I am so thrilled with the feedback that I have gotten the last two months that I have been doing these monthly frugal meal plans. I have been brought to tears many times this month from testimonials from mommas and daddies getting in the kitchen, cooking nutritious food for their families, and taking back their food budgets because of these plans. You are doing it, guys! I'm so proud of you! I'm humbled and excited that more and more families are beginning to get back in the kitchen, learn basic cooking skills, and not having to spend an arm and a leg in the process. Here are just a few of the testimonials from the first two months.
So I have to admit my Food Praise! I purchased your September meal plan. GENIUS by the way! Meals real families and kids actually eat??? Well it's November and I finally did the shopping and started the meals! Daughter loved the first two meals! Her words Sooo Delicious, this is going to be the best month of my life! (She's 8) - truth be known I'm not the cooking type, never have been. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making this possible, attainable and doable for a mom that just doesn't know how!
This is just what we needed! With a new baby in the house – I have been slacking in the meal planing department! Our food bill has been growing every week and we have not been eating the best….
It feels so good to have everything put together for us, not going over budget, and giving my family fun and healthy food again! Thank you so much!
Hi just want to say I just stumbled on your site and I must say thank you for having this site and helping people on a budget be able to afford food that tastes good not many understand that some people just don’t have lots of money to by fancy foods so once again thank you and God bless you.
We LOVE everything we’ve tried so far! Can’t wait to try the chicken & rice now, too. 🙂 Meal planning was scary to me, but I knew it was necessary to maintain a frugal yet healthy grocery budget. You’re awesome!
Hey! I just wanted to write you to tell you what a blessing your meal plans have been. I have been struggling for many months trying to keep my grocery spending in check. It's just so hard now a days with how expensive groceries are. Anyways I'm so thankful that the Lord let me to discover your meal plans. We have an Aldi close by and I can get everything on the shopping list there AND have money let over that I could splurge on more high quality groceries. ex: get my organic free range chicken from sprout instead of Aldo's version. Anyways I hope you continue making the meal plans and I will be a faithful customer! Also the carrot top pesto YUMMMM!
You, dear readers, are truly precious to me! Some of you who write to me often, I feel like are dear friends of mine. I will continue to write these monthly frugal meal plans as long as they are helping people. Thank you for your kind feedback and giving me a glimpse into your lives and stories.
November Real Food Frugal Meal Plan
Weeks 1 and 3 are a bit more than I like to budget for the week, but weeks 2 and 4 are much cheaper so it evens out to still be under the $80/week budget for the month if you average the weeks together. I am also assuming that everyone will have access to leftover turkey after Thanksgiving for two leftover turkey meals. If you do not, buy a chicken and use that.
Whole chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, buttered carrots
Penne with squash and bacon
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cubed
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
olive oil for drizzling
½ teaspoon salt
3-4 slices bacon
4 T. butter
fresh sage, about 8leaves (optional)
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb penne pasta
Put squash and onion on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil and salt and roast in oven at 425 for 30-35 minutes.
The last ten minutes on another baking sheet bake the bacon in the oven. Cook penne pasta according to package directions. Don’t forget to liberally salt the water. Melt butter in a skillet. Add fresh sage leaves and cook for a couple of minutes. Crumble bacon and toss pasta, sage butter, bacon, vegetables, and Parmesan cheese together.
Chicken tortilla soup (only buy extra toppings if budget allows)
Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, sautéd greens
2 T. butter
½ onion, diced
2 cups of greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard), finely chopped
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoons any fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme), minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a well seasoned 12 inch cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and greens and cook until tender. Beat together eggs, cheese, and herbs. Pour over vegetables. With a rubber spatula, gently move around egg mixture. When bottom begins to set, transfer to oven and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until top is set and no longer jiggly. Serve immediately.
Clean out the fridge night
Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole
2 cups rice
½ cup onion
3 T. butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups broth
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp pepper
1 head broccoli, cut into bit sized pieces
2 cups leftover chicken
Cook rice according to package directions to yield four cups of rice. While rice is cooking, roast broccoli in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Also while rice is cooking, sautee onion in butter. Add flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in broth and milk and stir while thickening. Gradually add in cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Combine rice, chicken, and broccoli in a casserole dish. Top with 1 cup of shredded cheese. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.
Cheeseburger pie, cut up fruit, carrot sticks
Roasted cauliflower soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
1 head of cauliflower (about 8 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ cup onion, chopped
4 broth (or a combination of broth and water)
1 cup milk
¼ cup parmesan cheese if desired
Cut up cauliflower into bit sized chunks. Drizzle with olive oil. Add to baking sheet. Salt and pepper.
