Our January meal plan has gone pretty well, so now it’s time to come up with one for February! I have really enjoyed having the whole month planned out – it freed up my Saturdays to do other things just for fun. It also made grocery shopping a little more efficient. There are a few things I’d like to tighten up a bit more, so here we go with the frugal February meal plan!
Continue to eat breakfast and lunch at home. We did pretty well with this, but I definitely picked up fast food lunches on days when we were out of the house all afternoon. Wednesdays are particularly challenging, since we also have commitments in the morning. I’m going to try to make stacks of sandwiches the night before to take in the car with us. I anticipate much preschooler screaming about this. I wonder if I can make him believe that Sonic sells PB&J?
At any rate, on days at home, we did pretty well. Lunch has always been a sticking point for me. A friend said of herself that she’s “kind of a princess about food,” and honestly, I am too. There’s a whole long backstory about food insecurity, anxiety, and wanting to control and enjoy just this one thing but that’s for another post, I think. So I’m proud of myself for being willing to eat basic, cheap food for lunch.
Repeat meals more often. If you look at the January meal plan, you’ll see that there wasn’t a lot of repetition. We do have Wednesday designated as leftover day, because we get home late and nobody wants to really cook. This also helps with using up food and not wasting it because it got forgotten in the back of the fridge.
I want to specifically focus on a limited recipe base, though. I think I get a little carried away with finding fun recipes, and I found I was buying limited-use ingredients most weeks. My goal this month is to make sure we use everything more than once. This should help the budget and food waste and also continue to pare down the pantry.
…but still have a couple of special meals. After all, Valentine’s Day is coming, and I already bought a pack of USDA Prime sirloin at Costco. (Amazing deal, by the way, and we like sirloin just fine.) Plus, when you are a former foodie, I think it’s important to have meals you can look forward to. I thought I’d want to have them more often but it turns out I’m OK just eating kind of whatever most days as long as I can anticipate something really delicious every week or two. Time passes more quickly than I’d like so I’m never really waiting that long, eh?
Implement family coffee/tea time in the afternoon. My husband has a major sweet tooth, and of course my son does, because what three-year-old is going to turn down cake? I’ve found that we end up with a lot of junky storebought sugary snacks and I am not a fan. Also, I enjoy baking and I’ve been doing a lot of it. In Classic German Baking, Luisa Weiss mentions coffee hour midafternoon, with a lovely sweet snack and coffee and conversation. Teatime, of course, is another great tradition.
Also, by 2pm, everyone needs a reset. I am grumpy, burned out, and tired of being shrieked at; it’s not quite toddler naptime, since she’s still on two naps, and I just want to be done. I think sitting down together and enjoying a treat will be a nice break. Plus it’ll hopefully ruin the kids for storebought junk food forever. Ha.
Start baking homemade bread regularly. I got a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and I just made our first batch of dough this week. Our kitchen actually isn’t climate controlled so it’s basically cold enough to keep the dough out on the breakfast nook table (which tells you it’s too cold to really eat in there…).
Click to see the meal plan and my notes!