Category Archives: Meal Plans

I try to plan family dinners that are healthy and frugal. Here is an archive of all of my Weekly Meal Plans with links to recipes.

10 Weeks of Easy & Budget-Friendly Dinner Recipes

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Lots of inspiration for getting dinner on the table! Easy and budget friendly recipes for dinner on the cheap.

Readers often ask for easy, budget-friendly dinner recipes here at The Frugal South. So today I’m sharing LOTS of recipes in one post!

For a year I shared my weekly dinner meal plan here on the blog. I made affordable, healthy, and easy dinners a habit, so now I have a huge collection of go-to dinners that I make regularly!

So here’s ten weeks’ worth of my favorite dinner recipes from my year of meal planning…

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Weekly Meal Plan 3/13/16 with Recipes

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2016-03-15 07_06_20-Say Mmm

Since I was able to make a trip to both Trader Joe’s and Costco last week, our fridge and freezer are stocked with meal-ready ideas right now! This Sunday I made dinner for our family + Grandpa from part of a Costco rotisserie chicken, delicious Trader Joe’s Green Beans and homemade potatoes au gratin (which I somehow had never made before?) I got a 10 lb. bag of potatoes for $3.99 at Food Lion this week so I will try to sneak potatoes into our meal plan quite a bit in the next few weeks!

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Weekly Meal Plan 2/28/16 with Recipes

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2016-03-01 14_11_52-Say Mmm

I’ve been hit or miss with meal planning lately and I have a one word explanation… Costco. After getting a membership last month, I stocked up on some frozen food (organic veggie mixes, fish, etc.) that made it super easy to throw meals together without a meal plan. The result was that dinner felt lackluster and uninspired for a while there. That’s the trade off, I guess – dinner without any planning or prep is nice but boring!

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Weekly Meal Plan 2/7/16 with (lots of new) Recipes

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2016-02-08 16_00_24-Say Mmm

I’m back to a meal plan after sorely missing one last week. I made the plan in reverse of how I normally do – I shopped first, then made my meal plan second. The main reason for this is that we finally got a Costco membership (through this fantastic Living Social deal) and I bought only the best priced items there. Then the meal plan came from what I got there plus what we had in the freezer!

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Weekly Meal Plan 1/24/16 with Recipes

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2016-01-24 14_30_23-Say Mmm

I’m revisiting some favorites from last year in this week’s meal plan (Croque Monsieur, Beef Empanadillas, and a yummy vegetarian Indian dinner) as well as trying out some new budget-friendly dishes. I plan on making a huge batch of chicken tenders and freezing them for a quick lunch or dinner main course.

Have you ever felt like you ran out of everything at once in your pantry? Wow,

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Weekly Meal Plan 1/17/16 with Recipes {Humble & Yummy}

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2016-01-17 06_49_17-Say Mmm

This month I am determined to keep our grocery budget under $100/week without sacrificing nutrition or flavor. Last week = success! I am trying to take advantage of store sales and grocery rebates to stay under budget. Something that really helped last week was to make a few things from scratch that I would have otherwise bought, such as cookies (times two… oopsie) and bread.

Plus I get a break from cooking two nights this week thanks to birthday celebrations.

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Weekly Meal Plan 1/10/16 with Recipes

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2016-01-10 16_04_36-Say Mmm

I made a bold move this new year and dropped our monthly grocery budget down to $400. I have been spending between $425-$450 per month lately so I think it is a pretty achievable goal.

To help me reach my goal I’m going to try to plan more meals around what is on sale and what rebates are available on Ibotta. For example, I had offers for $0.50 cash back on both carrots and broccoli from Ibotta this week,

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{Mini} Weekly Meal Plan 12/30/15 with Recipes – Happy New Year!

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2015-12-30 06_03_54-Say Mmm

I’m glad I tackled a meal plan this morning because it helped me remember that 1) I want to have classic Southern “good luck” food on New Year’s Day and 2) I want to try out the pressure cooker my husband gave me for Christmas as soon as possible! 🙂 Though this plan is only for part of the week, I figured it is better than nothing and it lets me share some easy and frugal recipes to ring in the New Year.

