Frugal Winter Meal Plan

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Did you spend too much money at Christmas? Are you looking for ways to shave a little money off your grocery bill? This week, I have a meal plan that will feed your family without spending an arm and a leg on food. It uses ingredients readily available to almost everyone.

I shopped at Aldi for all the ingredients for this meal plan. It also includes EVERYTHING you need, except for salt, pepper, and oil. I am NOT assuming you have a fully stocked pantry or spice cupboard. However, if you already have a few things on hand, you could save even more! I also include the cost for the full bag of something, even if you don’t use it all. You can’t go into a store and ask for half a bag of cheese or 2 Tablespoons sugar!

Frugal winter meal plan

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Shopping at Aldi, I spent less than $75 on the groceries for this meal plan. It gives you a week’s worth of home-cooked suppers every night. This meal plan should easily feed a family of four (it actually will feed our family of 5) so you may have leftovers that you can use for lunches.

According to the USDA, a family of four on the thrifty plan can expect to spend $131.80 per week on food costs. (This figure is from 2015, but is the most current figure I could find.) My plan only includes suppers, but based on the USDA figures, you still have $56.80 to spend on breakfasts and lunches. And this is based off the thrifty plan, which is the lowest cost plan listed.

Review The Meal Plan

Be sure you read the meal plan thoroughly as you need to save some of the ingredients to use in other night’s meals. Because you are reusing ingredients, this meal plan should cut down on food waste and save you some time in the kitchen.

I am also a big believer in cooking a big batch of something to be used in other ways over the week. For instance, this meal plan uses pork loins on Tuesday and the leftover meat is re-purposed on several other evenings. If you don’t eat pork or pork loins are too expensive, you can easily substitute any cut of chicken. Just note that the leftovers are used for 3 other meals that week. (You could also do 1 pork tenderloin and some chicken cuts, but go ahead and season and cook it all at one time to make the rest of the week’s meals a breeze.)

I have listed an outline of the meal plan below. To access all the recipes and a full grocery list, including prices (shopped at Aldi during the month of December 2017) sign up below. You will find it in my Resource Library under Meal Plans.

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Is This Frugal Meal Plan Healthy?

I also want to note that this meal plan may not be the healthiest meal plan ever, but it is still better than some I’ve seen floating around the web. It does use a few processed ingredients, that I don’t normally recommend (like store-bought pie crusts and salad dressing).

However, my hope was to make this accessible to all Moms – those working in the home and outside the home. (It does NOT contain cream – of soups though! I can’t stand those.)

If you have a stocked pantry and typically make your own breads and salad dressings, I highly recommend you go ahead and do that. You will still save money and have even healthier meals. (For two easy salad dressing recipes, check out my ranch dressing and my honey mustard dressing. I also give you a simple BBQ salad dressing in the meal plan that is based off my ranch dressing but you could certainly use store-bought ranch.)

A Frugal 7 Day Meal Plan

bowl of chili on a napkin with a spoon
A bowl of chili is a frugal yet filling meal on a cold winter night.

Monday – Broccoli & Cheese Quiche (meatless Monday) & applesauce

Tuesday – BBQ pork (or chicken) sandwiches, chips, & slaw. Divide pork into 4 portions. You will use some tonight served on buns, then use the remaining portions Thursday night, Friday night, and Sunday night. I would go ahead and freeze the portion for Sunday night.

Wednesday – Chili & bread. Reserve some of the chili before adding the beans to top the baked potatoes on Saturday.

Thursday – Salad topped with leftover pork & leftover bread

Friday – BBQ pizza & a side salad using leftover salad from Thursday and leftover pork from Tuesday

Saturday – Stuffed baked potatoes using leftover chili. Cook extra potatoes for Sunday night’s hash.

SundayHash using leftover pork, leftover potatoes (shredded or chopped), leftover broccoli (frozen) from Monday, and any other leftover veggies hanging around.

Hopefully, this sample meal plan will inspire you to save some money on groceries. By purchasing easy-to-find ingredients and re-purposing the ingredients in simple meals, you can feed your family well without spending a fortune. If you would like all the recipes plus a complete grocery list, you can get access to it below.

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