Cheap Meal Plans for Families - recipes, printable menus and tips to help you save money on weekly grocery shopping are featured as part of our Weekly Meal Plan. I hope you'll use these recipes to inspire your meal planning for the week. Let’s talk about this week’s meal plan and how to save money on your grocery bills.
Feeding a family while you're trying to save money can be a difficult job. Today I'm going to share with you a few tips that I have used over the years to plan cheap family dinner recipes as well as saving money while grocery shopping.
How to meal plan on a budget:
We've all had times when we need to feed our family when money is low. I remember taking a calculator with me to the grocery store when our daughter was first born to make sure I didn't go over a certain amount because there wasn't much left in our checking account.
- Choose recipes you know your family will eat. Now, sometimes that can be difficult if you have picky eaters at home.
- Try to plan meals that are also healthy and don't contain many processed foods.
- Take advantage of frozen vegetables instead of fresh vegetables. Try to stay away from canned vegetables as most of those are filled with added sodium.
- Pay attention to grocery store sales circulars and buy what's on sale. Put a meal plan together with what you can purchase that's on sale this week.
- Try to plan one vegetarian or meatless meal.
- Do your best to plan ahead. That drive thru meal could cost a family of four close to $40! Even if you think you don't have time to cook dinner, you can always make my family's favorite grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade tomato soup.
Meal Planning Categories
This is just an example of how I like to meal plan. You could also incorporate a “leftover meal” or even “clean out the refrigerator” night. This is something we do at least once a week or every 10 days.
Assign each day of the week a different category and then plan a meal according to that category.
- Monday - Meatless, Vegetarian or even Leftovers from the weekend.
- Tuesday - Taco Tuesday or Mexican Recipe
- Wednesday - Chicken, Beef or Fish
- Thursday - Pasta or Italian Night
- Friday - Sandwiches and Soup
- Saturday - Pizza or Eat Out, Order In
- Sunday - Comfort Food Meal
- Monday - 5 Ingredient Black Bean Pasta Recipe
- Tuesday - Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas Casserole
- Wednesday - Tuna Salad served on lettuce or with soft rolls. Canned fish is a cheap and convenient option for a fast and healthy family meal on a budget.
- Thursday - Spaghetti with Homemade Tomato Sauce.
- Friday - Potato and Corn Chowder - made in the crockpot!
- Saturday - Bubble Up Pizza Casserole
- Sunday - Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
Now, pick a side dish to serve with the recipes listed above. Side dishes should include potatoes or rice along with one or two veggies. A tossed salad with homemade ranch salad dressing is always nice too.
More Meal Planning Ideas
There are quite a few printables to help you get dinner on the table for your family. The Weekly Meal Plan Printable, Pantry List Essentials, even the Keto Friendly Food Lists are all available once you sign up for my weekly newsletter, you’ll be able to download and print them out.
If you’re already a subscriber, check your email for this week’s newsletter. I included the password to enter the WOS Printable Library. Or just leave me a comment below and I’ll send the link directly to your email.
If you're looking for more detailed meal plans with grocery lists, you're going to love Eat at Home Menu Plans. The Eat at Home Menu Planning does all the work for you. For only a few dollars per week and you get four different menu plans for every week.