Menus for approximately 2 weeks

Just for the record, I am superstitious about writing menus. I suspect that the moment I write them they will turn into a ball and chain and transform me into an evil victorian school marm forcing children to eat mush and powdered milk for every meal. I try to avoid that scenario, but it’s still haunting me around the edges.

The next point I’d like to make is that I am making these menus because we are so hard hit by the current economy that my choices are either make the menus or eat every meal at my mom’s house. And the gas it would take to get there every day would actually cost more than groceries for the week. This fortnight I have $130 or $65 per week. I have been steadily emptying my freezer the past few months and also using up the stuff in my pantry. I have some dried veggies and beans that I haven’t opened yet, but I expect that I’ll be opening them soon as most veggies go out of season and get more expensive.

2008 has been a difficult year for us financially. We have a “New Normal” that is less prosperous than our “Old Normal” and we are still adapting to it. At least we’re out of the denial stage that was making us spend more than we could afford, because for a few months we didn’t realize that a new normal was upon us. So we kept up our old habits only to quickly realize that our old habits were too expensive and that we needed to economize IMMEDIATELY! Which we’ve done. Praise the Lord for the ability to that, and to still have such a luxurious life. Everytime I feel poor I look at my stove and refrigerator and the bags of beans and rice stocking my pantry and I thank God for His abundance. A frugal abundance to be sure, but abundance none the less.

DINNER MENUS–leftovers for lunch the next day

  1. Bowl of Beans (Spicy pinto beans, cooked in crockpot overnight); Ketchup; Chopped Onions; Chopped Jalapenos; Fried Corn Tortillas; Fruit Cocktail (this is one of our favorite meals and very easy on the cook)
  2. Roast chicken; Mashed Sweet Potatoes; HM stuffing (leftover bread); Peas; Cranberries from freezer made into relish.
  3. Chicken Gumbo with Onion, Green Pepper, Okra, Frozen Italian Veggies, Hot Sauce & Tomatoes; Hoecakes; Gumbo broth is made from leftover chicken bones and any leftover chicken.
  4. Lentil Stew with GFCF Dumplings (lentil stew from my old site, new recipe for dumplings made from rice flour and cornstarch to try out) Pineapple & Carrot gelatinized in orange & Pineapple juice.
  5. Turkey Sloppy Joes with Chipotle for zing; HM rolls; HM Coleslaw; Potato Chips (naughty, I know), carrots & celery as alternative (or in addition) to Potato Chips.
  6. Meat Loaf; Green Beans; Mashed Potatoes (instant cause I’m lazy); Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad (thawed broccoli & caulifower marinated in Italian dressing).
  7. Snake Bites (chicken nuggets coated with seasoned, spicy cornflake crumbs); Carrot Raisin Salad; Oven Fried Potatoes; Boiled Squash & Onions.
  8. Black Bean & Veggie Soup; Corn Tortillas fried in margarine; Fried Eggs to go in soup (one for each person)
  9. Mock Lasagna made with layers of cooked really yummy and cheap oriental rice noodles; spaghetti sauce (from a can) with added sausage flavored TVP; HM Cottage Cheese made from Tofu and egg and a little mayonnaise; HM Fake Parmesan; Garlic Bread; Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad
  10. Beef Stew made with Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Celery, Tomatoes & some frozen peas; Muffins; HM Lime Juice Gelatin with some fruit, probably canned pears.
  11. Dirty Rice made with Ground Turkey, Mixed Vegetables, Onions, a handful of added sausage flavored TVP and lots of red pepper; Mixed Greens; butter bread
  12. Turkey Chili–1 lb of meat & 1 pound of dry beans, cooked in crock pot overnight; Tomatoes, peppers, celery; Cornbread; Celery Sticks (and peanut butter)
  13. Chicken Rice Casserole (made from canned chicken from my pantry) with peas & mushrooms and white sauce made from HM Soymilk; Pickled Beets;
  14. Choice of Butter Beans or Split Pea Soup–some hot bread–toast if necessary–oatmeal cookies if possible. Yum.
  15. Fried Rice; Hot & Sour Soup with many Veggies & Tofu; Fried Spam coated in brown sugar before frying (I know, it’s horrible, but we love it) and then caramelized to a golden brown. Pineapple on the side.


