I’ve been asked many many times about creating a frugal Trim Healthy Mama meal plan. Honestly, most of my weekly meal plans are pretty frugal, but I thought I would do one that is just for dinners and is on the very frugal side.
I was able to plan a full week’s worth of dinners for 4-6 people for $63.85! There are seven different spices that I’m using in the recipes and if you already have them on hand then the plan costs just $54.95! I feel like that is pretty darn good! Some of the meals will serve closer to 4 people, but two of the meals serve 8-10 people. You should have leftovers for lunch a couple of days. Of course, this all depends on the size of the eaters you have in your home. I’m also assuming that you have salt, pepper and some kind of cooking oil on hand.
Also, the true cost of this plan is a little bit cheaper because some items I’m only using some of but will have leftovers. For instance, I need one and a half blocks of cream cheese, but you can’t just buy a half of a block. Also, there will be leftovers of cheese, celery, chicken broth, spices, bouillion, etc…
I know the cost of food can vary widely across the country. I live in West Michigan where food is fairly inexpensive. So obviously, you may not come up with my same exact numbers. Also, you may get lucky and be able to get some items on sale or at a discount store for less. I priced all of this food by using the Walmart Grocery Pickup site and chose store brand items when I could. While I typically shop at Aldi, I know not everyone has one in their town but almost anyone has access to Walmart.
Before I share the meal plan there are a few things I want to explain about how and why I chose the meals that I did because I honestly could have made it cheaper. At first I thought I could make almost all the meals meatless and then that would be really cheap, but in reality, I knew that my own family wouldn’t want to eat seven meatless meals and probably most of your families would not enjoy that either.
Even though this is a frugal meal plan, I still wanted to ensure that I was getting in both S and E meals. While E meals tend to be more budget-friendly your body needs good fats too to help your metabolism to continue to stay revved up.
You’ll notice that all of the recipes are from online sources. They are all from my own website or a THM blogging friend of mine. While I love the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and Trim Healthy Table I didn’t want the lack of owning one or both of these cookbooks to be a hindrance to following my meal plan. My desire is to help everyone feed their families on a tight budget.
This meal plan requires NO special ingredients to follow along. Again, I didn’t want the lack of finances to prohibit someone from using this meal plan. You can make so many amazing THM meals without anything special. All of these items are able to be purchased at your local grocery store.
I am using seven different spices in this meal plan. While the cost of spices can add up there are some ways to acquire them without it costing a lot. Walmart had most of these spices for $0.98. Aldi has many of the basic spices for $0.99. Another great place to get spices if the Dollar Store. Spices really add a lot of flavor to a meal for not much money and they last for quite a while too.
Some other great ways to make your own frugal THM meals are by using dry beans and lentils, frozen or canned vegetables and buying meat and rice in bulk when finances allow. I spend $450/month on groceries for my family of seven. You can read more about that here if you’re curious about how I do that.
Here’s what’s on the Frugal Menu for the week:
Monday: Hearty Two Bean and Lentil Chili (E)
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Italian Beef & Cabbage with broccoli on the side (S)
Wednesday: Burrito Bowls – Brown Spanish Rice, black beans, salsa and lettuce with a pinch of mozzarella cheese (E) ***You could make this cheaper by using dry black beans.
Thursday: Chicken Thighs with Tomato Spinach Sauce over cauliflower rice and green beans on the side (S) ***I’m using tomato sauce instead of marinara sauce, oil in place of the butter and serving with two cans of green beans.
Saturday:Black-Eyed Pea “Gumbo” (E)
Sunday: Instant Pot Paprika Chicken with green beans on the side (S) ***I’m using two cans of green beans and the chicken can be made in a slow cooker as well.