Money-Saving Menu Make-Ahead Meals

Save time by preparing make-ahead meals on the weekend.  This week's menu features items I bought on sale at the grocery store.

The first week of school is finished, and I have a four day weekend.  I decided to take advantage of my days off and get as many deals at the grocery store and farmer’s market as possible.  This week’s make-ahead meals are from my money-saving menu.  I went to four stores and one farmer’s market and shopped the sales.  I ended up saving a total of $106.57.  That doesn’t even include my Ibotta rebates, which totaled $4.25.  If you haven’t tried Ibotta yet, I highly recommend that you sign up today.  It’s completely free, and you get ten dollars just for scanning your first receipt.  All you have to do is verify that you have bought certain products, and you will get money back.  You can use my referral link to try it today.  I’ve been using Ibotta for less than a month, and I already have almost $20.  I can’t wait to cash it in for an Amazon gift card to use for Christmas presents.



Save time by preparing make-ahead meals on the weekend.  This week's menu features items I bought on sale at the grocery store.


I have off from school on Monday for Labor Day.  We don’t have any picnic plans, so I’m hoping to spend some time working on lesson plans and relaxing the rest of the day.  I wanted something easy for dinner.  Giant had a big pack of chicken breasts for six dollars.  I bought them and decided the slow cooker would be the easiest way to cook them.  There is already a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce in my pantry.  I will just pour that over the chicken breasts and let them cook for about 5 hours on high.  Then, I’ll shred the meat, and make BBQ chicken sandwiches.

The farmer’s market near my house was having a dollar sale this weekend.  I bought a huge head of cabbage for a dollar.  I’m going to use part of it to make some coleslaw.  I love coleslaw on my BBQ chicken sandwiches.  Tony and the kids like it on the side.  Now I have to figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of this huge cabbage.



I had a coupon for $2 off of produce at Giant.  I knew I wanted some spinach and mushrooms to make stuffed shells.  The pasta was already in my pantry, and I picked up some ricotta on sale last week.  I found the recipe for Ricotta Stuffed Shells from Shabnam at Cooking and Cooking.  I like adding veggies to these because my kids eat their vegetables when they’re mixed with cheese.  Even though my kids are pretty good about eating vegetables, I still look for opportunities to make meals healthier whenever I can.


Save time by preparing make-ahead meals on the weekend.  This week's menu features items I bought on sale at the grocery store.


When I was shopping at Weis, I found some great deals on meats.  I saved $3.50 on a 3-pound pack of ground turkey. They also had crescent rolls on sale so I figured the Taco Braid from Tanya at 3 Moms and a Kitchen would be a great recipe to try.  I also had some homemade salsa left from last week, which I substituted for the Rotel.  The Mexican spices smelled so good as the meat was cooking.  I think this will be a delicious dinner after work on Wednesday.

The farmer’s market had jalapeno peppers on sale.  I usually buy them in the can, but two baskets for a dollar a piece was too good of a deal.  Now I just had to figure out what to do with them.  That’s when I remembered the jalapeno popper dip a coworker had brought to a luncheon.  It was so good, and I couldn’t stop eating it.  I looked for a recipe on Pinterest and found one that looked just like it.

To prepare the jalapenos, I cut them in half and removed the stems and seeds.  My family doesn’t like really spicy foods.  If your family does, you can keep some of the seeds.  Then, I put them under the broiler for about 10 minutes until the skins were charred.  Next, the peppers went into a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap.  After 30 minutes, I was able to peel the skins off easily.  I used the peppers to make the Jalapeno Popper Dip from Holly at Spend with Pennies.  I wanted to dig in as soon as it was ready, but I used restraint.  Just a warning – you may want to wear gloves when you work with fresh jalapenos.  I didn’t, and my hands are still tingling a bit.


Save time by preparing make-ahead meals on the weekend.  This week's menu features items I bought on sale at the grocery store.


Green peppers were on sale at the discount grocery store near my house.  They were only 35 cents each so I bought six big ones.  I found the recipe for Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan from Kalyn’s Kitchen.  Since I didn’t have any Italian Sausage, I decided to use some of the leftover ground turkey.  These stuffed green peppers were so easy to make.  I just need to remember to add the cheese when they are almost finished baking.  My kids will love them with cheese melted over the top.


Save time by preparing make-ahead meals on the weekend.  This week's menu features items I bought on sale at the grocery store.


I bought five personal pizza crusts from the discount store for two dollars.  We love them because they get nice and crispy on the bottom.  I still have some homemade pizza sauce left from last week.  Some cheese will make these a perfect, quick dinner for the end of the second week of school.



Last Superbowl Sunday, I was looking for a dessert recipe for a Superbowl party.  I came across the recipe for Football Whoopie Pies from Maegan at The Baker Mama.  These whoopie pies were a huge hit at the party, and I’ve been craving them lately.  I didn’t want to wait a few months until the Superbowl, so I decided to make them for dessert this week.  I just made them round this time since it’s easier than piping football shapes.  The icing in this recipe is so sweet and gooey.  It pairs perfectly with the light chocolate cake.  I have a really hard time eating only one.  I just keep telling myself I won’t have dessert with my lunch during the week if I eat them all now.


Save time by preparing make-ahead meals on the weekend.  This week's menu features items I bought on sale at the grocery store.


I love finding ways to save money.  By using the weekly circular, coupons, and Ibotta, I had at least 50% savings at each grocery store.  It takes time to find the deals, but it is worth it.  Now I just need a 4-day weekend every week to be able to deal hunt and prepare all of my make-ahead meals.


What other strategies do you use to save money on groceries?



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10 thoughts on “Money-Saving Menu Make-Ahead Meals

    1. It’s amazing how much time and money is saved by meal planning. It also keeps me sane since I don’t have to worry about what’s for supper after a busy day at work. I’m glad you’re inspired to try it again!

  1. All of these meals sound amazing. Planning meals are the best and it helps in so many ways. We are a family of 2 right now so it helps us not over buy and waste a ton of food, it keeps our budget on track, AND it ensures we eat healthy. I will be trying a few of these.

  2. All of these entrees, and your dessert, look absolutely delicious. Who would think that these were items you saved a ton of money on. And you threw in a lot of really good healthy stuff. I love my Ibotta account and we get a lot of produce out of our garden. I really try to search for meat items that we can get on sale and stretch them as long as I can. Now that my daughter is a vegetarian we only need meat for the two of us. Bruce ears meat nightly and I can do without it several nights a week. This helped to save quite a bit of money, I’m going to have to try your chicken in the crock pot idea, with barbecue sauce, I love mine with slaw also.

    1. I’ve been trying to add a few vegetarian meals each week since it’s cheaper and healthier than eating meat every night. We love the BBQ chicken in the crock pot, and it’s so easy. I hope you enjoy it!

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