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Cheesy Chicken Broccoli & Rice Casserole

I’ve been trying to use up some of the items in my pantry, freezers, and refrigerators before the end of the year. I had all these ingredients on hand and tossed them together to make a yummy casserole the other night. It turned out really great! Everyone ate it for dinner and then they all took it for lunch the next day! 

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Ingredients:
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1 bag (16oz) frozen broccoli, cooked
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup milk
16 oz velveeta cheese, cubed
3 cups rice, cooked
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs
4 Tbsp butter or margarine, divided

Directions:
1. In microwavable bowl, combine soup, milk, and velveeta cheese. Microwave until cheese is melted; combine well.
2. Combine cheese mixture, rice, pepper, and chicken in large baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
3. Add broccoli and mix gently.
4. Top with breadcrumbs.
5. Dot pats of butter or margarine on top.
6. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

This was a super easy, super quick weeknight dinner for me. I literally tossed it together in minutes and threw it in the oven to bake. Those are my favorite kinds of dinners on busy nights. I’m definitely adding this one to the meal rotation. 

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Easy Cajun Chicken & Rice

Everyone in our household loves spicy food! One evening recently I was desperate for a quick dinner because while we were gone during the day the power went out and I came home to a completely frozen dinner in the crockpot. Sigh. It happens. I had all the ingredients on hand to create this Cajun dish and it was a huge hit! Everyone LOVED it! I’ve added it to our regular rotation now!

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Ingredients:

2 cups chicken, cooked & shredded
2 cups white rice, cooked
1 bag frozen fajita vegetables, cooked
1 can Rotel
2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Combine cooked chicken, rice, vegetables, and rotel in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
2. Add cajun seasoning according to taste (*I used 2 Tbsp but we like it spicy so you can adjust for your family’s tastes)
3. Top with shredded cheese.
4. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

 I couldn’t believe how delicious this dinner ended up being. You can adjust the Cajun seasoning to your liking and if you really aren’t a fan of spicy, switch out the Rotel for regular diced tomatoes. This was a quick dinner that I was able to toss together with minimal effort. 

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Large Family Weekly Meal Plan {Week 5}

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Week 5 Meal Plan:

Saturday- Aldi’s Take ‘n Bake pizzas; side salad

Sunday- Crockpot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

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Monday- Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta; Texas Toast

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Tuesday- Scrambled eggs & fried rice

Wednesday- Chicken Parmesan Bake

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Thursday- Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

Friday- Find Your Own Dinner

Grocery Lists:

Aldi-

2 take ‘n bake pizzas- $4.99 each
1 bag Caesar salad- $1.49
1 pkg pre-cooked bacon- $2.46
1 box chicken broth- $1.19
1 pkg velveeta- $1.65 (half saved for second meal)
2 jars Alfredo sauce- $1.69 each
1 box Texas Toast- $1.59
2 jars spaghetti sauce- $0.99 each
1 pkg shredded mozzarella cheese- $1.89
1 pkg shredded cheddar cheese- $1.89

$27.50

Walmart-

2 cans diced potatoes- $0.50 each
2 boxes pasta noodles- $1.00 each
1 pkg shredded parmesan cheese- $1.98
1 container Italian breadcrumbs- $1.09
1 lb breakfast sausage- $1.98
1 bag frozen tater tots- $1.68

$9.73

Notes:

*I buy two 10lb bags of frozen chicken breasts at Sam’s Club. The cost per dinner works out to be $1.67. 

*I buy rice in bulk from Sam’s Club once a month. The cost per dinner works out to be $0.45.

*I buy ground beef in bulk from Sam’s Club once a month, divide into specific meals & freeze it. 

*I don’t include the cost of staples that I keep on hand such as oil, spices, milk, soy sauce, etc.

*There are quite a few items I buy at Sam’s Club that will be used all month long- like sour cream and shredded cheese- so I don’t include them in my cost per meal breakdown but I do include them in my overall budget. 