Roast in oven at 450 for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté onions and garlic until tender.
After cauliflower is cooked, working in two batches, put half of all ingredients in a blender, and puree smooth. Continue with second batch and serve hot.
Pasta with broccoli and Parmesan
1 lb. bowtie or penne pasta
1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
3 T. butter
salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions, taking care to liberally salt water. Add broccoli to cooking pasta the last five minutes. Drain pasta and broccoli and add back to pot. Stir in butter, salt, pepper, and shredded Parmesan cheese to taste.
Pumpkin pancakes and eggs
1 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder;
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup milk
½ cup pumpkin puree
2 T. butter, melted
1 T. maple syrup
In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. Whisk in remainder of wet ingredients until fairly smooth. On a buttered skillet or griddle over medium heat, pour batter into four inch circles. Cook until golden and edges begin to dry (about 2-3 minutes). Flip to other side and cook until golden and cooked all way through
cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 T butter (from grass fed cows is best)
1 small to medium onion, chopped
6 mushrooms, chopped
1.5 lbs lean ground beef
¼ c flour (arrowroot powder stirred in at the end will work if you are grain free)
¾ c chicken broth
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 c milk
2 c green beans
2 T plain yogurt or sour cream
1 ½ c shredded cheddar cheese (from grass fed cows is best)
2 c shredded REAL potatoes (I used my food processor and it ended up being 3 tiny potatoes)
Melt one tablespoon of butter in heavy oven safe skillet. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Add ground beef and mushrooms and brown ground beef until cooked throughout. Drain most of grease. Add remaining butter and melt. Then add flour, stir into meat mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add broth, milk and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer until it becomes thick. Stir in yogurt or sour cream, frozen green beans and 1 c. of cheddar cheese. Top with shredded potatoes and remaining ½ c shredded cheddar. Transfer skillet to 350 degree oven and bake 30 minutes until bubbly and potatoes are done and crisping.
Greek chicken with potatoes, and green beans
2 large russet potatoes, washed and cut into 8 wedges
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
6-8 bone in skin on chicken pieces (preferably legs and thighs)
On a large parchment lined baking sheet, add potatoes and green beans in a single layer. Salt and pepper. Add chicken on top. Drizzle Greek dressing over chicken and vegetables, reserving half for serving. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and vegetables are tender. Drizzle on more dressing if desired at the table.
Spaghetti squash fritters, baked apples
cooked spaghetti squash, liquid squeezed out
½ cup flour
½ cup grated Parmesan
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
green onions (2 chopped)
2 T. fat of choice
Cut squash in half, oil and place cut is down on in a baking dish. Bake at 425 for about 40 minutes. Let cool and scoop out insides with a fork. Wring out as much liquid as you can either in a fine mesh sieve or in a thin towel or paper towel over the sink.
After wringing out the liquid, add remainder of ingredients. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt olive oil, butter, bacon drippings, or a combination, drop spoonful portions onto hot pan. Cook until well browned on one side, then flip and cook until well browned on the other side. Salt and pepper to taste after cooking.
4 cups broth
½ cup soy sauce (start with ¼ cup and work up to taste)
1 lb. soba noodles
2 carrots, cut into small strips
2 cups, cabbage sliced thinly
1 cup mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 green onions, sliced on the diagonal
2 T. olive oil
any leftover chicken
Cook soba noodles according to package directions.
Add olive oil to medium high skillet and cook mushrooms, carrots, and cabbage until crisp tender. Add green onions the last couple of minutes.
In a sauce pan, warm together broth, soy sauce, garlic, and chicken.
Let everyone add noodles to their bowl, topped with vegetables, and then ladle over desired broth
Meat ball subs
1 lb ground beef
¼ cup milk
½ cup breadcrumbs (dried out bread, crumbled)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp rosemary
½ tsp oregano
1 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Roll into golf ball sized balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Fish sticks (use flour and/or a combo of flour and cornmeal if budget is tight), fruit (apples, bananas, grapes), green salad
Breakfast for dinner (hash browns, French toast, eggs, etc)
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery, chunked
1 onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
½ tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 onion, chopped
In large stock pot, place turkey carcass. Cover with water. Add carrots, celery, onions, and bay leaf. Simmer for several hours. Strain broth, and pick off remaining turkey off of bones. Add turkey, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, and salt and pepper back into stock pot. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Open faced turkey sandwiches
Toast bread and top with warm turkey and hot gravy.
Eat well, spend smart my friends! I hope this month treats you well.