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Meal Planning: 6 Dinners on a Budget

#3 BBQ Chicken Pizza

This budget dinner cost $15.69. 


10-ounce package 100% Whole Wheat Boboli Pizza Crust (or similar) ($4.89)

1/3 cup barbecue sauce (or any other leftover sauce like pesto or marinara) ($0.50)

1 1/2 cups shredded or diced skinless chicken breast, roasted or grilled (or any other leftover cooked lean meat) ($4 if you buy two grilled chicken breasts from the grocery deli)

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese ($2)

3 green onions, chopped ($0.30)

Fresh, in-season fruit ($4)

Spread barbecue sauce over the crust. Add on top: shredded chicken, cheese, and chopped green onions. Bake on baking sheet in 450-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with fresh, in-season fruit.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains: 513 calories, 38 g protein, 57 g carbohydrate, 14 g fat, 7 g saturated, 3.5 g monounsaturated fat, 3.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 78 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 900 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 26%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 0.4 grams. Omega-6 fatty acids = 2 grams.

#4 Quick Sausage Fajita Wraps

This budget dinner cost $13.66.


2 teaspoons canola oil

1 sweet or yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced ($0.75)

1 bell pepper (any color), cut in half and thinly sliced ($1)

1 package Turkey Polska Kielbasa such as Hillshire Farm, cut into 4 pieces and then cut each of those pieces in half lengthwise ($2.49)

1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar or jack cheese ($1.87)

8-multigrain soft taco tortillas ($3.55)

Fresh, in-season fruit ($4) 

In large, nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, saute onion and bell pepper in canola oil until golden. Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet to keep warm and lay the sausage pieces, cut side down, onto the center of the skillet. Cook until the sausage is lightly brown. Start warming up one of the tortillas in a medium nonstick skillet, lay one of the sausage pieces in the center of the tortilla, and sprinkle about 1/8 cup of the cheese over the top along with 1/8 of the onion and bell pepper mixture. Fold the sides of the tortilla over to wrap up the sausage and vegetables. Serve sausage wraps with fresh fruit and mustard if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains: 570 calories, 29 g protein, 71 g carbohydrate, 17 g fat, 4.5 g saturated, 4 g monounsaturated fat, 8 g polyunsaturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 13 g fiber, 1440 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 25%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 1 grams. Omega-6 fatty acids = 5 grams.

#5 Baked Chili Potato

This budget dinner cost $10.25. 


4 medium/large potatoes ($1 because a 5 pound bag with 10 potatoes runs $2.50)

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