Healthy and Homemade Dinners for Only $35 a Week!


We’re a really busy family with two full time working parents, all three kids in school and sports, and three crazy puppies. Because we’re busy, it’s so easy to grab fast food on the way home from work or in between practices. Although it’s easier, it’s definitely not cheap or healthy.

I started meal planning to help stick to a budget and to ensure we’re eating a healthy dinner each night. I usually rotate 2-3 weeks of meals depending on sale flyers and what we already have in our pantry. Below is a week worth of healthy and homemade dinners, all for only $35. Bonus: these meals also take less than 30 minutes to prep and cook! All meals are kid approved, and make for excellent leftovers.

Keep in mind, we are a family of five, feeding two growing boys in year around sports. Some quantities may need to be adjusted, depending on your family’s needs. I added portions and/or quantities to the side to use as a reference.


Tacos: 20 Minutes to Cook

Ground Turkey – $3.99lb. (1 lb.)

Whole Wheat Tortillas – $.98 for fajita size (2 packages)

Lettuce – $.88 for a head of lettuce (1)

Tomato – $.60 for a Roma Tomato (1 I’m the only one who eats tomatoes)

Sour Cream – $1.50 for an 8oz. container (1)

Total Cost: $8.93

Homemade Pizzas: 25 Minutes to Cook

Jiffy Mix Crust – $.60 (1 makes a 12” pizza, we use 2 boxes)

Cheese – $2 (1 bag for light cheese)

Turkey peperoni – $2.50 (1 bag makes 4 pizzas for us)

Fresh Mushrooms – $1.50 (Shared between 2 meals)

Total Cost: $7.20

Homemade Chicken Tenders: 30 Minutes to Cook (less with a deep fryer)

Chicken Breast Butterflied and Sliced for Tenders – $1.99lb (1 lb)

Flour – Have in Pantry

Seasoning Salt – Have in Pantry

Oil – Have in Pantry

Fries – $2.50 (1 bag)

Total Cost: $4.49 (makes approximately 10 strips)

Baked Ziti: 30 Minutes to Cook (noodles done in 10min, 20min in oven)

Ziti Noodles – $1 a box (1 box)

Sauce – $1 (1 Jar – Once a month our store has a 10 for 10 Sale)

Cheese – $2 (1 bag)

Mushrooms – $0 (use remaining from pizza)

Salad – $0 (left over lettuce and tomato from tacos, add cheese and eggs)

Fresh Italian Bread – $1.70 (1 loaf)

Total Cost: $5.70 (Makes a 9×13 pan)

Stuffed Chicken Breast: 30-40 Minutes to Prep and Cook (prep the night before for faster dinner time!)

Chicken Breast – $1.99lb. (1 lb.)

Frozen Broccoli – $1 (Broccoli florets)

Cheese – $0 (left over cheese from pizza or ziti)

Brown Rice – Have in Pantry

Total Cost: $2.99

Breakfast for Dinner: 20 Minutes to Cook

Turkey Bacon – $1.69 (I use the Butterball Turkey Bacon – It’s Cheap!)

Pancake Mix – Have in Pantry (Usually costs $4 for a box of Bisquick)

Eggs – $2.50 (1 carton makes 2 breakfasts)

Total Cost: $5.88

Left Over Night: Less Than 5 Minutes to Re-heat

Total Cost: $0


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