Pumpkin. Apples. Cinnamon.
Be still my beating heart!
For much of my adult life, I’ve lived where there isn’t a “true fall.” The leaves don’t turn colors and the air doesn’t get crisp (because it already is). Instead for me, fall happens in my most favorite place: the kitchen
This month’s fresh eating meal plan is perhaps one of my favorites so far. Lots of fall flavors, meals that warm you to the toes and family favorites like pizza and nachos.
And lots of ways to maximize your time, effort and budget!
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!
Fresh Eating Meal Plan: October 2015
Notes on this Fresh Eating 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.
Fresh Eating Meal Plan: Week 1
(S) Slow Cooker Brown Lentil Soup
(M) Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
(T) Wedge Salad with Herbed Olive Oil Bread
(W) Cajun Chicken Alfredo
(T) Spinach Lasagna Soup
(F) BBQ Pork Calzones
(S) Steakhouse Baked Potato
Fresh Eating Meal Plan: Week 2
(S) Slow Cooker Mexican Corn & Potato Chowder
(M) Cajun White Beans with Chicken & Rice
(T) Winter Salad with Man Bread
(W) Spinach & Ricotta Pasta
(T) Autumn Chicken Stew with Overnight Artisan Bread
(F) Southwest Rice & Black Bean Casserole
(S) Roasted Broccoli, Ham & Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Crash Hot Potatoes
Fresh Eating Meal Plan: Week 3
(M) Acorn Squash with Autumn Rice Pilaf
(T) Winter Wedge Salad with Little Bother Oat Bread
(W) Winter Squash Pasta Bake
(T) Provencal Vegetable Soup with Herbed Artisan Bread
(F) Carnitas Tamale Pie
(S) Alfredo Pasta
Fresh Eating Meal Plan: Week 4
(S) Carnitas Burrito Bowls
(M) Chicken Creole
(T) Chopped BLT Salads with Chicken & Fluffy Dinner Rolls
(W) Italian Wonderpot
(T) Garlic White Bean Soup with Kale
(F) Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls
(S) Loaded Family Style Nachos
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.
Looking for more delicious and frugal inspiration? Get more real food meal plans here.