$200/Month Menu Plan for Our Family of 5 (Post #3)

Tracking Pixel$200 Menu Plan-What Our Family of 5 Eats

Yes, these past two weeks were rather busy and I had some unexpected things come up that took more time than I had anticipated.  As a result, meals were kept very, very simple.  Not that we ever eat that terribly fancy meals, but still.

I realized as I was typing this up that most lunches were a main food and then homemade yogurt, peaches and blueberries.  I know that might sound awfully boring to some of you, but honestly the routine simplifies our life and makes lunch time so much easier.  But more than that, our children actually love it so much that if I say that we aren’t going to have peaches, blueberries and yogurt, most days mutiny breaks out!  Well, not quite.  But there are typically major protests.  I think it’s partly the routine that they love- kids thrive on routine you know- and partly the fact that they truly do enjoy the food itself.

Oh, and if you are new here, it’s probably helpful to know a couple of things first:

  • Our family of five consists of two adults with fairly big appetites, a 6-year-old boy, a 3 year-old girl and a 14 month-old girl.
  • I buy lots of fruits and veggies in bulk from local farmers/orchards in the summer and then freeze or can them. This is not only much cheaper it is also healthier too. But that is why if you look at my Weekly Spending Summaries you won’t always see lots of produce.
  • I have a stockpile- my cupboards are full from previous shopping and here’s why. When I can get pasta for free with coupons, I buy as much as I have coupons for.  If I’m able to get flour for $0.50/bag like I did last fall, I’ll buy half a dozen and put them in the freezer to use as needed.  I do this as much as my budget allows, on as many items as I can and as a result save lots of money. Then when I go to plan menus, I simply plan our meals around what I already have in my cupboards and freezer, as much as possible.  Obviously I still might have to buy a few things at regular price here and there, but by stocking up when the price is at rock bottom I save a lot.
  • We rarely snack.  By eating “heavy” food like granola at breakfast we don’t get hungry until lunch time.  And the same goes for the afternoon.  Our lunches are big enough that we usually are fine until dinner time.  When we do need a snack, I try to keep it mostly healthy by offering fruit, nuts or maybe No Bake Energy Bites.  We don’t always do it perfectly though, and sometimes end up having chips or cookies instead.
  • Our breakfasts consist of Easy Homemade Granola or Baked Oatmeal, the occasional bought cereal that I was able to get for $0.50/box and sometimes some fruit too.  I know that might seem awfully boring to some of you, but we actually all really enjoy it and prefer it over other breakfast food.  I also have a homemade iced coffee, homemade frappe or some other fun beverage every morning.  It’s just one of the little things that I do to add a bit sunshine to my days!

Below you will find our lunches and dinners.  (If we ate something other than our usual breakfast, I’ll note that too.)  Monday through Friday, 3 days a week the lunches are just for the two youngest and I, the other 2 days my husband joins us.  Our son gets lunch at school and 3 days a week my husband takes a packed lunch with him to work.  His lunch typically consists of sandwiches, fruit, homemade yogurt and sometimes random leftovers too.

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup




  • Various leftovers; Peaches & Blueberries (I preserved); Homemade Yogurt
  • Salmon Soup (sort of like oyster soup but uses canned salmon); Tossed Salad with hard boiled eggs/mushrooms/cheese & Mexican Dressing; Homemade Pickles; Homemade Applesauce; Leftover Peanut Butter Pie
    – I was away for the afternoon and ended up being gone longer than I had expected.  This was the dinner that my husband surprised me by having ready when I got home.  He doesn’t enjoy working in the kitchen, so it’s always a true labor of love when he does something like this.  :)


  • Leftover Vegetable Soup; Cheese;  Peaches & Blueberries (I preserved); Homemade Yogurt
  • Cheeseburger Casserole; Peas; Homemade Pickles; Homemade Applesauce


  • Various Leftovers; Peaches & Blueberries (I preserved); Homemade Yogurt
  • Homemade Breakfast Sandwiches (eggs, cheese, sausage & English muffins); Mixed Frozen Fruit (blueberries/peaches/strawberries); Chocolate Covered Doughnuts
    – Also made the following and shared with 2 friends, one who just had a baby: Herb Roasted Chicken & Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes; Green Beans; Homemade Bread; Mixed Frozen Fruit; Homemade Triple Chocolate Cheesecake


  • Leftover Cheeseburger Casserole; Frozen Peaches & Blueberries (I preserved); Homemade Yogurt
  • Easy Chicken Pot Pie (my variation of this recipe); Homemade Bread with Homemade Apple Butter; Homemade Applesauce; Homemade Triple Chocolate Cheesecake


  • Leftover Salmon Soup; Cheese; Peaches & Blueberries (I preserved); Homemade Yogurt
  • Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas (basically pepperoni pizza toppings between 2 tortillas); Salad with Mexican Dressing; Homemade Applesauce; Milk Shakes (used up some ice cream that had somehow been slightly thawed and then refrozen….couldn’t taste it in the shake though!)

