Get inspired with this menu plan that includes lots of frugal meals for families. Perfect for anyone looking for easy, inexpensive meal ideas!
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Sharing my meal plans has gotten a lot of people curious about exactly how I manage to get the groceries that we need for just $225 a month. There are lots of things that I do to save money on food (and I talk a bit more about some of that below).
But using money-saving grocery apps is one of my favorite ways to save at the grocery store. And it’s also super easy too! Here are the ones I use and recommend:
- Fetch Rewards (use referral code GE0EG to get $2.00 in free points!)
– This one is the absolute easiest to use…you just scan your receipt and that’s it. I’ve only used it for a couple of weeks and I already have earned $9 in Amazon gift cards!
- Shopkick (use promo code THRIFTY5 at sign up to get an extra 3000 point)
– This one isn’t really a grocery app per se, but I like to use it when I’m at the grocery store to earn points (or kicks as they call them) that I can redeem for gift cards. It only takes a couple of extra minutes and if I’m not pushed for time it’s worth it for me!
If you looking for some frugal meals to add to your weekly meal plan ideas but are new to my menu plan posts, it’s probably helpful to know a couple of things first:
- Our family of six consists of two adults with fairly big appetites, a 9 year-old boy, a 5 ½ year-old girl, a 3 ½ year-old girl and a 1 year-old boy.
- I have a stockpile. My cupboards are full from previous shopping and here’s why. When I can get pasta for free with coupons, I buy as much as I have coupons for. If I’m able to get flour for $0.50/bag like I did last fall, I’ll buy half a dozen and put them in the freezer to use as needed. I do this as much as my budget allows, on as many items as I can and as a result save lots of money. Then when I go to plan menus, I simply plan our meals around what I already have in my cupboards and freezer, as much as possible. Obviously, I still might have to buy a few things at regular price here and there, but by stocking up when the price is at rock bottom I save a lot.
- I cook almost totally from scratch. That means when I make a cake, I almost always make them from scratch. I make my own bread totally from scratch. I rarely use pre-packaged sauces. I make my own cream soups and pie crusts. Making your own food is typically less expensive and healthier too.
- We rarely snack. By eating “heavy” food like granola at breakfast we don’t get hungry until lunchtime. And the same goes for the afternoon. Our lunches are big enough that we usually are fine until dinner time. When we do need a snack, I try to keep it mostly healthy by offering fruit, nuts or maybe No Bake Energy Bites. We don’t always do it perfectly though, and sometimes end up having chips or cookies instead.
- Our breakfasts consist of Homemade Granola or Baked Oatmeal, the occasional bought cereal that I was able to get for $0.50/box and sometimes some fruit too. I know that might seem awfully boring to some of you, but we actually all really enjoy it and prefer it over other breakfast food. I also have a homemade iced coffee, homemade frappe or some other fun beverage every morning. It’s just one of the little things that I do to help me have a productive day!
Menu Plan with Frugal Meals for Families
- Herb Roasted Chicken and Potatoes; Green Beans; Homemade Applesauce; Favorite Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Homemade Grilled Tuna Salad Sandwiches; Easy Fruit Smoothie
- Meat & Cheese Sandwiches on 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Potato Chips; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Apples; Home Canned Peaches
- Creamy Italian Sausage and Pasta Soup; Lettuce Salad with Mexican Dressing; Chocolate Pudding Cake (the recipe I use is similar to this); Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream
- Annie’s Mac & Cheese; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Apples; Frozen Raspberries
- 1-2-3-4 Casserole; Homemade Applesauce; Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream
– The casserole is a super easy recipe that makes a tasty one-dish dinner. You put raw ground beef, raw potatoes, carrots and onions in a baking dish and then make a simple gravy-like mixture that goes over the top. It ends up being kind of like meatloaf and veggies all in the same dish. So good!
- Refried Bean & Cheese Quesadillas (made with my easy Homemade Refried Beans); Easy Homemade Yogurt; Apples; Frozen Blueberries
- Crockpot White Bean French Onion Soup; Garlic & Herb Quick Bread; Peas; Cheese Sticks (I got these super cheap recently with coupons); Spiced Pumpkin Scones
- Meat & Cheese Sandwiches on 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Grapes; Fresh Pears
- Various Leftovers; Leftover Peas and Green Beans; No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes
- Eggs; Toast; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Fresh Pears; Grapes
- Leftover Creamy Italian Sausage & Pasta Soup; Leftover Crockpot White Bean French Onion Soup; Leftover Garlic & Herb Quick Bread; Lettuce Salad with Mexican Dressing; Pear Tart
- Home Canned Vegetable Soup; Cheese; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Fresh Pears; Grapes
- Homemade Chicken Alfredo Pizza (used homemade healthier Alfredo sauce and homemade pizza crust and topped with chicken, and caramelized onions); Lettuce Salad; Leftover No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes
– This homemade pizza crust recipe is awesome! Not only does it need no time to rise, but you can also have it ready to go in the oven in 30 minutes! And it’s really tasty too. The only thing I do differently is pre-bake the crust a bit before putting on the toppings.
- Curry Chicken & Rice Soup; Homemade Applesauce
– We had a carry in lunch at our church and this is what I took.
- Homemade Grilled Tuna Salad Sandwiches; Easy Fruit Smoothie
- Various Leftovers; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Grapes; Home Canned Peaches
- Sausage Brats in Rolls; Lettuce Salad with Mexican Dressing; Homemade Applesauce; Pepperidge Farm Cake (got free with coupons recently)
- Meat & Cheese Sandwiches on 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Home Canned Peaches; Frozen Blueberries
- Cheesy Chicken Chowder; Lettuce Salad; Leftover Desserts
- Various Leftovers; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Home Canned Peaches; Frozen Blueberries
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice; Lettuce Salad with Mexican Dressing; Leftover Pear Tart
- Meat & Cheese Sandwiches on 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Home Canned Peaches; Apples
- Chicken Nuggets; French Fries; Lettuce Salad with Mexican Dressing; Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream
- Various Leftovers; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Home Canned Peaches; Apples
- Chipotle Casserole; Peas; Homemade Applesauce; Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream
– The casserole is chicken, black beans and rice mixed together with lots of herbs and spices, sour cream and cheese. Basically, it tastes like something you’d get at the restaurant Chipotle. So good!
- Meat & Cheese Sandwiches on 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Frozen Raspberries; Apples
- Homemade Chicken Pot Pie; Cheese Sticks; Homemade Applesauce; Jelly Pies (used the leftover pie crust from the pot pie and made little “moon pie” type pastries filled with strawberry jelly and apple butter)
Other frugal posts that you’ll enjoy: