meal prep

Fall Budget Meal Plan That Will Make Your Kids Smile

14 Fall Budget Meals

Meal planning is just one of those things I do. I’ve always loved the quote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This reminds me of the time before I started meal planning. Of course, before I had kids this was no big deal! We could whip something up or order something on a whim. Now that I have two sweet and very hungry,  may I add, little boys I need to know what is going into the oven before “HANGRY TIME” happens.

Oh yes, my friends, there was a time I was way less organized. A time when I had two kids under two and I was pulling my hair out just thinking about making dinner. At that time, I needed a way to make things go a bit smoother in our household. The chaos of dinner time was real (and scary)!

That’s when I had a brilliant -not so new idea – to start meal planning. I’ve always been a budget-conscious person and I would make sure I had enough food for the week, but now I needed to take it to another level. I now had four hungry mouths to feed so I decided to meal plan for two weeks at a time. This saved me from going to a store with two kids more than twice a month. If you are a busy mom, you know exactly why I want to avoid the store with kids!

Why Meal Plan?

Meal planning, as mentioned above, will save your sanity as a parent. However, another HUGE reason to meal plan is one thing I LOVE – saving money. You may think using meal planning is a waste and won’t really save you much, but I have literally slashed my grocery bill in half by using some careful planning. The best part is, it only took me around 30 minutes to plan out two weeks worth of meals and complete a grocery list. It may take your more time the first time, but once you get the hang of it, it is easy peasy. Here are some ways meal planning will save you a ton:

  • Less shopping – less time in the store, less purchased
  • Using a list – using a list helps you stop randomly throwing things in your cart
  • Less waste – plan with what you already have and go from there
  • Less take out – no more Chinese food and pizza runs

Suggested Reading:

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How To Create a $40 Meal Plan Your Family Will Love

Plan your meals for two weeks for under $40! Your family and budget will thank you!
$40 Meal Plan Your Family Will Love

This is my third round of bi-weekly dinner meal planning! However, this time it comes with a twist! Why? A fellow frugal friend needed help. She had to find a way to feed herself and her husband for two weeks, but the kicker was she only had $35 for food. Realizing the need for low-cost meal planning, my “$40 Meal Planning Your Family Will Love” was born.

Inspired by her situation, I wondered how many others out there could use low-cost meal planning. So my challenge for this round is to keep your grocery bill around $40. Hopefully, you have some items on hand and you will spend even less, but if you do not, you will come out right around $41.

This list is a dinner meal plan so let’s see how well we can do. Be sure to read until the end and click the printable grocery list to save you time and money! My shopping for this meal plan was mostly done at Kroger.

Keep in mind, if you are saving money on your groceries, you will be able to put money away for other important areas of your budget such as an emergency fund, savings account, or retirement fund.

Cutting your food costs is one of the easiest ways to put extra money in your pocket. Not to mention, my $40 meal plan will save your sanity because you will not be rushing around your kitchen, like a crazy person, trying to throw something together when your kids are hungry. This is not a fun situation for anyone!

Suggested Reading:

  1. 75 Frugal Living Tips That are Surprisingly Easy 
  2. How to Do a Week’s Worth of Summer Budget Meals that Rocks!
  3.  No Money to Pay My Bills, Help!
  4. Cheap Meal Plan for Two – $30 One Week – All Meals
  5. 41 Clever Ways to Cut Your Food Bill
  6. 13 Spectacular Ways to Save Money on Gas
  7. 50 Cheap Family Meals that will Fill You Up – Most Under $10

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