  1. Rice Cakes spread with peanut butter and sprinkled with raisins
  2. Rice Cakes spread with peanut butter and topped with bananas slices
  3. Rice Cakes with Marshmallow Fluff & Chocolate Chips
  4. Apples (from our tree)
  5. Bananas
  6. Celery with Peanut Butter and Raisins
  7. Monster Cookies
  8. Brownies
  9. Cake (looking for recipe) with thawed frozen strawberries and Tofu whipped Topping to make Strawberry Short Cake of sorts.
  10. Pizza Bread
  11. Refried Beans & Chips
  12. Sandwiches: Ham, Turkey, PB&J, Fried Egg, Tuna
  13. Vegetarian Tacos made from TVP & Refried Beans, fast and easy–topped with shredded cabbage and well drained canned no-salt-added tomatoes. Also HM tofu sour cream if desired
  14. Tater Tots as desired (kids make for themselves in big oven or toaster oven)

I have no idea how I’ll do about sticking to these things. I’m just going to give it a try and see how things go. The boys are now doing dishes, after school (at every day, it’s only the lunch dishes (mostly easy dishes from reheating leftovers in the microwave). This is the way I cook most of the time, only I’m not always so organized about it. Since I’m using up stuff already in the house, as much as possible, it was a necessity to make the menus to keep myself on track.

BTW, for breakfast we have both hot and cold cereal (with soymilk), Also fried eggs, fried turkey sausage; sausage gravy & biscuits; french toast, pancakes, fruit smoothies with added flax seed & soymilk, and that’s about it for our every day stuff.



Filed under Budget, Frugal GFCF Menus, GFCF

65 responses to “Menus for approximately 2 weeks

  1. shelley p

    It’s good to see you back blogging, I’ve missed reading your writings and feeling inspired . I agree the economy is making alot of us tighten our belts and have to take stock of our spending habits. I’ve also had to get tougher with myself over menu planning, I have found it easier to write the months menus, then cross them off as I use them…not always in the order written…knowing I’ve got the rest of the months ingredients left in the cupboard. So I can still see what I feel like making for the day without ruining the budget.

    Blessings to you
    Shelley p
    from over the pond

  2. I wouldn’t call the instant potatoes lazy, in our area it is cheaper to buy instant than the real deal. Hoping that harvest brings the price down so we can store some in the garage for winter.

  3. Hi Shelly, it’s nice to back. I love your idea for making the list and then marking them off. I do feel straight-jacketed by asigning the meals specific days. That might just give me the flexibility I need to make it through without balking like a nervous mule.

    Hey Stephanie, Instant are cheaper in our area too. We keep our bulk potato buys on the steps to our basement–it’s dark and cool and they keep for several months that way.

  4. I have to plan 12 meals before our every other week shopping trip or I have issues … 🙂

    I really struggle because hubs doesn’t like cooked veggies or crock pot meals. I’m trying to find crick pot food he will eat.

    For a cheap/ quick meal we pull out retried beans and corn tortillas. Everyone likes it and it’s very cost effective.


  5. Amen Jamie. That’s a favorite around here too. Like you said, fast and easy and every body likes it.

  6. Lyn

    I’m allergic to dairy (casein), yeast, potatoes and am trying to eat gluten-free too. It’s rare to find people in blogland that are keeping to a similar diet. It’s nice to find someone who can understand how challenging it can be to the budget since there are so many frugal foods we just can’t eat. Some days I would just love to have a real sandwich, cheeseburger & fries, pizza, or even baked mac and cheese…sigh, but I thank you for your great menu ideas.

  7. I so indentify w/ you – this year seems tougher than last in so many ways. We’ve had to cut our grocery budget for 7 people much lower than we’ve ever had to!

    We’re “pretty good” at sticking to our menu, some nights life just happens and we end up w/ quick sandwiches, so I carry the meals over to the next week. I always make sure to cook my meals that have perishable ingredients first.

    The menu keeps me organized, but yes, sometimes they’re a ball and chain also, lol.

