I’ve been asked many times as of late about creating frugal meal plans for Trim Healthy Mama. Honestly, most of my weekly meal plans are pretty frugal. I did a frugal dinner meal plan almost 2 years ago, but I thought it was time for another installment, especially given the rate at which food prices have been climbing as of late.
I was able to plan a full week’s worth of dinners for 4-6 people for $72.02! There are eleven different spices that I’m using in the recipes and if you already have them on hand then the plan costs just $59.24. I feel like that is pretty darn good! Some of the meals will serve closer to 4-5 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 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, but you can’t just buy it a 1/2 cup at a time. Also, there will be leftovers of cheese, carrots, chicken broth, spices, sausage, 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. If I chose all soups, or all meatless meals it would have been quite a bit cheaper. However, if you have a family like mine, they want a variety of meal types each week and my husband especially likes meat. I know some of you don’t mind as many meatless meals, so if you’re looking for more ideas, check out this post of 20 Meatless THM Meals.
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 Trim Healthy Future, Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and Trim Healthy Table I didn’t want the lack of owning one or all 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 eleven 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 around $1. Another great place to get spices is 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. If you’re interested in more ways to save on your grocery bill while eating the THM way, then you’ll want to read my 6 best money saving tips.
Here’s what’s on the menu:
Monday: Instant Pot Kielbasa and Cabbage with green beans (I’m using frozen) on the side (S)
Tuesday: Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup (E)
Wednesday: Chicken Stir-fry over brown rice (E)
Thursday: 1/2 of a batch of Brad’s Favorite Chili (S)
Friday: Burrito Bowls – Chili Lime Black Beans, brown rice, salsa and a tiny pinch of cheddar cheese (E)
Saturday: Sausage Patty Quiche with green beans (I’m using frozen) on the side (S)
Sunday: Zesty Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Casserole (E)