Another month, another round of frugal meal plans.  As a reminder, these plans are meant to feed a family of four for an average of $80/week.  This particular plan the first week is a bit more but the other months are less so they average out.  I won’t chit chat too much this month, but I will give you some more tips for further savings above and beyond what is present in the plan.

  • Try shopping at Aldi or a discount grocery store for produce.  Avocados are especially cheap there.

 

  • Sign up for Ibotta an app on your phone that allows you to get cash back on groceries.  It changes from month to month, but I have gotten cash back on eggs, butter, carrots, onions, broccoli, and more.  It’s a free app and you get a bonus just for signing up through my link.

 

  • The most savings will come from making your own bread, tortillas, flatbread, and chicken broth.

 

  • For lunches, rely on leftovers or a simple sandwich of peanut butter or grilled cheese.  I purposefully plan a soup or casserole at the beginning of the week to start the week with plenty of leftovers.

 

 

Don’t forget, you can use the plan below for free, but I also offer a printable pack including the shopping list with price breakdown, monthly calendar, prep notes, breakfast recipes, snack and lunch options, and full recipes for $3.99 or less than $1/week.

Printable pack for frugal meal plan

February Real Food Frugal Meal Plan

Week 1:

Whole chicken (Divide chicken into thirds for two future meals.  Also make broth for future meals), mashed potatoes, buttered carrots

Pinto beans, cornbread, greens

Chicken and stuffing (using half of the cornbread from previous night, halve the recipe for the stuffing and mix a portion of the leftover chicken meat), green beans

Vegetable pot pie (sub mushrooms for chicken)

Korean beef, rice, roasted broccoli

1 lb ground beef
4 cloves garlic
2 T. maple syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut amino
1/8 tsp ground ginger
green onions, sliced on diagonal (amount according to your taste)
Brown ground beef. Add garlic and continue to cook for a minute. Add remainder of ingredients and simmer for about five minutes or until warm and well combined. Serve over rice.

Pizza

Flex night:  leftovers, breakfast, or out

Chicken and dressing. Part of February's real food frugal meal plan

Week 2:

Penne with butternut squash and goat cheese

1 lb. penne
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
olive oil
1 cup goat cheese
sprinkle of rosemary, thyme or basil
hot pasta water
Place butternut squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
Drain pasta, reserving about a cup of salty cooking water.
Toss pasta with goat cheese, reserved starchy water, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir in roasted butternut squash and serve hot.

Zuppa toscana

1 pound ground pork made into sausage
4-6 russet potatoes, cubed
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 bunch kale, stem removed and chopped
1 cup milk
2 T. flour
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
Mix pork and seasonings together until combined thoroughly. Place in a soup pot and brown.
Add potatoes, onion, garlic, chicken broth, and kale and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Mix together flour and milk until no lumps are present. Pour into soup and cook for a few more minutes to thicken soup. Taste and adjust seasonings. You will likely have to add more salt.

Vegetable lo mein

1 lb. lo mein or spaghetti
olive oil
2 carrots, julienned
4 green onions, sliced on the diagonal
2 cups cabbage, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 T. soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 T. fish sauce
Cook lo mein or spaghetti until al dente.
Meanwhile in olive oil over medium-high heat, saute carrots, cabbage, green onions, and garlic until crisp tender. Add hot cooked pasta and toss with soy sauce and fish sauce. Serve hot.

Burgers, fries, fruit

Frittata, carrot sticks

8 eggs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, minced
1.5 cup greens, chopped
a couple of pinches of dried herbs of choice (rosemary, thyme, etc)
In an oven safe skillet, melt butter and add onions. Sauté until tender.
Add greens and cook until softened.
Mix together eggs, cheese, salt, pepper, and herbs of choice.
Pour into hot skillet while still on burner. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently move around eggs for a couple of minutes. You don’t want to scramble them just move them around.
Transfer to a preheated 350 degree oven for about 5 more minutes or until set. Take care not to overcook to avoid rubbery texture.

