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April 2014 Menu Plans

Free April Menu Plans

Enjoy the scrumptious recipes in these April Menu Plans!

aprsassy
Slow Cooker Easy Menu Plan @ the Sassy Slow Cooker

aprfrugal
Monthly Meal Plan
@ Frugal Homeschool Family

aprpocket
Budget Friendly Menu Plan
@ Pocket Change Gourmet

apr123
Family Meal Plan @ 123 Homeschool 4 Me

aprjamie
Healthy Menu Plan
@ Jamie Cooks It Up!

aprconfess
Monthly Meal Plan @ Confessions of a Homeschooler

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Recipes must be included for your menu plan to be listed.


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Healthy, MSG-free Food on a Budget

healthy msg free food on a budget

Once upon a time I was a Coupon Queen. I regularly saved 50-75% off at the grocery store, getting some kind of junkie adrenalin rush as I pushed my cart to the car. Three things happened to change all that:

1. Most of the stores in my area stopped doubling coupons and began limiting the number that could be redeemed.
2. We switched to eating more whole foods.
3. We discovered that my son cannot have msg, which rules out most items that come in a can or box.

The Inspired Bloggers network issued its bloggers a challenge. Can I feed my family for $25 per person per week? For my family of 7, that comes to $175 a week. I manage to hit that mark most weeks. Some of the bloggers are sharing their super-duper menu plans, but I like to think of myself of more of a reverse meal planner. I buy whatever is on sale, on clearance, or has a coupon, and THEN I figure out what to do with it. Controlled chaos … it’s how I roll.

Some of you might look at that total and come up with a list of ways I could drastically reduce my budget. And you would be right. I could make my own bread or organic yogurt- but I’m not going to. I could plant a huge garden – but I would kill it within a month. I used to make my own chicken broth but we left our chest freezer behind when moved and don’t have the space to replace it. I only eat the rice part of rice and beans. What it boils down to is that I am a homeschooling momma of five who is trying to grow a blog, encourage my husband, and serve our church, and can’t multitask to save my life. Something has to give.

My strategy is to save in other areas so I can have more room in my food budget. I stock up on toiletries when they are at rock-bottom prices. We buy (designer) clothes at thrift stores. I buy my kids’ birthday and Christmas presents at the 70% off Target toy sale in July. I’ve also figured out which stores have the healthiest food for the cheapest. We try eat whole grains, and buy organic when it is on sale or replaces a regular food that contains msg.

Here are some of my discoveries:

Dollar Tree has Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread (no HFCS). It sells out quickly, so check often.

Target is the cheapest place for Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese and Applegate Farm Pepperoni. Annie’s Cheese Crackers (a treat) go on sale regularly.

Aldi has an organic line called Simply Nature, supplying us with chicken broth, fresh spinach, and frozen pizza. They have summer sausage with no msg (at least the last time we bought it). I get great deals on fruits, vegetables, spices, oatmeal, maple syrup, olive oil, milk, eggs, butter, and baking mix.

We love Costco. It is worth the membership just to go on a Saturday and eat all the samples.  Many of their foods do not have artificial fillers. I like to pick up chocolate chips, butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, provolone, peanut butter, organic spinach, frozen fruit, organic tortilla chips, Pirate’s Booty, and organic strawberry jelly.

Publix has the best meat. It is not always the cheapest, but it doesn’t shrink as much as other stores. Read the labels on your meat-most whole chickens have been injected with broth, and some pork & beef has been injected with a saline or flavoring solution. The Publix brand Italian sausage and organic ketchup are msg-free.

Zaycon chicken is a fantastic way to buy inexpensive healthy chicken! My family can tell if we run out and I substitute from the store.

Here are a few of the meals we eat. I hope to share a few more of these recipes over the coming weeks.