  8. love your menu Maggie!! I always write a menu out (well okay, this week doesn’t count! lol) but I often “mix and match” it. Meaning I don’t make it exactly as I have written it out. But knowing exactly what my pantry is stocked for and knowing what kinds of meals I can make is a great relief!! Especially on the GF diet, since we can’t rely on convenience foods like we used too! You are doing a fantastic job!

  9. PS… are you looking for a GF shortcake recipe or a yellow cake recipe?? I’ll be glad to help you out!

  10. Hey Carrie, can I look for both? I have a recipe for cake I’ve made once that uses cornstarch and it was good, but I thought I’d try another one this time. Essentially I’m looking for a plain yellow cake, with a dense crumb, that’s relatively uncomplicated (because I am not a fancy cook) Thanks for asking 😀

  11. Just emailed you with about 4 cake recipes that I think will fit the ingredients in your pantry!! I hope one of them will work!!

  12. Bless you, bless you, bless you Carrie. May the Lord shine his face upon you and bring you peace. Amen. 🙂

  13. lol Maggie, you are funny!! And sweet! Thanks gal!! I think I might have to make that lemon pound cake ASAP!!! Yum!

  14. Caron

    Hi! Welcome back! I had just discovered your site, and then you took a break. Anway, I’ve been keeping a menu for years, and like Carrie, I’m not real strict about keeping it. It’s more of a “friendly suggestion” list. I make it depending on activities we might have around that time. For instance, no crock pot meals on the days I have to be gone around midday. Crock pot meals on the days I’m away from the house just before dinner time and especially if I have something else going on that evening. Quick skillet meals for when I’m home before dinner but have something going on afterwards. Something on the grill for evenings when we have nothing planned. (DH grills, while I make the sides and visit with him on the deck.) Finally, favorite but fussy “weekender” recipes. I switch recipes around if something comes up, such as an unexpected meeting at church.
    I also plan for meals with perishables at the beginning of the week before they go bad, so I don’t have to run out to the store and replace them. The only exception is with tomatoes, since we have an overabundance of them these days. The end-of-week stuff is usually out of cans or from the freezer.
    I don’t do much in the way of desserts. This cuts back on the grocery bill. And since I have no will power and would eat it if it was there, it also keeps me under 125 pounds. (Well, OK, I’m also really short, so that keeps me under 125 as well.)
    Good luck with your “friendly suggestion” list!

  15. I have been like you — afraid of the rigidity of a menu. We’ve felt like for some time that the Lord was telling us to pay our house off. In obedience we’ve tightened our grocery budget and other things that we can manage.

    Last week I made up a generic menu. Like you I use the same basics for breakfasts, so they are pretty easy. Dinners (lunch) are simple…we do leftovers or light meals. Suppers were labeled as bean meal with cornbread, roast with fixings, stir fry meal, and things like that.

    Then I took that basic menu and made a grocery sheet of every item needed to prepare those meals. I printed it out and hit my stock up to see what I already had. I highlighted only the things that I needed which was much less than I thought. This really told me that I haven’t been utilizing our pantry as well as I should.

    When I took the list to the store, I looked for best price and sales. For example: bean night — black beans were on sale and for the price of 2 lbs of another bean I could buy 4 lbs of them. So we’re having black beans and I’ll be canning some of them. The roast meal is our Sunday dinner and it can be anything from beef to whole chicken to ham to whatever meat I find at best price.

    Doing my menu that way makes it easier for me to be flexible with costs. It is my intention to use that same basic menu every week and use my print out grocery list. I’m also making everything from scratch that I possibly can and I now refuse to buy bread unless it is an emergency.

    This week I will be learning how to make homemade tortillas. Should be interesting. 🙂

    I wish you all the best in your menu adventure. I’ll pray for success for you and for me.

  16. Raven

    Yaaaaaay, Maggie’s back. 🙂 And she’s doing 2-week menus, which I was getting ambitious enough to try before my new pregnancy began utterly wiping me out. You’ve inspired me to give it another go, just so my poor husband doesn’t come home to any more nights of me whining, “well, I know what I want to make but chopping carrots made me nauseous…”

  17. I’ve been linking you like crazy lately. 🙂 I’ve modified your Mushroom Alfredo and Shrimp Scampi Dinners recently to be GFCF and we LOVE them. I really appreciate all the information you share!