Sam’s Club Monthly Purchases for Meals:

6 lb container of ground beef- $18.46
2 10 lb bags of frozen chicken breasts- $19.99 each
5 cartons of 18 eggs- $1.33 each
1 box of white rice- $5.94

$71.03

Cost Breakdown Per Meal:

2 Aldi’s take ‘n bake pizzas, Casear salad- $11.47

Crockpot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup- $9.37

Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta, Texas Toast- $7.64

Scrambled Eggs & Fried Rice- $1.41

Chicken Parmesan Bake- $9.61

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole- $6.22

Total Cost for Week 5 Meals: $45.72 (average of $7.62 per meal)

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Easy Chicken Parmesan Bake

One of my favorite meals is Chicken Parmesan. Unfortunately I rarely have time to make it from scratch. So I decided to make it into a casserole bake instead. My kids loved it so much. They actually preferred this version to my homemade from scratch real Chicken Parmesan! And this took less than 30 minutes! 

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Ingredients:
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1 box penne pasta, cooked
1 jar (24-28oz) spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs

Directions:
1. Combine pasta, sauce, chicken, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
2. Spread remaining mozzarella cheese over top.
3. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over cheese.
4. Top with Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

I served this with a side salad and garlic bread and my whole family was happy and full. This is one dinner that’s definitely going on my monthly rotation.

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Large Family Weekly Meal Plan {Week Four}

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Week Four Meal Plan:

Saturday- Chicken Tenders & Fries; Corn

Sunday- Crockpot Hearty Vegetable Soup

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Monday- Scrambled Eggs & Fried Rice

Tuesday- Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing

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Wednesday- Sausage & Rigatoni Pasta

Thursday- Crockpot Chicken Taco Burrito Bowls

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Friday- Football Friday (Find your own dinner night)

Grocery Lists:

Aldi-

1 can mixed vegetables- $0.46
1 can diced tomatoes- $0.46
1 can beef broth- $0.48
2 boxes cornbread stuffing- $0.89 each
1 jar spaghetti sauce- $0.99
1 taco seasoning packet- $0.35

$4.52

Walmart-

1 bag frozen french fries- $1.68
1 lb ground beef- $2.96
1 can corn- $0.40
1 can sliced carrots- $0.50
1 can diced potatoes- $0.50
1 can tomatoes & okra- $0.82
2 cans cream of chicken soup- $0.50
1 bag frozen green beans- $0.98
1 lb sausage link- $2.08
1 box rigatoni pasta- $1.00
1 jar chunky salsa- $1.62
1 can black beans- $0.57

$14.11

Notes:

*I buy two 10lb bags of frozen chicken breasts at Sam’s Club. The cost per dinner works out to be $1.67. 

*I buy rice in bulk from Sam’s Club once a month. The cost per dinner works out to be $0.45.

*I don’t include the cost of staples that I keep on hand such as oil, spices, milk, soy sauce, etc.

*There are quite a few items I buy at Sam’s Club that will be used all month long- like sour cream and shredded cheese- so I don’t include them in my cost per meal breakdown but I do include them in my overall budget. 

Cost Breakdown Per Meal:

Chicken Tenders; French Fries; Corn- $9.65

Crockpot Hearty Vegetable Soup- $6.58

Scrambled Eggs & Fried Rice- $1.41

Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing- $5.45

Sausage & Rigatoni Pasta- $4.07

Crockpot Chicken Taco Bowls- $5.64

Total Cost of Week 4 Meals: $32.80 (average of $5.47 per meal)

Total Monthly Grocery Costs For Dinners:

Walmart- $56.83

Aldi- $49.69

Sam’s Club- $58.59

$165.11

Recap- So my goal was to get my monthly grocery and household budget down under $800. It would be way too time consuming to break down every purchase I made this month at the 3 stores so I concentrated on sharing my meal plans. I kept all my receipts to add up and I came in at $801.46 for the month, only $1.46 over budget! Dang you, Aldi’s impulse purchase of pumpkin pie ice cream haha! I feel pretty good about my first month. I can’t wait to share the next month with you! 

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