Ah, it’s finally July. Of all the summer months, this one is my favorite. My tomato plants start producing like crazy and I get to eat caprese salad for lunch as often as I want. Or make caprese pasta salad. Or grilled caprese sandwich. Maybe caprese kabobs. Or caprese pizza.
Oh goodness. The deliciousness is endless!
This month’s menu screams summer. Burgers, tomatoes, zucchini and grilling. But there are plenty of frugal staples strewn throughout to make summer eating fun, healthy and affordable.
As always, feel free to take/leave the meals you like, or re-arrange as you need to fit your schedule. Remember that while this is a plan, it’s not written in stone – that’s the beauty of meal planning. There’s a method to fit everyone!
Simple Meal Plan: July 2015
Notes on this Simple 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, 3 pounds of beef and 3 pounds of bacon.
- 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.
Simple Meal Plan: Week 1
(S) Summer Chili
(M) Black Bean & Mango Tostadas
(T) Strawberry, Feta & Almond Salad with Homemade Dinner Biscuits
(W) Chili Mac
(T) Tomato & Rice Soup with Herbed Olive Oil Bread
(F) Red & Green Pizza
(S) Tomato & Corn Quiche
Simple Meal Plan: Week 2
(S) Salsa Verde Chicken
(M) Chicken Salad Sandwiches on Homemade Buns with Potato Wedges
(T) Wedge Salad with Herbed Olive Oil Bread
(W) Caprese Pasta Salad
(T) Summer Vegetable Soup with No-knead Overnight Artisan Bread
(F) Burgers on Homemade Buns
(S) Northern Beans and Rice
Simple Meal Plan: Week 3
(S) Mongolian Beef
(M) Foil Packet Hobo Stew
(T) Classic Cobb Salad with Homemade Dinner Biscuits
(W) Savory Summer Pasta Salad
(T) Garlic White Bean Soup with Kale and Potato Bread
(F) Chili Lime Chicken Sandwiches
(S) Peanut Fried Rice
Simple Meal Plan: Week 4
(S) Chicken Quinoa Cacciatore
(M) Buffalo Chicken Wraps
(T) Most Requested Dinner Salad with Dinner Biscuits
(W) Spinach & Ricotta Pasta
(T) Potato, Bacon & Spinach Frittata
(F) Loaded Baked Potato Bar
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.
- Amish-Style Single Serve Slow Cooker Oatmeal
- Strawberry Chocolate Granola Clusters
- Country Breakfast Bowls
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 either one of these treats.
Looking for more delicious and frugal inspiration? Get more real food meal plans here.