5 Health- And Budget-Friendly Dinners For Your Busy Week

5 Stress-, Health- And Budget-Friendly Dinners Perfect For Your Busy Week

Stay on a budget while keeping your diet healthy and wholesome.

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When life is getting crazy, the last thing you want to do is worry about what you're going to eat. Whether you're in college and it's finals week, or you're simply looking to stay on a budget while keeping your diet healthy and wholesome, you're going to want to try these recipes out!

The grocery list:

Potato Gnocchi - $1.90

Your favorite tomato sauce - $1.50

Grated parmesan cheese - $2.20

Ground Turkey - $2.80

Taco seasoning packet (1) - $0.45

Avocado - $0.98

Tortillas - $1.50

Chicken Breasts - $6.65

Frozen Brussels sprouts - $1.30

Red steam-able potatoes - $2.00

Naan Bread (4 count) - $2.50

Pepperoni - $2.30

Total Cost: $26 (that's $5.20/day!)

1. Make Some Pasta Monday

Ingredients from your fridge: Potato Gnocchi / your favorite tomato sauce / grated parmesan shredded cheese.

Pasta night is always fun, but I'll be honest with you, it takes a heaping serving of pasta to fill me up, and afterward, I'm always left feeling carb-o-loaded and bloated. Potato gnocchi is a little-known fancy pasta base, and I first discovered it in a gourmet Italian restaurant years ago. It's similar to a small dumpling, and pairs perfectly with pasta sauce and a generous helping of cheese. Plus, not only does it help you skip the bloat, it will fill you up faster, allowing you to get more value from your dollar. Low and behold, Walmart carries this gnocchi, and at only $1.50 a batch! Bonus advantage: it cooks in a whopping three minutes! That's not even as long as you'll want your study break to be!

Time: 10 minutes or less

2. Turkey Taco Tuesday

Ingredients from your fridge: Ground Turkey / 1 taco seasoning packet / avocado / tortillas

Taco Tuesday is a classic tradition that I'll never be willing to give up. So, I've been to find ways to keep Taco Tuesday around, while not having my cheat day a week early. Jennie-O carries lean turkey up only 1% fat content (this means up to — fewer grams of fat per-serving than ground beef!) and frying this up is just as simple as traditional taco filling. The only way you'll be able to tell the difference is how refreshed you feel after devouring them!

Time: 15 minutes, sauté that turkey until it's well-browned!

3. Wholesome Wednesday

Ingredients from your fridge: Chicken Breast / frozen Brussels sprouts / steam-able red potatoes

By now, you've so far been a modern chef this week! You probably want to sit down for a traditional home-cooked meal, so get excited for some good old-fashioned meat, potatoes and greens! This is a truly delicious meal that I always look forward to. I even pan-sautee the Brussels sprouts with some salt and pepper. Eat as much of this as you want, it's got everything you need!


Time: 25 minutes (but you can work while your chicken is baking!)

4. "Toss It In" Thursday

Ingredients from your fridge: Gnocchi/ground turkey / Brussels sprouts / parmesan cheese

If you're like me, you HATE letting food go to waste! I have Toss it up Thursday weekly; it's my delicious way of cleaning out my fridge before the weekend, and before it's time for my next week's grocery venture. So, this week, boil up the rest of your potato gnocchi dumplings, toss in your leftover turkey and the rest of your Brussels sprouts (because I know you didn't eat all of them), and sprinkle a generous helping parmesan on top.


Time: Like, two minutes!? Just toss it all in!

5. Flatbread Friday

Ingredients from your fridge: Naan bread / that favorite tomato sauce/pepperoni/ parmesan cheese

I'm not sure why, but Friday night has always been pizza night to me. I started cooking pizza on Naan bread after my mom introduced it to me, letting me know that it's a carb-friendly alternative to any other pizza options. It's way healthier than food-chain or freezer pizza, and it's also way more fun!

Bonus tip: Naan bread usually comes in packages of two and four, so invite some friends over for a study-free evening and build a make-your-own pizza bar!

Time: (10 minutes to as much time as you want to spend!)

Popular Right Now

Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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If You Truly Love French Fries, You Know Dipping Them In Ranch Is The Only Way To Go

If you dip french fries in anything else you're wrong.

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In order to truly love french fries, you need to know and live by the idea that dipping french fries in ranch is the only way to properly eat a french fry.

A true french fry connoisseur has a list of there favorite french fry places, and then they have a list of there favorite ranch places. Those combine to form the ultimate combination of french fry goodness.

Now so people may think that ketchup is the queen of french fry dipping sauces, but those people are wrong. Ketchup is basically tomatoes that were put in a blender that had some salt and pepper add to them. It is plain, basic, and bland.

Now ranch, on the other hand, is a creamy combination of fresh ground herbs, hand cracked pepper, freshly picked garlic and onion. It is slowly hand mixed to form the most delectable dipping sauce of all time.

It's layered flavors complement the saltiness of fries perfectly. When the flavors combine they form this explosion of salty, sweet, and tangy that leaves you wanting more.

The savoriness of ranch makes you want to continue to dip your fries in it. Ranch is and will always be the superior dipping sauce for fries.

The combination of ranch and french fries will never leave you lead you on, it will never miss a date, it will never ghost you, it will always be there to comfort you in your time of need.

Ketchup will show up and leave five minutes later, but ranch will stay around until every last fry is enjoyed.

Ketchup needs to be shaken and stirred to have a good time, while Ranch walks through the door ready to party.

Who needs a second string player to start when your first string is ready to go?

So move out of the way Ketchup, Ranch is here to stay.

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