Pizza

Flex night

Homemade Pizza

Week 3:

Minestrone

1 1/2 cup dried kidney beans
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cup carrots
1 cup celery
1 1/2 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
4 cloves garlic
6 cups chicken stock or combo of broth and water
28 oz. diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
salt (approx 1 tsp. Start with a small amount and work up)
pepper to taste
1 cup macaroni noodles
Place all ingredients in slow cooker except macaroni. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. The last 30 minutes add noodles and cook until tender.

Slow cooker chicken tacos

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken (breasts, thighs, or a combo)
1 jar salsa
taco seasoning ( 2 T chili powder, ½ t garlic powder, ½ t dried oregano, 3 t ground cumin, 1 tsp sea salt, ½ t black pepper)
Place all ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
Using a fork shred chicken after time has elapsed. Serve on tortillas or a salad with desired toppings.

Baked potatoes with leftover taco meat

Pasta with bacon, chard, and tomatoes

5 slices of bacon, chopped
1 bunch chard, chopped
1 cup tomato puree or diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 lb. spaghetti
Cook pasta in salty water until al dente.
Cook bacon until crisp in a large skillet. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Add chard and garlic to pan and wilt chard.
Add tomato puree, seasonings, and a bit of the starchy cooking water that the pasta was cooked in.
Toss with hot pasta and serve.

Falafel

2 cans chickpeas
1 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp cumin
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 T. flour (or more if needed)
1 tsp salt (start with a smaller amount and work up to taste)
olive oil or another oil for cooking
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until makes a thick mixture that holds its shape when held together. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Form into balls about 1 T. each. Flatten form a patty.
Cook in hot skillet with oil until brown and flip to cook on other side.
Serve by themselves, on tortillas, or flatbread.

Pizza

Flex night

chicken taco meat. Part of February's real food frugal meal plan

Week 4:

Enchilada soup

Swedish meatballs, egg noodles, frozen peas

1 LB GROUND BEEF
1 EGG
1/2 CUP BREADCRUMBS (DRIED OUT BREAD, CRUMBLED)
1/2 TSP SALT
1/2 TSP PEPPER
1/4 TSP ROSEMARY
1/2 TSP OREGANO
1 CLOVE GARLIC, MINCED OR PRESSED
2 T. BUTTER
3 T. FLOUR
2 CUPS BEEF OR CHICKEN BROTH OR WATER
1 T. WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE (OR MORE IF NEEDED)
SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
1/2 cup sour cream
Mix together beef, egg, breadcrumbs, spices, and garlic together. Form into golfball sized balls.
In a large skillet, brown meatballs turning to brown all sides. Remove meatballs and set aside when browned.
Add butter to skillet and stir in flour.
Whisk in broth, taking care to deglaze pan and loosening brown bits on the bottom of pan.

Chicken gyros:  sub chicken for ground beef

Lasagna rolls, roasted broccoli

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
Filling:
4 cups spinach, chopped
15 ounces ricotta cheese
⅔ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 large egg
1/4 tsp salt
12 lasagna noodles
2 cups mozzarella cheese
Boil noodles according to package directions. When cooked, rinse with cold water, lay out flat and pat dry.
Prepare sauce. Heat olive oil in skillet. Cook onions until soft. Add the remainder of sauce ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes.
Prepare filling by mixing all filling ingredients together in a small bowl.
Evenly spread filling mixture on entire surface of all of the noodles. Starting at one end, roll up noodles into little bundles.
In a 9×13 dish, spread out a cup of sauce.
Place roll ups in dish. Pour remaining sauce over roll ups and top with cheese.
Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.

Lentils and riceapple slices, flatbread

Pizza

Flex night

Lentils and rice. Part of February's real food frugal meal plan

 

That concludes the plan!  Don’t forget to purchase the printable pack if you want the extra convenience!

Sept printable preview 2

 

Interested in more months?

Check out all of my frugal meal plans.