Weekly Meal Planner October #1

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As a self-employed family of five, we have to be very frugal with our budget, including meal planning. Even though we are on a tight budget I refuse to sacrifice quality or nutrition so many of our ingredients come from our garden or a neighbors garden, which really helps cut down on spending.

Recently my food budget had to go on a major diet, like I had to cut my spending in half! After a brief panic attack, I realized I can do this, I’ve done it before. But before when I was on this tight of a budget I didn’t care what I ate so 10 packs of Ramen Noodles really made my pennies stretch.
Now, we eat organic or local (when we can), unprocessed foods and high quality protein. You can’t do that on a tight budget! But I have, and I want to share my weekly meal plans with you in case you are at a loss for ideas on how to feed a family on a tight budget with quality home-cooked meals.

It is easier (on your wallet) if you grow your own food or have generous neighbors who do, but not everyone is able to, so I have included prices for each item.

Here is what this menu plan is:

  • Food that my family likes (2 adults and 3 children)
  • Food that is in season- produce that you can find growing at the current time of year
  • Food that you can buy on a budget (I will try to stay under $50.00 for the entire week)
  • Meals that you can use ingredients more than once
  • From scratch cooking- for the most part
  • Dinners only for six nights. You can eat these meals any time of the day but my menu includes dinners only since most of my family eats away from home for breakfast and lunch.

Here is what this menu plan isn’t:

  • Dietary specific
  • Aimed to please every pallet
  • Hard to make
  • Use of pre-made or pre-packaged foods

The prices are based on those found at Lowes Foods and Food Lion in SC October 2015

Total Cost for this weeks menu for a family of (4) for Six Dinners =$34.94

Menu:

Dinner 1

Dinner 2

  • Stewed Cabbage and Potatoes Click here to read recipe– Use recipe 2: Potatoes, Broth, Cabbage, Onion and Salt and Pepper
  • Sausage (save 1/2 of Sausage for another night) Slice in rounds or lengthwise, cook in skillet until done.
  • Peppers and Onions- Click here to read recipe
  • *Add-On Baked Chicken Thighs

Dinner 3

  • Baked Spaghetti Squash with Cheddar Cheese and Spinach (vegetarian dinner) Click here to read recipe
  • Left Over Stewed Cabbage and Potatoes
  • * Add-On Backed Chicken Thighs

Dinner 4

  • Spinach quiche (save 1/2 for another night) Click here to read recipe -Substitute fresh spinach in the recipe (vegetarian dinner)
  • Spinach Salad
  • * you can add rice to make this meal more filling
  • * Add-On Bacon

Dinner 5

  • Spinach Quiche
  • Loaded Potatoes (Load with leftover peppers and onions, shredded cheese or any other topping you love)
  • * Add-On Bacon

Dinner 6

  • Breakfast for dinner
  • Eggs- scrambled, fired, poached, hard boiled
  • Sausage (use 1/2 saved from Dinner 2)
  • Hash browns
  • Toast
  • * Optional french toast (scramble 1 egg, add 1/2 c milk, 1/4 tsp cinnamon= stir together. Cut bread slices in half, dip in mixture and fry in pan)
  • * Add-On Bacon

Shopping List

  • Head of Green Cabbage- Large $2.50
  • 5lb bag of Potatoes $2.00
  • 3lb bag of onions $1.50
  • 2 Green Peppers $2.00
  • 1 large Spaghetti Squash $3.00
  • 2 bags of Fresh Spinach 16oz $1.98 ea= $3.96
  • 16oz Ground Turkey (you can substitute ground beef) $3.49 16oz
  • Kielbasa Sausage Link (14 oz turkey sausage) $2.99
  • 2 Cheddar Cheese 8oz  (We use white sharp cheddar) 2/$5.00
  • Bag of Brown Rice 16oz $1.59 16 oz
  • 1 Can tomato Soup $.88
  • Eggs $2.29 doz
  • Wheat Bread- No High Fructose Corn Syrup $2.99
  • Jiffy Pie Crust Mix $.75

Total $34.94

You can save even more with this menu if you make your own bread, grow any of the the produce items listed or have your own chickens and source of dairy.


 

Add more: If you have a bigger budget for groceries, you can add to your meal for only $8.94 more!

Dinner 1 Add-On

Dinner 2 Add-On

Dinner 3 Add-On

  • Baked Chicken Thighs (1/2 from Dinner 2)

Dinner 4 Add-On

  • Add Bacon to quiche Use 1/3 for Quiche and save the rest for loaded baked potatoes and breakfast night

Dinner 5 Add-On

  • Cook a couple slices of bacon to add to top of potatoes

Dinner 6 Add-On

  • Bacon (cook remaining bacon from Dinner 4)

Add-In Shopping List

  • Bacon $3.99
  • Chicken Thighs 4 lbs $3.96
  • Carrots 1lb bag $.99

Total for add ins= $8.94

Complete budget total with add ins $43.88

Staples to have on hand (not included in budget)

Milk

Oil (Olive or any cooking oil will do)

Parmesan Cheese

Garlic

Salt and Pepper

Butter

Flour

ketchup

Bouillon Cubes

*Syrup

Jelly

Salad Dressing

Spices

If you have a frugal recipe you would like to share, I would love for you to send it to me!

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