Y’all, I think my most favorite month of the year is here for one main reason: FOOD!
After long winter months the markets open and farmers showcase their harvest. While I can’t buy all of my food from the market, these farmers market on a budget tips help to keep my budget in check so I can enjoy as much of it as I can.
In fact, I highly recommend using those tips and these strategies for this month’s meal plan and shopping the farmer’s market year round.
We’re celebrating April with some powerful flavors (hello Caesar!), wanna-be fancy meals (stuffed shells anyone) and dishes that just scream cute (mini chicken pot pies? Oh my!).
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!
Spring Meal Ideas: April 2016
Notes on these Spring 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 pork 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.
Spring Meal Ideas: Week 1
(S) Stuffed Pepper Soup and Man Bread
(M) Sweet Potato & Chickpea Buddha Bowl
(T) BBQ Chicken Salad
(W) One Pot Spring Veggie Pasta
(T) Hot & Sour Soup with Fluffy Dinner Rolls
(F) Better Than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice
(S) Stuffed Pepper Explosion
Spring Meal Ideas: Week 2
Spring Meal Ideas: Week 3
(S) Slow Cooker Carnitas Burrito Bowls
(M) Pineapple Black Bean Salad Wraps
(T) Southwestern Salad with Biscuits
(W) Winter Vegetable Lo Mein
(T) Minestrone Soup
(F) BBQ Pork Tortilla Pizzas
(S) Mini Chicken Pot Pies in Biscuits
Spring Meal Ideas: Week 4
(S) Crockpot Spinach Lasagna
(M) Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole
(T) Café Rio Salad
(W) Roasted Broccoli Stuffed Shells
(T) White Velvet Soup with Artisan Bread
(F) Peanut Pork Wraps
(S) Ultimate Veggie Frittata
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 either one of these treats.
By the way, I make these meal plans every month and keep them free for you to use in your own meal planning endeavors. Get the complete archive on this page.