If you’re New Years resolution is to save money, eating at home is a great place to start.
Our families goal this year is to cut back on our grocery budget, while still filling the bellies of two adults and two teenage boys. It’s a bit of a challenge when you have two boys that are eating machines, but it can be done.
To save money this week I prepared a couple of meals from items in my pantry, served a meatless meal, plus I shopped the sales. With just a couple of little tweaks I didn’t have to spend that much on this weeks menu.
Here’s what our meal plan looks like this week:
Budget Friendly Meal Planning
Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese – served with apple slices. This has always been one of my favorite comfort meals, especially on a cold day. Instead of using crackers for the soup, I like to toast cubes of stale bread in a cast iron skillet until they are slightly charred, they taste amazing in the tomato soup.
Chicken Broccoli Casserole – served with Italian seasoned, sliced cucumbers. This is a really simple, one dish meal that makes enough for two meals. Freeze the leftovers to save yourself some time and money another week. BTW this tastes even better the next day.
Spaghetti – served with salad and garlic toast. Spaghetti is one of my go to recipes because it’s so simple to make. For a homemade flavor I like to make my own marinara sauce from crushed tomatoes. To save money on the garlic toast I like to use the heels from a loaf of bread, spread with a little garlic butter and broiled until lightly toasted.
Fish Tacos – served with black beans and Spanish rice. This is on my families list of favorite meals, they like to eat it often, which is okay with me because it’s pretty simple to make. What makes it so good is not the fish but the Mexican coleslaw, you’ll eat yourself sick it’s so good.
Red Beans & Rice w/Smoked Sausage – served with steamed broccoli and cornbread. I was feeling kinda lazy this week so I used Zatarain’s red beans and rice and added some sliced smoked sausage. I also used boxed cornbread instead of making it from scratch. It cost a little more than making it all from scratch, but I was trying to save myself some time.
Leftovers – Some paper plates and leftovers, makes meal time a breeze.
Crispy Fried Pork Chops– served with extreme cabbage, applesauce and biscuits. I doubled these recipes because I knew that we were going to be busy the next day and I knew I wouldn’t have time to cook. Also, because this is our Sunday dinner I made a no-bake cherry cheesecake for dessert.
Download – Week 1: Menu & Shopping List
Budget Friendly Tips
✔ Make your own baking mix (Bisquick), it’s simple, delicious and a lot cheaper. It can be used to make pancakes, cakes, cookies, crusts, biscuits and a whole lot more.
✔ Using dried beans is considerably cheaper then the canned beans. They are surprisingly not that hard to make and any extras can be frozen to be used later.
✔ Instead of throwing out the heels or stale bread, store them in a Zip-loc bag in the freezer. Whenever you need bread crumbs or garlic toast pull out what you need.
✔ Making your own cream soup is super simple, tastes better and it costs a lot less.
✔ One way that I keep my grocery bill low is by using coupons for the items that I need. I rarely plan my menu around the coupons that are available, I find that I end up spending more. Instead I create my menu first and then look for coupons that will lower my bill.
Time Saving Tips
✔ Spending a little time meal planning can make your life so much easier. It’ll save you time and money, improve your nutrition, make cooking more manageable and it gives you more control over what you put on the table.
✔ Doing your grocery shopping online is another great way to save time and money. You order your groceries online, they do the shopping for you and they even load them in your car. It helps to keep you on budget, keeps you from impulse shopping and no more waiting in line. As a treat you can get $10 off your first order of $50 or more!
✔ A simple way to save yourself some time in the kitchen is by prepping your food for the week. This can be done by simply washing your fruits, chopping your vegetables or portioning the food for each meal. It’s up to you how much you want to do to save yourself sometime later in the week.
What do you do to make Meal Planning easier?
About Our Meal Plan
✔ Our menus are created for a family of four, two adults and two teen boys.
✔ Our menus do not include breakfast or lunch, but there is space on the menu to add what your family likes.
✔ Sunday dinner is the biggest meal of the week which includes dessert.
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April J Harris says
Pinning! What a great way to start the year. We can all use some frugal meal planning tips, and this is a great plan, Robin. Thank you for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope your week is going well.
Shelley @ Calypso in the Country says
Great tips – I am the worst with meal planning. In fact, it’s one of my new year’s goals!
What a great goal! It’s definitely a great way to eliminate stress as well as save some money. Good Luck!!!