This Week’s Dinners for $70 or Less: Mostly Meatless

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This meal plan is mostly meatless, can be shopped at Trader Joe’s (though you don’t have to) and comes in under $70.

This meal plan is mostly meatless, can be shopped at Trader Joe’s (though you don’t have to) and comes in under $70.

Yay for a new meal plan. This one was really fun to shop and cook. It’s mostly meatless which is a great way to cut costs and eat lots of fresh, fiber-rich foods.

This plan is designed to feed 4 people generously. It can be shopped at Trader Joe’s, but you don’t have to. I am afraid that was one confusion that surfaced over Plan #1. For those who don’t know, Trader Joe’s doesn’t carry all the typical ingredients that you can get at the grocery store. I wanted to make a plan that could be shopped at Trader Joe’s if you wanted to. The only item on the list that can’t be found there all year round is the yeast. They carry it during some times of the year, but not all.

Anyway, you don’t have to buy these groceries at TJ’s, any grocery store should have all these ingredients, though they might not have this pricing. Some prices will be better and some not.

Of course your mileage may vary. Be sure to read all. the. notes. I’ve included lots of little cheats to help you keep costs down as well as have an easy meal plan to work through during the week. The notes are where your cost and time savings will be explained. So read them!

You can do a lot of the prep on one day and then simply assemble supper as the week progresses. You can even delegate dinner prep to spouses, babysitters, or kids because the heavy lifting is already taken care of.

At times, we veered from the recipe a tad in order to save you some coin, so be sure to read the notes.

This week’s meal plan really lends itself to freezer cooking. Many of the components can be made in advance and frozen. So, if you knew you were coming up on a busy season, you could pretty much make the whole week’s meals on one day. Bonus points if you make double or triple batches of some things.

Speaking of which, IF you tripled your ingredients list and made three batches of each thing each night, you could stash the extra two meals for later. Booyah! You could fill the freezer just by doing a little extra work each night for a week. Then you’d have 14 meals stashed for later without much extra effort.

Hmmm…. may have to turn this into a freezer cooking plan, eh? Wait for it….

This meal plan is mostly meatless, can be shopped at Trader Joe’s (though you don’t have to) and comes in under $70.

The plan is formatted as a full-color pdf. If you don’t want to use the colored ink, be sure to change the setting in your print window. Alternatively, save a tree and save the pdf to your iBooks or other pdf library on your tablet or phone. Just be sure to take your device to the store with you.

Recipes in the meal plan:

Here are the recipes in the plan. See? No cookbook purchase required. 😉 These are mostly meatless recipes, but you can add meat or even sub out the meat in the two dinners that are carnivorous. But basically, most of the work is done. You have to shop and cook.

You can download the meal plan along with the grocery lists, prep instrux, and cheat sheet here.

In addition to the 40+ meal plans already available on Life as MOM, we’re now preparing meal plans with a week’s worth of recipes that build on one another and that cost under $70 for the whole week of dinners.

Obviously this type of plan is a little more time-intensive to prepare than previous meal plans, so we won’t be posting them on a weekly basis, at least not at the start. Any constructive feedback you can offer as we work out the bugs, is greatly appreciated. You can leave a comment here or email janel(at)lifeasmom(dot)com or jessica(at)lifeasmom(dot)com. Thanks!

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  1. LOVE this meal plan! Thank you for all the work you put into it. I have frugal/meatless meals that I serve regularly, but it will be great to have some new things to try. Everything looks yummy!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I have been envious of your meal plans, but we are a mostly vegetarian family. We will be trying this even though we aren’t anywhere near a Trader Joe’s!

  3. Jennifer Hoffman says:

    Thanks again Jessica!! You’re the best!

  4. Awesome, awesome!! Thank you 🙂

  5. I LOVE your veggie soup. I have made it several times. I purchased an immersion blender just for the occasion and LOVE it. If you have more soup ideas, I’d love to hear them!

    • Wow! So glad to hear it. I’m happy that your happy with your blender, too. I’ll see what I can do. It’s summer temps today, so I can’t think about soup. 😉

  6. Nickie Smith says:

    Thank you, so very much. I was starting to lose my mind with meal planning. Nothing sounded good and I was having a horrible time sticking to the budget. I was so excited to see these plans. Everything seemed simple but tasty and they have been! Also, shopping at a commissary in NY put me right at the $70 mark. We are a family of 5 with a 4, 2, and 1 yo. Since the boys don’t always eat what my husband and I do, we’ve had plenty left over for lunches or for me to freeze for another time. Again, thank you, and know that all your hard work has been exactly what my 1st trimester pregnant self needed!

  7. Michaela R. says:

    I LOVE your weekly menu plans, thank you so much!

  8. Your freezer cookbook saved my life! this is just the icing on the cake. Thank you so, so very much! I am spreading the word!

  9. Your website is amazing!

  10. Can’t wait for you to start sharing the meals that build upon each other!

  11. I am a newbie to your both of your blogs. For the past two weeks I have been reading all of your newsletters and as much of your websites as time permits. And I have to admit you’ve got me SO pumped about saving money and precious time on meals! So much so that I have already ordered your “Not Your Mother’s Make Ahead and Freeze Cookbook” and received it. It is HUGE and well-made. Awesome job! Love, love, love your lists, organizers and tips. Working on emptying my freezers right now so that I can actually put what I’m learning into practice. I CANT WAIT to fill my freezers with precooked meals so that I can sit down at the end of the day with a big glass of Cab and relax and enjoy my family! Hats off to you for all your hard work and enthusiasm (which is contagious)!!!

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