Meal Planning On A Budget | Intro to Meal Prepping, Planning & What to do When You Just Can’t – EP 16

Today we dive deep into meal planning. We cover the “how to’s” of meal planning and meal prep, the “why’s” behind it, what to do when meal prep is not a possibility, freezer meals, and planning around grocery flyers and sales. For some, meal planning and prep is a life goal, and for others this process is a walk in the park; but for all of us who desire to live a frugal lifestyle it is an important aspect of our journey! So let’s figure out a system that works for us!


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Notable Notes

  • What the Internet has to say:
    • This article from Kitchn provides a beginners guide to meal planning, complete with definitions, tips for starting, and what meal planning is not.
    • BudetBytes provides another guide to meal prep and planning and answers the questions of “why” do it, foods that can be prepped ahead of time, how to know if food is still “good”, and who meal prepping works for.
  • What Jen and Jill have to say:
    • Meal planning isn’t the holy grail! It offers a template, so plan for takeout, delivery, and leftovers, because you don’t need 7 meals planned and purchased every week! 
    • Meal planning can be flexible, and does NOT need to be entirely home cooked
    • Make a master ingredient list on your phone or tablet to know what you have in stock, and what to purchase when out
    • Use last night’s leftovers for lunch!
    • Pre-chop veggies  all in one day to make cooking easier throughout the week. Involve your partner, friend, or children in on this process!

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Our Experience

  • Jen
    • Have a template, such as 1 asian meal, 1 mexican, 1 slow cooker meal, etc.
    • Cultivate a love for leftovers – it’s frugal 🙂
  • Jill
    • Keep simple and start small – otherwise you will get overwhelmed and won’t stick with it!
    • Consider cooking up your main meat or veggie in a simple way and add it to different meals throughout the week (i.e. breaded chicken added on top of salad, in a sandwich, or with sauce and pasta)
    • Utilize home-cooked frozen meals (or store bought) in your meal planning routine
  • Check out – this site creates ‘made for you’ meal plans, complete with a shopping list and recipes!

What’s Next?

Introducing, The Frugal Friends Book Club!

We’re going to read 1 frugal book every month and we’ll start in September with “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders. Cait did a two year shopping ban that changed not just her finances, but her entire life.

YOU COULD WIN! For every 5 reviews we receive this month, we’ll give away 1 copy of the book.

To enter to win the book leave us a review on your podcast listening device, (not just itunes) screenshot the review and send it to

We’ll select the winners on August 31st!

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