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Weekly Meal Plan 12/14/15 with Recipes {Cleaning Out the Pantry… Again}

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plan

Believe it or not, I was ready to survey and clean out the cupboards and freezer again this week. I find that if I really want to save money on our grocery budget, I do this about once a month. When I “shop” from what is already in the house and build a meal plan around that, I have to buy significantly less at the store. Plus this usually requires some creative and new recipes which is always exciting!

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Weekly Meal Plan 12/6/15 with Recipes

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2015-12-06 21_44_44-Say Mmm

I took a week off from meal planning due to traveling to Ohio to visit my family. I am actually thrilled to have a plan for this week and be back to a routine. Traveling and eating out is great but I really do love cooking in my own kitchen and eating at home!

I made this Chana Masala (a chickpea and tomato dish) and Vegetable Biryani last weekend but had to share them in the meal plan because they were extra good.

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Weekly Meal Plan 11/22/2015 with Recipes {Thanksgiving, too!}

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2015-11-23 15_54_30-Say Mmm

We had an early Thanksgiving with friends this year and decided to take it easy on the actual Turkey Day. I spatchcocked the turkey for the second year in a row and I’m never looking back. I know you want to know more about this strange-sounding method of cooking a turkey so read more here! Be sure to check out the rest of what I’m cooking this week below,

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Weekly Meal Plan 11/15/15 – Clean Out the Freezer Version

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new meal plan
As I was searching for strawberries in the freezer this week, I realized it was brimming with recipe-ready food. I decided to take an inventory of our freezer, fridge and pantry and I was SHOCKED by how much food I have hanging around our house! I would share my list except that it is embarrassing and will likely bore you. SO my goal this week was to find recipes that used what I already had and buy as little as possible at the store.

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Weekly Meal Plan 11/8/15 with {Budget Friendly} Recipes

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2015-11-09 06_58_00-Say Mmm

This month I am trying to find extra money in our budget to pad the Christmas fund. I was able to put $20 in the fund last week just because I came in under budget on our groceries. So I have been on the lookout for healthy, low-cost meals for this week to hopefully add some more cash to Santa’s stash!

I got a great deal on some thinly sliced beef labeled “Carne Picada”

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Weekly Meal Plan 11/1/15 with Recipes

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2015-11-02 11_51_19-Say Mmm

I am being really disciplined this week with using what we already have in the house for dinners. Even when we are “out of food” (according to my husband), we still seem to have SO much food in our freezer and cupboards. So I am using baked beans, couscous, ramen noodles, bread flour, chicken thighs, frozen veggies, eggs, and tomatoes from the garden (yep, I’m still getting tomatoes from one plant) that I didn’t have to buy in recipes this week.

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Weekly Meal Plan 10/25/15 with Recipes

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2015-10-26 15_56_10-Say Mmm

Here is a budget-friendly, simple, healthy meal plan for y’all this week. I am trying to make use of what we have in the pantry and freezer to make a little room in the budget for Christmas gifts. I’m particularly excited to try this Chicken Yakisoba from Budget Bytes, a site I discovered this week full of healthy and affordable recipes.

pumpkin cookies

In other news,

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Weekly Meal Plan 10/18/2015 with Recipes (using lots of eggs)

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menu

We are up to our ears in eggs right now. It is amazing how quickly eggs accumulate when your chickens are laying 6-8 eggs each day! My goal was to incorporate eggs into three of my dinner recipes this week. Side note – If you’ve never made a frittata or quiche with chorizo, please put this on your to-do list immediately.

I am also currently reaching peak pumpkin frenzy.

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Weekly Meal Plan 10/11/15 with Recipes

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MEAL PLAN

I love it when I re-discover a recipe I totally love but haven’t made in forever. How have I neglect to make a yummy Irish beef stew packed full of veggies for years on end? The neglect is ending this week as I have a delicious beef stew from Damn Delicious on the menu. Perfect for the cool evenings we will have here in NC this week.

I’m also really excited to try a new whole wheat bread recipe to accompany some corn chowder.

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Weekly Meal Plan 10/4/15 with lots of yummy fall recipes

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2015-10-04 11_10_49-Say Mmm

Well we are home from vacation and it seems that fall has arrived here in North Carolina. Now I’m craving everything comforting and fall – pumpkin, butternut squash, cranberries, apples, you name it. I found a bunch of new recipes to try this week, including the famous Cheddar Cheese Soup that we devoured at the Food & Wine Festival last week. Here’s what I’m making:

One Pot Spanish Chicken and Potatoes –

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