How to Make a Frugal Meal Plan For the Week That Saves Money
I am going to show you how to make a meal plan. I'll also share what we eat in a week for dinners. It is Monday, and I plan my meal after going to the community larder.
I will look through my cupboards and plan this week's meal plan. So on my wall, I have a piece of paper where I write what I will be cooking for each day of the week and a shopping list.
After I've done that, I look in my fridge and my pantry to see what I've got and what I can use this week before we go shopping. I've got chicken strips, so I need to think of something I can make with them. We've got loads of eggs, so I've got stuff I can make with there.
The fridge is pretty empty. Veg-wise, we've got spinach, lettuce, and broccoli. We've got pasta and loads of potatoes, some onions, and loads of flour
In the cupboard, we have rice and coconut milk. I got loads of bits up in the cabinet, and then we've got a few bits outside the freezer too.
After looking through all my cupboards, fridge, and freezers, I see what I have and what meals I can make while adding the least amount of ingredients.
On Monday, I saw that I had burgers in the outside freezer and got burger buns. I had some potatoes that needed use, and I thought I could make some wedges for burgers on Monday.
Tuesday, I had a bag of frozen fajita mixed with peppers, onions, and mushrooms, all chopped up in the freezer. That was an easy one I could make. I also have flour to make wraps and some vegetables to have on the side. I write down anything I need in the shopping list, so I haven't yet had to add anything for these dinners.
I see what I need to add to that individual meal to make it a complete meal and add it to the list. I also add the things I need for breakfasts and lunches onto my list.
These are to say these are the seven meals I'm making in a week, not necessarily that I'm making them in this order. This is hanging up my wall so I can, throughout the week, chop and change it, cross things out, and add things on. I can change if something gets eaten for lunch instead of dinner.
Monday - burgers
Today it will be burgers, some potatoes, and broccoli.
I have a few little bits of potatoes in the freezer I'll cook up, and I'm just going to add more veggies and some sweet corn. Dinner for Monday night is sweet corn, broccoli, and burgers.
Tuesday - seitan fajitas
Tonight is Tuesday, and we're having from the freezer a big bag of pre-chopped veggies, onions, mushrooms, and peppers for seitan. If you don't know what seitan is, it's a wheat protein, often called wheat meat.
We're also going to have so for Tuesday; we had homemade wraps and seitan-like chicken strips, so we didn't end up using the toasted chicken in the fridge. We added the roasted onions, mushrooms, and peppers to a fajita.
Wednesday - nachos
It is Thursday, and I realized after the fact that I did not show you yesterday's meal because it ended up being a stressful, busy day. Yesterday for dinner, we were meant to have jacket potatoes. That was on the meal plan.
When we used them, they were all soft and squishy, so we couldn't use them. What I did instead was when I did a quick food shop. I bought a cheap pack of Nachos from Aldi, and I knew I had black beans, so I bought some salsa, garlic, garlic, chive dip, and some cheese.
What I did was I cooked up some refried beans and cooked them in water to make them mushy. I added a very small chopped onion and some herbs beforehand to cook off first. I added the black beans, the water, and a bit of stock, and then you mush that.
So what we did was I spread out the nachos, topped it with the black beans and cheese, baked it in the oven, then topped that with salsa and garlic and chive dip, and then I also cooked up some baby corn and some rice. It was a bit of a random dinner.
Wednesdays are crazy days where we are out of the house all day at meetups.
Thursday - bagels
For tonight I have bagels because these need to get used. I don't want them to go to waste because food waste is one of my biggest pet peeves. I got some potatoes, loads of sausages, and we'll have loads left over for tomorrow. We have broccoli and baby corn. There is some mayo and a pack of bagels and spreads.
Friday - lentil bolognese
I've got loads of red lentils, so I will try to make it with these. We will make a bolognese full of these ingredients—some Halloween pasta and stock cubes. We've got pasta, bolognese, cheese, and my sauce. That's Friday night's dinner.
Saturday - leftovers
I did not need to make dinner on Saturday night because we had loads of leftover bolognese, so we also ate that again. I only needed to make six different dinners this week because of leftovers.
Sunday - pizza
It is Sunday, so it is the last day of the week. On Sundays, we tend to make pizzas. These are the ingredients I'm going to use for pizzas. We've got plain flour, soy milk, unsweetened salt, some yeast, and olive oil, and then I'll make my tomato sauce with tomato puree.
There are all the things I need for the dough, and then I will make my pizza sauce and top it with cheese and some veggies that we'll put on top. We ended up just sticking to cheese pizzas today.
How to make a meal plan
I hope my example showed you how to make a meal plan. Do you have any meals on your meal plan that your family loves/? Share your recipes in the comments below.