~Breakfast~

~Lunch~

  • Sandwiches
  • Smoothies
  • Hot Ham & Cheese Pita Pockets
  • Quesadillas w/leftover chicken
  • Pizza Quesadillas – sauce, cheese, pepperoni
  • Flatbread Pizza
  • Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Frito Pie – fritos, chili, cheese, onions
  • Irish Brown Bread w/ham
  • Chef Salad
  • Nachos
  • leftovers

~Snacks~

  • pretzels & cheddar cheese cubes
  • apples, bananas, clementines, grapes, strawberries
  • popcorn – put  1/4 c. popcorn in a brown paper bag and fold the top down 2-3 times, microwave using your popcorn setting
  • leftover muffins/bread from breakfast
  • yogurt
  • raisins
  • boiled eggs
  • graham crackers & peanut butter
  • tortilla chips & fresh salsa
  • No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars
  • Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

~Dinner~

    • Tacos w/lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheese
    • Pork Carnitas w/lime, onion, sour cream, cilantro, salsa
    • Salsa Verde Beef Tacos w/lime, onion, sour cream, cilantro, salsa
    • Burritos
    • Fish Tacos
    • Cheesy Chicken w/ yellow rice & salad
    • Sausage Pie w/roasted potatoes, fresh pineapple
    • Cheeseburgers w/oven fries
    • Spaghetti  w/salad or green beans
    • Lasagna w/salad or green beans
    • Chicken Spaghetti w/ salad or broccoli
    • Chicken Pot Pie
    • Chili w/cornbread or rice
    • Beef Stew w/cornbread
    • BBQ Chicken w/grilled asparagus
    • Meatloaf w/mashed potatoes & fried okra
    • Roast w/potatoes, carrots, green beans
    • Breakfast Burritos-sausage or bacon, cheese, eggs, potatoes
    • Roast Chicken w/loaded baked potatoes
    • Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings w/corn on the cob
    • Stromboli
    • Baked Ziti & Italian Sausage w/salad
    • Baked Potato Soup
    • Smoked Sausage w/macaroni & cheese – macaroni w/a sauce made of butter, milk, cheddar cheese, american cheese, seasoning salt, pepper
    • Cheeseburger Macaroni-the above mac n cheese, seasoned ground beef browned w/diced onions

Click on that little blue guy to see how the other Inspired Bloggers did on their
$100 Grocery Challenge!

Grocery-Challenge


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March 2014 Menu Plans

march menu plans

Enjoy the scrumptious recipes in these March Menu Plans!

marchsassy
Slow Cooker Easy Menu Plan
@ the Sassy Slow Cooker

marchfrugal
Monthly Meal Plan
@ Frugal Homeschool Family

marchpocket
Budget Friendly Menu Plan
@ Pocket Change Gourmet

march123
Family Meal Plan @ 123 Homeschool 4 Me

marchjamie
Healthy Menu Plan
@ Jamie Cooks It Up!

marchconfess
Monthly Meal Plan @ Confessions of a Homeschooler

Don’t miss future Menu Plans!
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Would you like to have your menu plan added to my monthly list?
Send me an email with your link.
Recipes must be included for your menu plan to be listed.


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February 2014 Menu Plans

free february menu plans

This month’s menu plans are late due to lots of sick days, but we still need to eat for the rest of February, right? Enjoy these scrumptious recipes.

febsassy
Slow Cooker Easy Menu Plan
@ the Sassy Slow Cooker

febfrugal
Monthly Meal Plan
@ Frugal Homeschool Family

febsoyou
Whole Food Menu Plan
@ Managing Your Blessings

febpocket
Budget Friendly Menu Plan
@ Pocket Change Gourmet

feb123
Family Meal Plan @ 123 Homeschool 4 Me

febjamie
Healthy Menu Plan
@ Jamie Cooks It Up!

febconfess
Monthly Meal Plan @ Confessions of a Homeschooler

Don’t miss future Menu Plans!
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Would you like to have your menu plan added to my monthly list?
Send me an email with your link.
Recipes must be included for your menu plan to be listed.


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January 2014 Menu Plans

free january 2014 menu plans

I posted a list of menu plans back in November and it was such a hit that I decided to make it a monthly feature! These bloggers have graciously allowed me to include their meal plans each month.

Enjoy these scrumptious recipes.

jansassy
Slow Cooker Easy Menu Plan
@ the Sassy Slow Cooker

jansoyou
Whole Food Menu Plan
@ So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?

janpocket
Budget Friendly Menu Plan
@ Pocket Change Gourmet

jan123
Family Meal Plan
@ 123 Homeschool 4 Me

janjamie
Healthy Menu Plan
@ Jamie Cooks It Up!

janconfessions
Monthly Meal Plan
@ Confessions of a Homeschooler

Don’t miss future Menu Plans!
Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest

Would you like to have your menu plan added to my monthly list?
Send me an email with your link.
Recipes must be included for your menu plan to be listed.

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