Do you feel it? Can you sense that spring is near?
Temperatures hover at an oh-so moderate 68 degrees most of the year around here, but we’ve been experiencing more warmer days than cooler days, which means that Spring isn’t too far off.
The time to surround ourselves with casseroles and stews will be ending soon, which makes February a transition month of sorts.
So you’ll find a little bit of everything in this month’s meal plan. There’s one-pot wonders, creamy comfort foods and enough fresh, vibrant dishes to remind you that Spring is just around the corner.
Since we’re on a no-spending challenge this month, our meals look a bit differently (here’s a peek at our menu). But for those following Frugal Real Food Meal Plans and anyone else looking to eat good food without going broke, this meal plan is for you!
Thrifty Meal Plan: February 2015
Notes on this Thrifty Meal Plan:
- This meal plan is for the average family of four, costing approximately $330. You might need to change portion sizes according to your own family size and budget.
- Meals are based around 2 whole chickens, 1 beef roast, 5 lbs ground beef/pork and bacon. You’re welcome.
- The meals within this plan were designed to build off of each other, using leftovers when possible and allowing opportunities for batch cooking (i.e. making one big batch of tortillas instead of making “just enough” on two separate days.) Take advantage of this to really lower your budget and reduce time spent in the kitchen.
Thrifty Meal Plan: Week 1
(S) Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Tortillas
(M) Vegetable Tamale Pie
(T) Southwestern Salad and Homemade Ranch Dressing
(W) Pan-roasted Sausages with Homemade Mac & Cheese
(T) Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup in No-knead Overnight Artisan Bread Bowls
(F) Homemade East Coast Style Pizza
(S) Chicken Pot Pie and Dinner Biscuits
Thrifty Meal Plan: Week 2
(S) Slow Cooker French Dip on Homemade Buns
(M) Coconut Vegetable Curry
(T) Steak & Gorgonzola Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette and No-knead Overnight Artisan Bread
(W) Italian Wonderpot
(T) Broccoli and Cheddar Soup with Soaked Whole Wheat Bread
(F) Ginger Beef Stir-fry
(S) Southwestern Quinoa and Black Bean Casserole
Thrifty Meal Plan: Week 3
(S) Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
(M) Classic Roasted Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables
(T) Pear Gorgonzola Salad Wraps with Homemade Tortillas
(W) Slow Cooker Vegetable Lasagna
(T) Red Lentil Vegetable Soup with Soaked Whole Wheat Bread
(F) Buffalo Ranch Chicken Subs
(S) Homemade Pizza
Thrifty Meal Plan: Week 4
(S) Slow Cooker Quinoa White Chili with Roasted Poblano Peppers
(M) Classic Meatloaf
(T) Warm Balsamic Kale Salad and No-knead Overnight Artisan Bread
(W) Shepherd’s Pie
(T) Zuppa Toscana with Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
(F) Chicken Bacon Sandwiches
(S) Mushroom & Vegetable Alfredo Penne Bake
Breakfasts are usually a variety of meals, based largely on what we have in the kitchen and almost always served with fresh fruit. These are a few basic meal ideas, plus some recommended recipes that should align with the ingredients being purchased for the dinners above. Simple meals like breakfast porridge and baked oatmeal can be flavored based on what you have in your own kitchen.
Similar to breakfast, lunches are usually a variety of meals based on what’s in the fridge and pantry and come with a side of fresh fruit. My first suggestion for lunch is always leftovers (unless the leftovers are already slated for another meal), but here are a few additional lunch ideas that are simple and easy to prepare. As a bonus, all of them can be tailored according to what you currently have on hand, and packed either for school or a picnic lunch on the go.
Since the goal is to not consume too much sugar, let’s keep the options minimal. Still, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious fall flavors in either one of these treats.
Looking for more delicious and frugal inspiration? Get more real food meal plans here.