plant based recipe round up
Plant Based,  Recipes

Monday Menu Planning + August Grocery Challenge!

Hey, friends! It’s Monday, so it’s time to post another menu.

But I’m doing something a little bit different for the month of August. I’m challenging myself to spend $100 per family member for the entire month (for those horrible at math on a Monday, that’s $25/person each week). I’ve been the opposite of disciplined when it comes to budgeting, especially with groceries. It doesn’t help that I tend to go grocery shopping when I’m hungry. Not this month! I’m cracking down and challenging myself. I got the idea from Nicci over at A Farmhouse Full (her YouTube channel is awesome!). She did it with her large family (of 10!) for the month of July. So, I thought I’d try it out, partly to create discipline and partly for the satisfaction of doing it!

This challenge might be difficult this week, because Claire’s birthday is on Saturday! She’ll be 6, which is unbelievable. This birthday is a little hard on her, because it’s the first year that we haven’t done some sort of party. Unfortunately, we haven’t really made any new friends yet in our new town, so we wouldn’t have anyone to invite. We’re trying to make this birthday as special as possible, so she won’t be sad and missing her friends too much. Peter has to work on her birthday, but my amazing sister is driving 4.5 hours to have a special girl’s day with us. Claire has no idea, but she will be so excited and surprised! Peter will be off on Sunday, so we’ll have a special family day together on that day too.

And now, on to the menu! I tried to choose inexpensive options this week to make it a little easier to stick to my budget. Some of the recipes are ones you’ve seen before and some aren’t, but they’re all ones we’ve made previously and enjoyed.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie (from Budget Bytes) – It actually hasn’t been that long since I posted this recipe. I think it was either two or three weeks ago. When I did, I mentioned that we usually freeze half of the filling to make another time. Well, that’s what I’m doing this week. Is it cheating on my grocery challenge if I use something I already had in my freezer? Either way, it’s a very inexpensive recipe. In fact, most of the recipes from Budget Bytes are. Beth created the blog when she was trying to eating healthy food for much less.

Creamy Potato Kale Soup (from Pinch of Yum) – When I’m already buying potatoes to use for shepherd’s pie, I figured the best way to stretch the budget was to find multiple recipes that use potatoes! Potatoes are a very inexpensive way to add some healthy carbs to your meals, but it’s easy to not use them all up. Is anyone else guilty of buying a big bag of potatoes and then not using them all before they go bad? Hopefully it’s not just me. Anyway, this soup is delicious (one of Peter’s favorites!) and will be perfect paired with this bread from Budget Bytes. It’s going to be rainy and chilly (for summertime) tomorrow, so I’m making it then for my poor mail carrier husband.

Easy Vegan Enchiladas (from Vegan Insanity) – I don’t think I’ve posted this recipe before, but it’s a good one! You can easily buy your own corn tortillas, but I’ve always hated store bought corn tortillas. For some reason they just taste weird to me. I use this recipe from The Lean Green Bean to make my own. It’s a little time consuming, but the process is simple and only has 3 ingredients! I usually make a double batch, so I can make tortilla chips out of the rest. I also use this recipe for homemade enchilada sauce. It makes a huge batch, so I use some for enchiladas and freeze the rest. I’ll admit that this is not a quick dinner, so if you don’t have time/energy on weeknights, this might be a better option for a weekend. It’s worth the effort, though, I promise!

Twice Baked Spinach Artichoke Potatoes (from Paleo Running Momma) – Yep, another potato recipe. You could probably see it coming. These are DELICIOUS! One of the ingredients is coconut cream (aka the solid part of a can of coconut milk – you can just skim it off the top of the milk or buy an actual can of coconut cream), but I promise you can’t taste coconut in these at all. My husband can pick coconut flavors out like nobody’s business and he loves these. I waited until afterward to tell him the “secret ingredient,” to see whether or not he taste it without knowing it was there. He usually can, but this time he couldn’t.

Peach Cobbler (from Pinch of Yum) – In lieu of a birthday cake, I’m going to make Claire some peach cobbler. We saw this recipe on Instagram and Claire has been begging to try it ever since. We have a peach orchard right here in town, so we’re going to pick some yummy peaches and make this for her birthday. I’ll substitute a dairy free butter and organic cane sugar. Hopefully it turns out well!

Mac and Cheese (from Will Cook for Friends) – This is not vegan. At all. But really, extra, ultra cheesy mac and cheese is Claire’s favorite food in the entire world, so I’m making it for her.  I basically follow my own recipe, but this recipe was my jumping off point. I used to make this all the time, but not since going dairy free, so it will be a real treat for Claire. If you’re vegan or dairy free, this is out, but it’s still an inexpensive meal if you’re vegetarian or enjoy dairy.


That’s it for this week’s menu! I hope you find something delicious and new to try! What do you think of doing a grocery challenge? Let me know in the comments section if you’d like to join me! I’ll be chronicling the challenge on my instagram as well, so follow me over there to see more.

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