1st Annual Dinner Awards: Best Dinner Recipes to Meal Plan – EP 370

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Did you add meal planning to your new year’s resolutions? Then let’s resolve this together with Jen and Jill as they share everyone’s favorite meal plan recipes, including their own preferences! In this episode, Jen and Jill guide you in creating a 2-week plan of food you want to eat with ingredients you may already have in your home.

Food is a decision you will make every day. If you can nail down food, you can get so many things right.


  • Who are you wearing? Mossimo? Fruit of the loom? No boundaries? KIRKLAND? Whoever it is, you look great. And you look real ready for tonights awards show.

    Hey hey, while I have you here, I’ve got another question for you: what’s for dinner? AHH, I’m sorry to upset you! I know you get that question a lot. If this is a real pain for you, try CookSmarts – they’re a meal planning service that does the work for you of planning out your week, giving you a grocery list, and a stack of fantastic, easy recipes so you can always answer not just ‘who are you wearing’ but ALSO, ‘what’s for dinner ?’

Chili Monday

We heard you and your love for instant pot and crock pot the most in the meal plan. Jen loves it too, and one of the meals you love is chili. We all have our favorite beef-based recipe. So we’re going to give you some alternatives that are less expensive. Jen’s a chili lover, and Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili is her favorite chili recipe from Cookie and Kate. When she doesn’t want to eat meat, this is her go-to chili food. For Jill, it’s the Turkey Chili recipe by Ambitious Kitchen because it boasts lower costs. It also takes 10 minutes at most to cook this recipe.

No Cook Tuesday

Several of you responded with, “No cook!”, when asked about your favorite meal plan, we’re with you. Jill’s very own “adult lunchables,” and her favorite no-cook food is ‘Charcuterie’. You only need crackers from your pantry, thinly sliced apples, nuts, olives, berries, and bread; that’s it! If you follow us on Instagram, you might have seen Jen’s reel walking you through how to do shredded chicken. Her caprese chicken salad is her go-to no-cook meal.

One Pot Wednesday

We’re cooking everything in one pot! 🍲 Jen recommends Buffalo Chicken and Rice recipe from Jen Eats Goood (not our Jen, but she’s just as great!) A secret she unveils is a can of coconut milk that adds creaminess to the rice! While Jill is scared of using her instapot or crockpot very often, she generally uses her saucepan or stir-fry pan on the stove to cook.

Jill likes creamy pesto chicken pasta because it’s her comfort food, and she has always been more drawn to pastas. They both love the website called Budget Bytes that shares the creamy pesto chicken pasta recipe, which includes a cost breakdown per ingredient and serving.

Thirsty Thursday (Soup edition!)

You relentlessly told us about your love for soups! For Jen, the delicious tortellini soup is her winner for the soup edition. The recipe from Love and Lemons provides a simple recipe, sparing you from extra expenses you don’t need. Soup is not exactly Jill’s favorite, but when she does want to have a taste, she wants to chew it, and Natasha Kitchen’s tortilla soup serves her the fantastic texture and flavor she looks for.

Freezer Friday

On Fridays, we’re pulling from the freezer 🧊 !  Jen would reach for her 3 pounds of Sam’s Club Chicken Nuggets and Sweet Potato Fries, which she so loves and enjoys. But Jill always had something in her freezer, and her usuals would be plantains and burritos (or enchiladas or taquitos).

Sheet Pan Saturday

We might have energy for other things, but we still don’t want to cook. Just because it’s sheet pan Saturday, it should be lame. On Ep. 79 – Our Favorite Frugal Recipes and Food Blogs, Jen and Jill mentioned Budget Bytes, as they have since then loved the recipes this site shares.

For sheet pan, Jen likes pan pizza with whatever toppings she has from the week, but she swears by not making her own pizza dough and pie crust ever again. Jill loves Mexican-style dishes, and for this category, she chose chicken fajitas from Food Network. It helps a lot to cook in one style because you’ll have a lot of reusable ingredients throughout the week.

Pantry Sunday

We’re tired because we’re fully aware Monday is coming, so for the Sunday category, we’re picking from the pantry staples! If you have gotten our friend list, you will know fried rice is Jill’s go-to. She mixes and fries it together with frozen veggies, just like Gimme Some Oven’s recipe. Jen prefers the Spanish rice and beans recipe by Dishing Out Health.

What's a dish you've been meaning to try making but haven't yet?

Jen would love to make fresh pasta someday, somewhere that has the tools to do it. In her sourdough era, Jill is loving the beautiful warm loaves of sourdough she’s making, but she would love to try making sourdough pretzels.

Bill of The Week

Thank you Kelley for sharing about your Dad named BILL!! He’s an industrious one!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. We love love love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one from:


Great podcast! I love the humor and realness of jen and jill as they share tips that are actually useful and easy to start implementing. Thanks J&J for changing the world one wallet at a time! May we all spend less and vacation more!

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And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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