Menu Plan Monday–April 6

Starting March 2nd, We’re going to give this a shot. I used to be so good at planning meals and something happened–and then I found out by way of a food journal, my system doesn’t tolerate MSG–so I’m making thing from scratch to avoid the nasty stuff!

And since we’re moving soon, I also would like to need to empty out the abundance from my freezer and pantry. I’m going to try to GOING to spend less than $15 a week for my grocery budget in April and probably the first two weeks of May. WISH ME LUCK! LOL

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Last week was a success as far as the budget goes! This week, I planned, shopped, spent $14 ($1 under budget!!) Then realized we were out of dog food and spent $17 more. 🙁

When you do a grocery budget–do you do an entire “everything needed for the household” budget or just a grocery budget and everything else like toilet paper, light bubs, dog food, etc goes on a different budget?

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We didn’t eat a couple of meals I had planned last week for various reasons. We’re not eating the same things two weeks in a row, I’ve just moved them.

Monday–Round Steak and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans.

Tuesday–Ravioli, garlic bread

Wednesday–Tuna Noodle Casserole (no mushrooms!) Recipe below

Thursday–Stuffed Peppers (Large–Once a Month Cooking-type Recipe), mashed potatoes, green beans

Friday and Saturday–leftover days.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 bag egg noodles
1 can of tuna
1 can of (choose one) either cream of mushroom, cream of chicken or cream of celery soup**
1 1/3 cup milk
2 sticks butter (I hate margarine)
2 row of saltine crackers

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook egg noodles as directed on package. Drain.

3. In a large bowl (large enough to fit all of the noodles as well as other ingredients) mix the can of soup, the milk and some salt and pepper. Mix well.

4. Add the noodles to the mixture and mix well.

5. Put noodle mixture in a 9×11 pan.

4. Melt the stick of butter in a medium sized microwavable bowl (I do it in the microwave–30 seconds at a time until it is fully melted)

5. Crush the crackers in their sleeve. Be careful the sleeve doesn’t pop!

6. Mix the crackers with the melted butter.

7. Place cracker and butter mixture on top of noodle mixture and spread evenly. Make sure all the noodles are covered, if they’re not they’ll get hard when they’re baking (and I don’t like that)

8. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.

**Since I cook MSG free, I either have to look for soup cans that say No MSG or I make my own. To make a tasty substitute for a cream of celery soup: melt 2 tablespoons of butter (I hate margarine!) in a saucepan. Chop up some celery and onions and saute them until the onions are clear. Wisk in a cup and a half milk. You can add salt and pepper if you’d like. That’s it!

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Copy Stovetop Recipe

I cannot tolerate MSG. I’ve not blogged about it because I feared people would think I jumped on the “allergy” bandwagon but after months and months of journaling my food and after speaking with my doctor, it’s official. I can’t eat MSG. I’ll be blogging more about it soon.

For now, I’m trying to find food without MSG. Do you know how hard that is? So I usually opt to make my own.

Here’s my Stovetop Copy recipe.


  • 6 cups cubed bread
  • 3 tsp. vegetable, chicken or beef bouillon granules or 3 cubes (Make sure you buy it with no MSG, otherwise nearly every bouillon has it)
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1/2 cup dried minced celery
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp. sage


Preheat oven to 350*F. Bake bread cubes for 8 to 10 minutes or until dry. In a large bowl, toss bread with remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Store in airtight container.

It will keep for 1 to 4 months or 12 months frozen.

To prepare, boil 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons butter. Combine 2 cups stuffing mix, remove from heat then fluff with fork.

Yields about 7 cups

I used some Panera Sourdough ends I threw in the freezer along with a half a loaf of french bread. I made the whole batch using 1-1/2 cups of water and 6 tablespoons of butter. That should feed a family of 4 or 5.

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Recipe Award-Post Your Favorite

Thank you Maddy for awarding my Snowballs!

To see ~mich cooks snowballs click here.


1. If you have time you may wish to link to the originator: Maddy

2. Whizz it off to seven other blogs that you like, ideally to a perfect and specific recipe.

3. Tell the awardee that you have awarded them [because lots of people will never know otherwise because they have no way of knowing unless you tell them, unless they’re higher up the blogging learning curve than I am!]

4. Sit back and enjoy the glow.

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Post a link to your favorite recipe and I’ll award my seven favorites with the Bon Appétit Blog Award!

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