low for 5-6 hours, however you could also follow the actual recipe)

To make the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches (and the Cole Slaw):

2 lb pork butt ($4.99/lb at Whole Foods = $9.98)

1 jar TJ's BBQ Sauce ($3.49 at Trader Joes)

2 onions ($0.79 each at Trader Joes = $1.58)

4 organic whole wheat buns ($3.49 at Whole Foods)

1 bag broccoli-slaw mix ($1.99 at Trader Joes)

1 lemon ($0.69 at Trader Joes)

TOTAL:  $21.22 for 3-4 servings

In the pantry already: 1 16oz light ale beer, some Alexia's Organic French Fries in the freezer, olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar

 Get the recipes:

The Easiest Slow Cooker Pulled Pork...Ever

Broccoli Coleslaw Minus the Mayo

To make the Pizza:

Find your favorite thin whole wheat pizza crust (Whole Foods has a great one otherwise just check the ingredients label for crazy ingredients and look for one with normal things in it!).  I like to use Rao's Marinara because it has a very authentic taste as if you made it yourself, with only ingredients you know and love in it, along with fresh mozzarella (because it melts way better than any pre-shredded kind of cheese and has way less sodium than pre-shredded cheeses as well).  Assemble the pizza and top with any veggies you might have lying around - this is your chance to get creative!

This meal for two pizza's cost me $12.99 total - less than the cost of one pizza from your local joint, with less fat, sodium and other junk - and you'll have leftovers to boot.

To make the Mac & Cheese:

I chose Annies Organics White Cheddar Shells and amped it up with frozen mixed vegetables - this increases the amount of food your making (think leftovers for lunch) while adding more nutrition.  I jazzed it up with some red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and garlic powder for more flavor.

Get the recipe:

Jazzed Up Organic White Cheddar Shells

This meal cost me $5.18 ($3.19 for the shells and $1.99 for the veggies) - I had the seasonings already.  This fed both Ryan and I with enough leftover for lunch the next day.

Below is the breakdown of the rest of the week and what to plan for.  I had these things in my pantry and fridge already so I didn't end up spending too much more this week (aside from a few fresh fruits)


Oatmeal with 1/2 mashed banana & sliced almonds (with blueberries optional)

1 egg, 2 egg whites, cooked to your liking on rye bread with 1 slice of black forest ham

coffee with organic french vanilla half and half (my new fave obsession!)


Leftovers from the dinner before

Romaine salad with cucumber, tomato and either shredded chicken or tuna with an olive oil & balsamic dressing


Apples with peanut butter

Greek yogurt with almonds and 1/2 banana


Lauren Collins

I'm a health coach and plant-based recipe creator from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In a few short words, I love to cook, eat, travel, play around with food photography and most of all, I love to help people live healthier and happier lives. A lot of the recipes you see here are adapted from my Mom, or from just throwing a few ingredients together until something magical happens.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply: