How I Plan a Frugal Weekly Menu to Save Money and Stay Healthy

by Lizzy

Recently, we have had a backward step in our income, so I have been more economical with our meal planning and making a more frugal menu.

Today, I want to share my last week’s frugal weekly menu, explain where I am cutting back and what I do in general to keep my family fed and happy on a budget. Let’s get started!

Frugal weekly menu

1. Breakfasts

The first thing to settle in my menu is breakfasts. Oat-based breakfasts are very popular in our house, it is definitely a staple, so I am going to write down four out of the seven oaty breakfasts. In order to keep things interesting, I like to use different recipes, such as overnight chocolate and orange oats, which you can have either warm or cold, porridge with frozen berries, such as blueberries and cherries, or porridge with hot banana and cinnamon.

We have something sort of oat based every other morning, as in addition to porridge we use oats in bread and to make milk. Having oats cuts down on the cost significantly, and they are so versatile. Our family buys organic oats because those are guaranteed to be gluten-free, but if that is not an issue for you, regular oats will do just fine and save you a lot of money.

Once four breakfasts are covered with oats, I have three more breakfasts to plan. On Tuesday we will have scrambled eggs and spinach on toast, which I have in my freezer. Spinach comes in a large back, freezes fantastically, and it is so easy to use it little by little for scrambled eggs, curries, stews and soups.

On Sunday, we will have the biggest breakfast of the week, which includes scrambled eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast. I am not getting any bacon this week because we are cutting back.

Budget meal idea

2. Dinners

Now that we are getting into main meals, it is time to focus on proteins. Most of our proteins come from the main meals, and proteins are usually the most expensive part of our budget. Getting creative with proteins is the key element of frugal menu planning, so since we are cutting back for next few weeks, I am going to try not to spend too much on each meal.

I have decided to cook sausage pasta with spicy tomato sauce on Monday, and roast pork with three vegetables and potatoes and gravy on Tuesday.

On Wednesday I will make scotch egg, which is a boiled egg with sausage wrapped around it in a coating, baked oats with spices, homemade wedges and coleslaw.

Thursday is sweet and sour pork with pineapple, peppers and rice, and we will have pork again on Friday, which is cubed pork and mushroom with a barbecue sauce with rice.

On Saturday we are going vegetarian with a chickpea and lentil dal with naan bread and some carrot bhajis which are family favorites. Finally, on Sunday we will have sausage with roast root vegetables and Yorkshire puddings.

Once I have all the main meals down, I can put down the bulk of the shopping list. In the protein department, we are only getting sausage, pork and eggs this week. We will get the cheapest pork and also whatever cheapest cheese is on offer, since cheese is so versatile to add flavor, fat, and taste in cooking.

We will also need chickpeas, carrots and swede, onions, peppers, and mushrooms, and whatever fruit is on offer, which will cover the snack side of the menu that I have not filled in. I am also adding our other staples, such as oats that we have discussed earlier, tomatoes and cucumbers, and pasta and rice for the pantry.

Budget meal idea

3. Lunches

Lunches are where we can save tons of money by using leftovers. I am going to make corned beef, hash and poached eggs. Corned beef we have in tins in our pantry. For the hash, I will need potatoes, grated carrots and grated cheese.

On Wednesday, we will have leftover corned beef hash on toast at lunchtime. Thursday will be a mushroom and cheese and onion frittata, which is nice and filling. We will have a jacket potato on Friday with the leftover sweet and sour from Thursday evening.

On Saturday, we will make a meal based on what we have in the fridge, using up whatever needs to be used up before it goes bad. Finally, Sunday will be a tuna mayo and pasta salad.

Eggs and sausages

4. Grocery shopping

Now it is time to go shopping! For the full week, I bought three proteins: 28 eggs, ten gluten free pork sausages, and a six pack of pork shoulder steaks, which will make about four meals.

I am going to use all these in various recipes. We will make homemade gluten free oat loaves that require eggs, too. I paid £6 ($7.58) for the free range eggs from a local farmer, £3.99 for the sausages from Lidl ($5.04), and the same price for the pork.

Regarding fruit, I ended up getting quite a lot of oranges that were reduced, as it is that time of year, as well as some bananas and apples. I washed them all and they are ready to be eaten as part of our snacks.

Now that I know what fruit is available, I am ready to sort out the snacks section of the menu. Monday is coffee cake from the freezer, on Tuesday we will have bananas and oranges, and on Wednesday we will be making a super easy homemade slow cooker rice pudding.

We will have that on Thursday as well, with jam and a banana. On Friday, we will use up any apples that have not been used and have baked apple and raisins, Saturday is crackers, gherkins, olives and pickles, which is a bit of a weekend treat, and Sunday will be any leftover fruit and jam on toast if anyone is still peckish.

Frugal menu

And this is my meal plan for the week! I hope it has been helpful to you, whether as frugal menu ideas or just inspiration.

What are your go to budget friendly meals? Do you have any tips for keeping your grocery spending low? Share in the comments!

Next, learn How 1950s Frugality Can Save You Money Today.

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