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What I Spent, What We Ate | Mostly ATK

I realized after typing up this menu plan that all but one of our meals came from some branch of America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Country/Cook’s Illustrated.

I am a serious fangirl.

cooks country recipe cards

What I Spent

I lazily put off doing a big grocery shopping trip, so I only spent $87 on a non-Aldi fill-in trip.

Week 1: $145

Week 2: $180

Week 3: $87

What We Ate 


The girls requested a Chick-Fil-A night, so I went to the drive-thru to pick up dinner. 


I made ramen noodle bowls with chicken and red peppers.

one pan chicken and veggie ramen bowls


Sonia requested chicken katsu with tonkatsu sauce and rice (recipe from Dinner Illustrated).

Chicken Katsu


We spent the afternoon at the pool with friends, so in the morning, I got some beef au jus out of the freezer and made some fresh French bread.

So, that way we had an easy dinner when we got back from the pool.

beef au jus sandwiches

I don’t remember for sure what we had on the side, but I think it was fresh fruit.


I made sizzling Korean beef lettuce wraps, and we had peaches on the side (Sonia had grapefruit, since she’s allergic to fresh peaches.)

Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps


I tried a slow-cooker sausage ragu recipe that caught Sonia’s eye in the latest Cook’s Country magazine.

slow cooker sausage ragu from Cook's Country

Just the sauce cooks in the crock pot; you cook the pasta on the stove top. I imagine pasta in the crock pot might get rather soggy.

Everyone gave this recipe a thumbs up, so yay!

We had green beans with our pasta.

green beans


Um, I have not decided yet. And since I am terrible of thinking of meals last-minute, I better make a dinner plan very soon.

What did you eat for dinner this week?

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Monday 20th of July 2020

We've been getting a CSA, which I love and hate. I love it because farm-fresh veggies! I hate it because it gets picked up on Tuesday, and I normally menu plan and shop on Saturday, so I can't plan my menu for the week on Friday like I normally do, since I have no clue what's coming until Monday morning.

I'm still trying to figure out how to handle the mid-week produce dump. Our farmers' market is on Wednesday, so I've kind of shifted to picking up meat/eggs and any other veggies/fruit needed on Wednesdays, then just picking up dairy and staples on Saturday. I've also finally just scheduled about 2 hours in the afternoon on Tuesday to prep the veggies. They show up practically straight out of the soil, so I need to do things like trim carrot tops, wash greens, etc., to get them into a state that can be used for cooking.

Incidentally, this has also made me realize just how much material must get wasted on the way to the grocery store! I usually end up composting about 1/3 the volume of what shows up int he box, just from disposing of things like carrot and radish tops, corn husks, or damaged beet greens (normally I'd cook them, last week's batch were pretty badly insect-damaged, though the beets were fine).

betta from daVille

Monday 20th of July 2020

If you are looking to use, rather than discard: we use carrot tops in salad, spanikopita, or throw in the freezer for making stock. We've also made radish top pesto.


Monday 20th of July 2020

I like the Food Network boxed dinner mixes and found a bunch of Chicken Tikka Masala ones. Very tasty. At 75 cents a box, it was frugal. Here was our very chicken menu:

- Chicken Tikka Masala - Chicken & Rice - Leftovers - Enchiladas

I cooked out chicken and will use it for fajitas, quick chicken parm, and garlic bread chicken pizza......


Saturday 18th of July 2020

We were in the mountains in a rented condo, so I went EZ with the menu due to not knowing what might be found in the 'borrowed' kitchen.

Sat- Avocado BLT's, bagged salad Sun- Pollo asada, tortillas, bagged salad Mon- Beer and small bites out on the patio of a local craft beer brewery. Tue- Grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches, bagged salad Wed- BBQ chicken, bacon, and cheese quesadillas (yum!), cantaloupe Thu- Trader Joes fzn terriyaki chicken (just 'ehh' - made from scratch is always so much better than frozen IMO ), rice, peas Fri- Leftovers from last night

Now that we are home and back in my own kitchen, I am looking forward to a much more interesting menu this coming week!


Saturday 18th of July 2020

Fresh peaches are my favorite fruit - feels tragic that Sonia can't eat them!


Saturday 18th of July 2020

I know! I feel so terrible for her.


Saturday 18th of July 2020

Add me to the *trying to clean out freezer/pantry* group! My oldest had less work hours last week and it was an odd schedule so he was home many nights for supper.. so I made sure we had suppers he liked too-lol

Sunday- put the crock put on the porch and cooked a beef roast in it all day! Carrots cooked in the beef broth, premade mashed potato bowl I picked up last week from Sams club. Sourdough bread I picked up at Aldi.

Monday- Smothered pork chops, carrots, buttered noodles, fresh broccoli and a loaf of Rhoads bread( frozen logs you defrost and bake) My mom was here with us and brought a loaf of Almond pound cake fresh strawberries, blueberries and pineapple

Tuesday-A bag of Trader Joes Sweet and Sour chicken in the air fryer, made a quick pot of white rice and some leftovers reheated for the 4 of us at home after we tackled my inlaws overgrown yard.

Weds- LEFTOVER night! Roast and gravy, pulled pork from the freezer, rice, fresh fruit and I cooked a zucchini from the garden.

Thursday- Chicken Patty Parm, salad and fettuccine noodles, served with pineapple and a loaf of frozen garlic bread.

Friday- inventoried the freezer and pantry and decided I had no desire to grocery shop yet... So.. fried up a 2lb hunk of ground beef. Destined half to go with a clearance $1.00 kit I found at my store(thanks person who tore the corner!) the other portion I made into korean beef. Then I made a pan of rice krispy treats to share at home and at friends pool in the afternoon...Found a block of cream cheese and made a pot of buffalo chicken dip to use up the fresh veggie dippers this weekend... Seasoned a pot of black beans with garlic and fresh lime...

Supper was handled, snacks were handled, weekend lunches and snacks handled..

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