Meal Planning Ideas on a Budget
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Today, let’s talk about meal planning ideas on a budget.
We stick to a frugal meal plan so that we can stay on a budget of about $100 a week for our family of five.
This is so important because groceries are an area where everybody tends to overspend.
Once you cut the grocery budget, then you have more income to pay off debt, or save more money for your financial goals.
Food spending can be really easy to control, but not always at first if you’re not used to meal planning, cutting coupons, or looking for sales.
We don’t do any extreme couponing or anything like that, but we do pay attention to what’s on sale each week.
We also have a very strict meal plan that we follow.
This allows us to eat at home every single day of the month.
We only eat out if we have a special occasion or another very rare instance.
This is specifically because we are getting out of debt.
Believe me, I miss it. I love going out to eat, and we definitely plan on doing it a lot more in the future.
But, while we’re getting out of debt, we eat at home. And it is working out really well.
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Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms on a Budget
One of the easiest ways that I’m able to stick to a meal plan without going crazy, is that we only cook about three times a week.
This is because we eat leftovers…a LOT.
We double our recipe, and then we eat it two nights in a row.
So if we cook Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we’ll eat leftovers Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Then, on Sunday we have that day available to rearrange, if necessary.
If it’s somebody’s birthday, and we’re going to go out to eat or something like that, then we can always move Friday’s leftovers to Sunday.
Sometimes we’ll just do a frozen pizza or sandwiches, maybe even cereal or breakfast for dinner. Something really simple that we already have around the house.
Meal Planning Ideas on a Budget
If you’re looking for gourmet cooking or anything fancy, you’re not going to find that here.
I am not any kind of fancy cook or food blogger.
However, we do have some meals that we’ve tried several times that work really well for us.
They’re super simple. Most have just a few key ingredients, and they are very frugal to make.
They help us to stick to our budget of $100 a week.
Here is a list of our favorite frugal recipes. The ones that we rotate the most throughout each month.
You can grab the printable recipes for these easy, frugal meals here.
Easy Meal Ideas on a Budget
- French Dip Sandwiches
- Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Taco Chili
- Easy Chicken Parm
- BBQ Pork Tacos
- Ranch Chicken
- Corn Tortilla Tacos
- Chicken Stir Fry
I made it so that I could share these with you! So, make sure you grab this printable recipe binder here.
There are 10 printable recipes and, I also included a blank monthly meal planning PDF printable sheet, and a sample meal plan already filled out for you!
There’s only two recipes I didn’t include because they don’t really use recipes.
Frozen ravioli with sauce, is something we just buy at Kroger, and it’s really cheap and easy.
It takes like two minutes to make.
We just add sauce and side veggies, and that’s it.
Also, Hamburgers…I don’t really know how to do a recipe for hamburgers.
I just put it on the George Foreman Grill and, boom, hamburgers.
I hope you love the free printable meal planning calendar and frugal recipes, and I hope they help you get the perfect money saving meal plan in place for your family!