It’s Meal Plan Monday and we are continuing to shop our freezer and pantry this week. After reviewing our freezer inventory and polling the family, I’ve put together a meal plan full of easy, delicious, and budget-friendly meals.
By shopping the sales and our inventory, five meals for our family of four, plus one night of leftovers, comes in at about $55. Let’s be clear – these are not fancy meals. These are affordable, filling meals that our family loves and are quick and easy to put together on a weeknight.
Let’s jump into it.
|Monday||Hamburgers, tater tots, street corn|
|Tuesday||Cilantro lime chicken tacos/burrito bowls|
|Wednesday||Pulled pork baked potatoes, green bean bundles|
|Thursday||School event – leftover buffet|
|Friday||School event – order pizza in|
|Saturday||BLT sandwiches, fruit, salad|
|Sunday||Meatza, mac & cheese, peas, gluten free pasta|
Monday: Hamburgers, tater tots, street corn
Monday’s dinner is the most expensive of the week, coming in at around $15 for four servings. We are saving money here by using a pound of 90/10 sirloin that I bought on sale for $3.39. Tater tots and burger buns were our splurges – we paid full price for name-brand tater tots and brioche buns. Our favorite hamburger recipe calls for breadcrumbs and eggs, both of which we have on hand. We also have everything on hand for the street corn: frozen corn, jalapenos from the pantry, and cream cheese and cheese from the fridge. I purchased lettuce and tomatoes this week and will be using them in three different meals.
Tuesday: Cilantro lime chicken tacos/burrito bowls
Tuesday’s dinner comes in just under $10 for four servings. Once again, we are using the lettuce and tomato purchased this week and pulling the cilantro lime chicken from the freezer (bought on sale for $4.99). Pairing these with tortillas, rice, salsa, sour cream, and cheese that we had in stock, this is an easy Taco Tuesday budget meal.
Wednesday: Pulled pork baked potatoes, green bean bundles
Wednesday also comes in under $10 for four servings. The pulled pork was made and frozen in December, and we had everything except the russet potatoes on hand. The green bean bundles are my daughter’s favorite thing to make – kids can make this recipe 100% by themselves by the time they are 7 or so. We’ve used our favorite green bean bundle recipe for years but cut back on the butter and sugar to make it a bit healthier.
Thursday: School event – leftover buffet
Super quick and easy is the name of the game for Thursday. We’ll go right from picking up one kid from karate practice to school for an evening event for the other.
Friday: School event – pizza takeout
We have another school event Friday night, so our oldest will get pizza there and our youngest and Dad will order pizza. I’ll be chaperoning, so I’ll pack a gluten-free meal for myself to eat on the fly, probably a gf bagel sandwich and an apple.
Saturday: BLT sandwiches, fruit, salad
I don’t know what it is about BLTs, but our kids can’t get enough of them these days. Thankfully that makes for another inexpensive meal with bacon from the freezer (3.99 on sale) and everything else on hand. I’ll pick up fruit and any extras we need on our way back from our Saturday morning activities. This meal comes in at just under $10 for all four of us.
Sunday: Meatza, mac & cheese, peas, gluten-free pasta
Meatza is an old family favorite of my husband’s and is basically meatloaf in a square baking dish topped with mushrooms, ketchup and cheese. It shouldn’t work, but it does! We’ll pair it with good olf Kraft macaroni & cheese, frozen peas, and gluten-free pasta for me. The hamburger meat will once again come from the freezer and was purchased on sale for $3.79 for a pound. Adding in the rest, including my expensive gluten-free pasta, takes us to just over $11 for four servings.
$55 Family Favorites Meal Plan
All in all, this week’s meal plan is full of family favorites, that are quick and easy, and budget-friendly. Using our pantry and freezer inventories and shopping sales made this week’s meal plan a dream for the budget.
When making your plan for the week, take a minute to look at your schedule, know what nights are going to be a mad rush from school to activities, and which nights just need take out.
I try to build my plan by choosing my leftover buffet nights first and then loading the days ahead with dinners that produce leftovers. It’s a bit of reverse meal planning, but it helps me not have to scramble on busy evenings.
All in all, this week is full of activities and food that makes my people happy. Will it go perfectly according to plan? Probably not, but it will be a great week.
What’s on your meal plan this week?