  18. Oh – and btw, I laughed at your “because I’m lazy” – I’ve been reading your blogs for years and you are about the LAST person I would ever consider lazy!

    Also – you’ve been tagged:

  19. oh yay, you are blogging, you are such an insperation to me!

    You are the reason I do a 2 week plan. I has saved me so much!

  20. Erika

    No food allergies here, but I’m printing this menu out! These are such good, basic, frugal ideas that would adapt to many dietary preferences. (Like my husband’s very strong preference that I not even bring tofu into the house LOL)

    You are so right to point out the abundance with which God has blessed us. I would add how thankful I am for the ability to make the most of it–whether that comes from what I was taught growing up or from what I can learn from sources such as this blog. With the sinking economy being such a hot topic I have heard and read so much about how people are “cutting back” and how terrible that is to have to try to cook at home instead of eating out–and how so many lack the necessary skills to do so! To have that bag of dry beans is a blessing, and to have the knowledge and skill to make those beans into something your family will enjoy is a blessing as well. Thank you for sharing it!

  21. Amy

    I’m so happy I stumbled upon your webpage this year. With the economy tightening it’s grips on society’s wallets, it’s nice to see you working so hard to give us valuable information.

    I am a 28 year old stay at home mom, and have been experimenting with your recipes. Not only have I become a better cook , but the unrushed meals at our house has really brought our family together.

    Thanks for such a wonderful website!

    P.S. – Instant potatoes are the best. not only are they great plain, but I bread my chicken in them, and they oven fry golden brown every time! =]

  22. Hi I love your site. A friend sent it to me and I tell ya it is very helpful. I too am trying to be more frugal, which my boys are not liking much. I homeschool as well and I am a SAHM. We live on one income and I thank the Lord for it, but with all things going up… I am having to put forth effort saving and pinching where I can. I used to use disposable diapers and still do but only at night. I have turned to using cloth during the day. That is saving quite a bit there. Anyway thanks for your site!!!

  23. Clare

    I am so glad I found your new blog! I loved the old hillybilly site and even once emailed you about something, and was very sad when it changed hands as I thought you’d dissappeared altogether! Praise the Lord, you are still here, and sharing how we can be wise stewards of His resources in the current financial climate without implying we are hard done by. At just 22, I need to all the wisdom of mature Christian women God has to offer me. Thanks again.

  24. Sue

    Hi, I am so glad i found you again – missed you!! Not sure if you have seen this site, but i use it a lot. It is a different gluten free crock pot recipe every day. It might help with the menu plans.
    Take care and i look forward to reading more.

  25. Our family has something we want to send to you. Will you please email me.

    God has put you on our hearts and we want to share something with you.

  26. Cat

    It’s so strange to enjoy the words of someone who lives such a different life to me, but your blog is lovely.

    My vegetarian partner and I have struggled financially in the past – I really enjoy making lentil burgers (cumin and turmeric, onions, lentils, dried beans which have been soaked in water, a little egg and flour).

    I serve them with baked beans for dinner and have them for lunch the next day in burger buns. The best thing is that they freeze well so we can do large batches at a time.

  27. Betsy

    C heck out the link above. It is an interview with Jenny McCarthy by Barbara Walters regarding her new book about her autistic child and changing his diet. Thought you may find it interesting, especially since you had already discovered this for yourself. Love your website!!! I have been a fan for years.

  28. My own new menu for fall has lots of soups. My husband told me he didn’t like soup much, but he’s getting used to soups and finding out that he likes a lot of mine (they’re different from his mother’s soups that he thinks of when he thinks soup!) My husband is in Real Estate and we’ve been living tightly for 2 years now.

    For us, it means a lot of homemade bread as well, but I know you can’t do that anymore.

    I love your new site. Your old one has been a great blessing to me. I have a link to this one and to your homeschooling one on my own site; I hope you’ll consider linking my site to yours!


