So while this meal plan looks SO delicious (and was designed to be frugal), I think you need it more right now than I do!
December is kinda like November, where we focus on one or two days of the month and forget that we need more nourishment than leftover cheese and cracker trays or a jar of mixed nuts.
But since this month tends to be filled with errands, parties and generally not being home, I tried to include more slow cooker, one-pot and fast-cooking meals. You’re welcome!
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.
Winter Meal Plan: December 2015
Notes on this Winter 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, 1 steak, Italian sausage, ground turkey and 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.
Winter Meal Plan: Week 1
(S) Spicy Slow Cooker Sweet Potato & Chicken Stew
(M) Sweet Potato & Apple Hash
(T) Chicken Fajita & Black Bean Salad Bowls
(W) Savory Pasta with Onions, Bacon & Greens
(T) Kung Fu Panda Soup
(F) Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches with Crispy Roasted Potato Wedges
(S) Sloppy Joes
Winter Meal Plan: Week 2
(S) Butternut Squash Chili
(M) Chicken Creole
(T) Fall Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes, & Vinaigrette
(W) One Pot Sweet Potato & Bacon Sage Pasta
(T) Garlic White Bean Soup with Kale & Artisan Bread
(F) Easy White Spinach Pizza
(S) Cheesy Italian Pull Apart Bread
Winter Meal Plan: Week 3
(S) Beef Gyros with Homemade Pita Bread
(M) Chickpea Pockets & Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes
(T) Winter Vegetable Paella
(W) Fettuccine with Creamy Vodka Sauce
(T) Potato Apple Soup with Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
(F) Sausage Stuffed Baked Potatoes
(S) Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese on Man Bread
Winter Meal Plan: Week 4
(S) Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Coconut Rice
(M) Vegetable Fried Rice
(T) Buffalo Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad with Man Bread
(W) Ziti with Roasted Garlic & Cauliflower
(T) Kitchen Sink Soup with Dinner Biscuits
(F) Easy Weeknight Vegetable Lo Mein
(S) Delicata Squash Spinach Salad with Artisan Bread
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.
- Homemade Instant Noodle Bowls
- White Bean Salad with Squash
- Homemade Spaghetti O’s
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese
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.