Sometimes, whether for lack of funds or reallocating money for other things, the grocery budget gets drastically cut. When this happens it is always best to have a plan. This is a menu developed for lean weeks. It is based around one large chicken, whole grains, and produce. It is healthy, hearty, and will fill your tummies without draining your wallet.
This menu is meant to serve two adults and two children. If you have a larger family, or teenagers you might want to bulk it up a bit, buy extra grains and vegetables or even add a second chicken. This shopping list also assumes that you have some pantry basics such as soy sauce, cornstarch, flour, and spices. These are loose recipes to take advantage of whatever is on sale. Substitute what you already have or what is cheapest.
1 large whole chicken
5 lb bag of potatoes
1-2 lbs of assorted root vegetables (sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, etc.)
2lb bag of onions
2lbs of carrots
1 bunch celery
2 16oz bags of frozen mixed veggies
2 16 oz bags of broccoli
1-2 cans black beans
1 can sweet corn
2 lbs brown rice
1 jar salsa
1 pkg chicken flavored bouillon
1 package of two pre-made pie crusts if you don't want to make your own
1 tube pre-made biscuits
not necessary but nice
1 8 oz bag shredded cheese
1 16 oz tub sour cream
Meal #1 Roast Chicken Legs with Root Vegetables
Heat a oven to 425°. Remove the giblets and rinse the chicken under cold running water. Dry it off with paper towels and drizzle with a little olive oil or melted butter. Season with salt, pepper and whatever herbs and spices you like. If you prefer a brown crispy skin add a little sugar with the seasoning to help the skin caramelize. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165° and the juices run clear. How long this takes will depend on the size of your chicken, but it will take roughly an hour and a half.