  29. Great menu ideas!! I can always use more menu ideas!! They are great….they seem healthy and frugal…perfect!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend!!!

  30. Anonymous

    I love the idea of putting fried corn tortillas in a bowl of beans. I’m trying that soon! Beans are very popular at my house, we love them. Tortilla casserole as a great meal for using leftover beans or canned beans.

    I love cooking from the gluten free section at Don’t let the name fool you-this site has fantastic ideas and recipes that appeal top everyone, not just vegans.

  31. Sue Clarke

    Oh my goodness this such a find for me! Two of my three sons are on the autistic spectrum, one has high functioning autism, the other has ADHD, and we have done the GF/CF free diet for several years now…. my sons doctor didn’t think the diet would make a difference, but said” You can try it if you want to make yourself some extra work! ” Well we tried it and the extra work is worth it for us, it’s just expensive and your site looks to be such a help with this.
    Your recipes look great. If you have time what would you recommend as a subsitute for oats in recipes like granola bars? youngest just cannot take oats.
    I kind of hesitate to offer you recipes as you’re clearly an expert cook….but I do make a nice almond/coconut biscuit ( sorry cookie, I’m from the U.K. : ) ) that I’d be glad to share.

  32. Liz

    Does anyone know what happened to lentils and rice? I checked today and it says invited readers only.

  33. Hello from a fellow headcovering sister! Thank you for your lovely blog. May I add you to my blogroll? If so please comment on my blog and I will add you. 🙂

  34. I have to add again, instant mashed potatoes are quicker and less expensive than the real ones. Not to mention to box doesn’t go bad if not used in a certain amount of time.

    Another great tip is to look at your grocery ads and go to each store and buy only the specials. Each store usually has a great come on sale. When you go just to get those sales you can save ALOT of money.

    One more great tip. Look up the companies/brand name products you use. If you get on their site and write a quick email commenting on how you use their product and how your family likes it but with the economy you have had to purchase any brand that is on sale, an amazing thing will happen. Most of the companies out there including pet food will send you coupons and some for free items so you continue to be a valued customer.

    Hope that helps.

  35. I’m so glad the Lord led me to this site! What a treasure I have been gazing at for some time now! 2 of our 3 sons have Asperger’s Syndrome with ADHD…and we have ventured into the land of GFCF, but I agree a bit too expensive & hard to locate certain items needed…and my hubby manages a grocery store! How ironic. Looking forward to trying on some of your expert advice…for years to come. I also agree that our economy is a mess! We have been preparing our lifestyle for about a year now for another “great depression”…luckily, I had a wonderful grandmother who taught me the “old way of simple life”, since she herself had lived thru the initial “great depression”. I cook every meal, every day & I enjoy it (lucky for me, huh!) And our boys know not to complain about the food because they know that they could be eating nothing. My hubby always jokes that I could make a meal out of lightbulbs, matches & a paper clip, but I attribute it all the Lord for supplying all our needs, just as the widow woman always had oil & meal, because she was faithful. Glad your site is here & looking forward to reading more & more!

  36. Parsons Wife

    Thank you for this website. The menu’s have helped me, even (or especially) when we recently had an evangelist…”poor as church mice”…and our budgets tight, I want appetizing meals for everyone.
    Thanks again.

  37. Michelle

    Hey there! Are you coming back? Miss your musings. Keep checking to see if you’ve written anything new, but no updates since October!

    I pray you and yours are well and engrossed in all things Christmas, and hope to see you around soon.

  38. Dorothy

    Just checked in and read Michelle’s note. I just wanted to write the same sentiment. You are a true, down to earth, “friend” to many.
    Take care.

  39. rebecca

    I love reading your blog and was just wondering if you and yours are o.k. Hope to see you blogging again soon.

  40. Jennifer in MD

    Hope you’re well, Maggie.
    Here’s a link to another blog doing something interesting – they decided to live on $1 a day for food for a month. They had some interesting ideas and things to say about the experience.

