Frugal Friday

I thought it might be fun to show you this week’s menu plan instead of my regular frugal Friday details.  I do menu planning in kind of a loosy goosy way–  meaning, before I go shopping, I make a list of 14 or so recipes that would be good dinners in the next couple weeks, ideally using as many ingredients as I can from my pantry and freezer.  Then I make a grocery list from that menu list, filling in the items that I still need to buy.

Our new baby chicks!

Our new baby chicks!

As I planned this week, I had my two half-full freezers on the brain.  One of them needs to be defrosted and ideally I’d like to be able to turn it off for a few months, until it’s time to butcher our steer.  So as I menu plan I  I need to use up some of the bulky items so that I can consolidate everything in one freezer. Literally the biggest item in that category is a 20-pound turkey which is currently thawing in my fridge.  It’ll be turkey dinner for a couple nights, with hopefully enough left over to make turkey tortilla soup a different night.  I’ve included links to some of these recipes here on the blog, as well as page numbers to some other ones that are in my cookbook Family Feasts for $75 a Week.

I think that menu planning is huge in successfully lowering a grocery budget.  It just makes you much more intentional– less wasteful and more proactive.  So here’s what we’ll be having for dinner for the next couple weeks!


Turkey and mashed potatoes (x2)

Make your own pizza (x2)

Fried rice and (costco) potstickers

Tacos with ground beef

Chicken Fajitas  (Family Feasts, p. 140)

Chili and cornbread x2 (Family Feasts p. 188)

Injera and doro wat (Family Feasts p. 180)

West African peanut chicken

Mexican tortilla skillet (Family Feasts p. 129)

Pasta carbonera  (Family Feasts p . 164)

Turkey tortilla soup (Family Feasts p. 175)

Chicken skillet pie  (Family Feasts p. 100)


If you don’t yet have a copy of Family Feasts for $75 a Week, check it out on amazon, and see what other readers are saying about it.  And as I cook during these next couple weeks, I’ll try to get another recipe or two up on the blog.  Though it’s awesome if you want to purchase the book, I am working to make my blog a great source of cooking inspiration also.

Happy cooking, and I’d love to hear about your frugality efforts this week!


  1. You are so right about menu planning being a huge help in lowering your food budget. When I had young kids, I planned things out by the day. Now I write out a list of main dish ideas but don’t assign a specific day and don’t really assign side dishes because I’m more able to wing it. For example I had “eggs” as the main and could have gone any number of ways. I had some peppers that needed to be sliced and frozen and some bread that was going stale so I decided to make a frittata with bread cubes and peppers.

  2. This post reminded me that I need to get my new menu plan done. And I love the picture of your beautiful daughters with the chicks. It’s so fun to watch kids when the new littles arrive!

  3. Jennie C. says:

    Totally agree as well about menu planning. I like to have a blank monthly calendar to fill in and stick it on the side of the frig. Sometimes I’m not super excited to have whatever is on the menu..BUT, if I don’t have any better ideas, I just go with it. Also, I can look the day before and see what I need to pull out of the freezer, can prep the night before, scratch because I forgot to get one of the ingredients, etc. It makes those late afternoon hours SO MUCH LESS STRESSFUL…Also, we love your peanut chicken…a family favorite!