I must say, after having only a handful of cooking utensils for so long, and finally unpacking all the boxes this week, it feels SO GOOD to be back to normal cooking and dare I say it – MEAL PLANNING!
I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to cook or meal plan before. In fact, in our first three days in the new house, we made Man Bread twice, hosted a homemade pizza night and tested a recipe for a lower sugar peanut butter cookie.
When Mr. Crumbs and I sat down to talk about the menu for March, it was sheer bliss!
Part of that is because I can finally make some of our favorite meals again, but part of it is because there are some pretty tasty meals planned this month! The vegetable kung pao and African peanut stew especially look yummy!
But, 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!
Frugal Meal Ideas: March 2016
Notes on this Frugal Meal Ideas:
- 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, ground beef 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.
Frugal Meal Ideas: Week 1
Frugal Meal Ideas: Week 2
Frugal Meal Ideas: Week 3
(S) Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette and Biscuits
(M) Spinach Pesto Fusilli
(T) Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup
(W) Spinach Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
(T) Chicken Pot Pie
(F) Baked Potato Bar
(S) Southwest Chicken Skillet
Frugal Meal Ideas: Week 4
(S) Squash, Apple & Warm Lentil Salad
(M) Mushroom Penne with Spinach Pesto
(T) Cheeseburger Soup
(W) Broiled Balsamic Vegetables with Lemon Parsley Rice
(T) African Peanut Stew with Chicken
(F) Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili
(S) 30 Minute Cashew Chicken
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.
- Fried Sweet Potatoes with Runny Eggs
- Gingerbread Banana Bread
- Pear Oat Maple Smoothie with Toasted Buttered Tortillas
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.