After my post about Pinterest 2-week meal planning, there were several questions, but the main one was how to make a frugal meal plan using Pinterest. I decided to accept the challenge and see what I could come up with to help not only my readers but our family as well. So I came up with 2- Weeks of Frugal Meals That Are NOT Spaghetti.
Where to Start
I always start with the ads. Planning your menu based upon sales is always the cheapest way to create a menu that has variety.
I refuse to pay for a newspaper, when I won’t read it and don’t really use the coupons. This means I go online. Almost all grocery stores now have their sales online. This is fast, cheap, and easy.
.I write down the things I know we will use, especially meats and big sales items. The big sales items are what I buy to keep my pantry stocked and to have meals for those days right before we get paid again, when the pantry is empty.
Making a Meal Plan
The key here is variety without having a variety of choices in meat. We usually eat mostly chicken and beef with a little pork thrown in now and then. This also means that we have to have a good starch to make sure the “starving children” are filled up. For our family, this is either rice, pasta, bread or potatoes.
Stephen will take leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day. This means I need to have a couple of good hardy sides for every meal so the children don’t eat all of the entrées.
Pinterest Meal Idea Searches
I went to my favorite search engine and typed in frugal meals. There are some great blog posts listing frugal meals out there. Not only did I see some of my favorite blogs, but found a few new ones to love.
There were a variety of things that we already eat on a regular basis, but I found a few others that I didn’t think about as being frugal. When I broke down the price they really were a great deal for our family of 8. While there were several spaghetti like meals I wanted to find non-spaghetti as they aren’t my favorite.
So here is what I found, links included.
2- weeks of Frugal Meals That Are NOT Spaghetti
Sloppy Joes- Pioneer Woman (This is our family’s favorite sloppy joes recipe.)
White Chicken Enchiladas- Recipe Tin Eats (My kids devour these, but we kick them up a notch.)
Pork Fried Rice- The Woks of Life (We also make this for lunch. We throw in whatever veggies we have.)
Ravioli Lasagna- Mrs Happy Homemaker (So much easier than lasagna, and just as good.)
Chicken Lo Mein- Popsugar (I can’t seem to get enough of this recipe.)
Jambalaya- Budget Bytes (This is another family favorite.)
Beef Stroganoff- Hip Foodie Mom (This reminds me of the recipe my mom made when I was little.)
As I said, these are vital to our family. There is no way this can stretch over 8 people, plus for my husband for lunch the next day without side dishes. So here is the list of sides I plan on making for the next 2 weeks.
Chips and Salsa- (Pioneer Woman) We canned salsa from our garden this year. This will be served with the Mexican dishes.
Green Salad- (Babble) This will be served with all Italian dishes and Beef Stroganoff
Garlic Bread- (Food Marriage) Also served with Italian dishes (We just take a loaf of bread, make up garlic butter to spread on it and bake it.)
Corn Bread- (High Heels & Grills) This will be served with Mexican Dishes, Jambalaya and Kielbasa Hash
Cole Slaw- (Shugary Sweets) This goes with the BBQ Pork and Sloppy Joes
Spicy Green Beans- (Domestic Superhero) This will be served with both of the Chinese Dishes.
Chips- If we need something else added to a meal we will add chips. This is great for the meals that are sandwiches.
Veggies and Dip- (Sweet Little Bluebird) While this is usually my go to for lunches, I will also use this for meals that include sandwiches. This was certainly cheaper when our garden was in full season.
In our house you have a choice of 1 of 3 things. Water is always available and the majority of us will add lemon to our water. For the littles there is always milk to drink, and the older ones drink it if we have breakfast for dinner. Finally, we usually make Decaf tea to go with our dinner because it is what Stephen loves and grew up drinking at dinner time.
As always you can find my frugal choices on my Pinterest Board HERE.
What are your Frugal go to meals? Share them below along with a link so we can add them to our list. If you are a blogger and have a great frugal recipe, please share a link to one of your best recipes. I’d love to find them.