  41. cindy

    hope everything is well miss maggie, hope to hear from you soon

  42. Merry Christmas, Maggie!

  43. You are an excellent writer! I read this blog and get a warm cozy feeling from how you describe your food/home and life. I’m glad I found your work again. thank you!
    What a gift you give to those around you (and not so close on the web!)

  44. AKM

    I hope all is well with you and your family! I miss reading your posts! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  45. Kathy Jones

    I hope you and your family had a Blessed Christmas and will have a very Happy New Year! I also hope you will have time to blog some more. We miss you so!

  46. harpsichordgal

    I hope you and yours are well. Dormant blogs make me worry.

    Wishing you and yours a blessed New Year.

  47. Bri

    I was trying to email you, but it said that the email wouldn’t go through. Do you have another email address?

  48. Is Maggie Okay? I just started reading her blog this past week, and the dates on the blog have just occured to me.

    I’ve been headcovering for a whole four days now, her writing really helped, it was definately something that God had been speaking to me about for a while. I hope she hasn’t stopped blogging!

  49. Holly

    I have been a fan of miss maggie sense her hbhw days… she has her long absensces but she bounces back from time to time. We miss you miss Maggie!

  50. Erika

    Missing this blog too…praying everything is okay.

  51. Lynn Marie

    I too am worried about Maggie. I sure hope and pray that everything is OK. Miss you.

  52. Michelle

    I’m thinking Maggie’s done with this site. This is the same thing that happened right before she transferred ownership of hbhw. It’s been since October, and she’s taken down her homepage updates.

  53. Zoey

    This is my first time finding your website, and I hope you continue to write. You’re a great writer, your posts are so informative, and you’re a truly admirable person. It’s wonderful of you to share this with people! I look forward to reading your archives and links!
    I’d like to add, your tips are helpful to me as a vegan!

  54. I am so excited that I have discovered your site! I read your menu list for two week and I am very impressed. I love the idea of spicy pinto beans. I also cook meatloaf quite a bit because I can cook more than one at a time and they freeze well. They also make great sandwiches for my husband’s lunch the next day. Thanks, and keep up the awesome work!

  55. I noticed your menus contain a lot of soy. (like TVP, etc.) If you have PCOS, you should really stay away from soy. It has estrogenic properties that can make your hormone imbalance worse. Please do some reading on this and decide for yourself. I hope this will help you!

  56. Hi Miss Maggie,

    still missing you, but thought I’d share that this month is a lean month, and I was grousing about a bare fridge and thought of your take on abundance. I took a deep breath and plunged into my pantry to come up with bean burgers, rice, and a salad, plus ideas for two more dinners. If we just have faith, we will have plenty.

  57. Linda Lallerstedt

    I was not sure where to post this, but we love your Carribean Blackeyed Peas! I have been a lurker for a very long time and I love checking out your recipes. This recipe called to me. Thanks for your web site and letting us into your life. You have been a great support to me. Also, great to see you back.

  58. CharlieAnn

    I just wanted to say thank you for the great GFCF recipes. My family and I just started to go GF been CF for years do to are sons dairy allergy. We thought and have done some reading that GF can help with acid reflux, which I have really good case of. My guys really like the Pineapple and Brown Sugar Muffins. I am going to try and make GF bread tomorrow. Will let you know if I get it to turn out.
    God be with you.

  59. Anonymous

    Hi Maggie, I haven’t seen any posts from you for a while and miss reading them. Are you o.k.? Look forward to reading more…. Wendy

  60. Hi Maggie, I have left a message before thanking you for your generosity in sharing your recipes. I just wonder if you are o.k. I miss reading your posts. Wendy

  61. Pingback: 100 Awesome Blog Posts for Eating Healthy on a Budget

  62. Anonymous

    Where do you find wheat-free TVP? Most TVP is 100% wheat gluten (I have a throat-closing serious allergy myself).

  63. Maggie

    TVP is soy based. Bob’s Red Mill makes a gluten-free brand, but most is gluten-free. Wheat Gluten is also used as a meat analog, or meat-like vegetarian replacement, but this isn’t called TVP. TVP or Textured Vegetable Protein is also called TSP which stands for Textured Soy Protein. It’s made from what’s left of the soybean after they press out the oil. Hope this helps.

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