August Meal Plan

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on August 6, 2009

I get asked a LOT why I make monthly meal plans.  Here’s the short of it.  Because I stock up on meats when I see them for reduced prices (who wants to pay full price for chicken breasts in between sale cycles…not me!), I find that my freezer fills up quickly.  I run a quick freezer inventory at the start of each month to be sure that I have plans to use what is in there.  The most expensive part of a meal is typically the protein cost (unless its a vegetarian meal of course!), so by filling my freezer with the LOWEST cost meats, I know I’ll be able to continue making meals for less than $5!

And it’s a “plan”…in that I know I had most of the main ingredient items on hand and can get them used up quickly. To be honest, I’m having a hard time planning this month, as I’m not sure what, how much and when things will be coming out of the garden. Mainly tomatoes, peppers and eggplants! But I’ll sketch out a “plan,” and we’ll see where it takes us!

I want to thank those who send me recipe ideas!  I’m trying out a few this month!!!  Keep ‘em coming!

5- Italian Chicken and Bowtie Pasta
6-  Dairy Free “Hamburger Helper”
7- Garden Marinara Pasta
8- Breakfast for Dinner
9- Grill with Grandma!

10- Grilled Mojito Chicken and Cornbread
11- Spicy Bean Cakes Thanks Julie!
12- Spaghetti
13- Chicken Fajitas
14- Pork Chops with Peach Salsa Thanks Monique!
15- Out for Dinner
16- Sandwiches and Fruit

17- Black Beans with Tomatoes and Roasted Corn Thanks Kate!
18- Angel Hair with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes
19- Taco Pasta Thanks Beth!
20- Mini Meatloaves
21- Taco Salad
22- Spaghetti
23- Grill Burgers

24- Apple-Cranberry French Toast Casserole Thanks Andrea!
25- Eggplant Parmesan (Using eggplants from the garden)
26- Green Chile Chicken Thanks for the inspiration Cathy!
27- Rice and Beans Casserole
28- Breakfast
29- Spaghetti
30- Grill Burgers

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan August 6, 2009 at 8:55 am

Those meals sound delicious! I can’t wait until you start posting the recipes.

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Tracy D August 6, 2009 at 11:27 am

I do this, somewhat, every month. I make up a general monthly plan so that I know what I will need, shop monthly, pick up fresh stuff weekly and plan each week in detail as I come to it. But, I know at the beginning of each month exactly what my meals will consist of, just not which night I will serve what! It really helps in the long run.

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Mel August 6, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I plan a month in advance, too. It’s just easier and so much stress of what to make is taken away. I fudge it a little here and there. But for the most part, I always know what I”m making and what I need for the next few weeks.

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Cathy August 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Did you hear about Food Network’s new show called $10 dinners? Um, it sounds to me that they are using your idea.

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Erin August 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm

I have Cathy! I don’t have cable, so I’ll probably never see the show!

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sumana August 6, 2009 at 6:35 pm

I love your site, i personally have tried some recipes, i too have a family of 4, so it helps me a lot to dig tru your site. Here is a link to a recipe that i tried last night, it’s a one pot meal and takes very little time to make too:
http://masalabowl.blogspot.com/2009/08/tonights-dinner_05.html

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Diane, Fit to the Finish August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm

I have seven children, and I too plan my meals by the month. I made a list one day of every meal I could remember making (and we liked) and put it in my binder. There were literally 100+ recipes.

So, when I make my grocery list I pull from there, depending on what’s on sale. Then as I try new recipes, I add them to my list.

Can’t wait to see more of your ideas!

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LaShae August 7, 2009 at 10:22 pm

I also somewhat plan my meals a month at a time, I stock up on meat when it goes on sale at the butcher or Winn DIxie has the BOGO free deal on meats. I don’t exactly always know when or what I am making but I have the basic game plan when I do my big monthly shopping trip. By the way I love this website and check it all the time for new idea’s and inspiration ( as I am not a creative person).

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Merleice McMullen May 24, 2010 at 10:40 am

I don’t know if you have ever received this Recipe, but I am pretty sure you can make it to as close as possible to $5. I have also made it as low fat as possible.

Doritoe Casserole:

1 lb Ground Turkey ( or 98% Lean Ground Beef)
1 bag of Doritoes
1 can of Green Chilies
1 can of evaporated milk (1/4 cup fat free milk)
1 Bag of 2% milk 3 cheese blend (shredded cheese)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup ( 98% fat free)
Preheat oven to 350*
1. Crunch Doritoes up and put some in the bottom of casserole dish enough to cover dish.
2. Cook meat and drain, add soup, evaporated milk, green chilies. Mi together and poor over crushed chips. Sprinkle cheese on thick and put in Oven for approx. 15 minutes.
If you want to add a little more spice add some picante sauce or spicy taco seasoning.
Hope you enjoy this..

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