Classic French Bread



  • Various leftovers; Peaches & Blueberries (I preserved); Homemade Yogurt
  • Vegetable Soup (I canned); Cheese; Classic French Bread; Oreos and Milk
    – I was having technical issues with the blog and ended up spending a ton of time working on that, so I ditched my original plan and threw this meal together.  I had French Bread in the freezer, just waiting for a night like this.


  • Leftover Chicken & Rice Dish; Peaches & Blueberries (I preserved); Homemade Yogurt
  • Chicken Alfredo Pizza (used homemade Alfredo sauce and a homemade pizza crust); Salad; Homemade Applesauce; Homemade Hot Chocolate


  • Various Leftovers; Homemade Yogurt; Oranges
  • Farmers Breakfast Hash; Leftover Veggies; Homemade Applesauce; Ice Cream
    – The Farmer’s Hash was a new recipe for me.  Kind of carb overload, but quite good!  :)


  • Leftover pizza; Peaches & Blueberries (I preserved); Homemade Yogurt
  • Salsa Chicken Soup; Lettuce Salad with beans/almonds/cheese and Mexican Dressing; Homemade Applesauce; Chocolate Chip Shortbread
    – I’ve always love shortbread, but have never made it before.  This recipe was so incredibly easy and good too!  It was pretty rich stuff with the chocolate chips, so a little went a long way.


  • Various Leftovers; Peaches & Blueberries (I preserved); Homemade Yogurt
  • Country Potato Soup; Lettuce Salad; Homemade Applesauce; Leftover Chocolate Chip Shortbread


  • Away all day celebrating my husband’s aunt’s life at her funeral and then hanging out with extended family.


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    • ThriftyFrugalMom says

      Oh, my kids would love that lunch, Missy! :) And doesn’t it just help simplify things so much to just have that same thing usually?

  1. says

    Your salmon soup sounds delicious, is it a family recipe? My son and hubs love oyster stew, but I am not a big fan of oysters. However I love salmon, I think I could eat it every night. You do a great job of feeding your family healthy foods on a great budget! I am always so impressed. This summer I am going to try to preserve more foods. :)

    • ThriftyFrugalMom says

      Julie, it’s kind of a family recipe. It’s from an old cookbook that both my Mom and Grandma used and was a recipe we had frequently growing up. I’ve thought of posting it here, but wasn’t sure people would really enjoy it. :) I can send you the recipe though if you want it. Or you could probably just use your oyster soup recipe and instead of putting in oysters, add canned salmon- just be sure to remove the little bones and skin, unless you don’t mind them. And yes, preserving foods is a great way to eat healthy and it usually saves money too- especially if you grow your own or have an inexpensive place to buy your produce.

  2. dee says

    Love to read thrifty ideas. however I find it hard to follow as I am allergic to rice and oats which seem to be an almost every meal staple. But I keep reading as I do get some very helpful hints!

    • ThriftyFrugalMom says

      Oh, food allergies always make it so much harder, don’t they? I’ve been very grateful that we haven’t had to deal with any so far, but I know it would make meal planning a lot trickier. Glad you were still able to find some helpful hints!

  3. Anne in Canada says

    My husband has to keep reminding me that our youngest children, now 9 and 11, eat ‘real people’ portions!! Our son, in particular, age 11, has developed a huge appetite. I’m now teaching both little ones to make bread in the bread machine – since they eat a tonne of it! They also eat lunch at school throughout the school year and we make that at home. The thermos helps a lot so they can have a hot lunch; I found that even grilled cheese sandwiches can go in the thermal container.
    We only serve juice to the children at lunch at school since the milk warms up in their lunch and they don’t like it much. We eat most food at home, and even for my son’s birthday dinner, we are making homemade pizza and watching a movie at home (his choice of movie).

    • ThriftyFrugalMom says

      Anne, I often wonder how much food I’ll need to make once our children get a bit older. Already our 7 year old sometimes eats as much as my husband and I. I love how you are teaching your kids to make bread- such a valuable skill to have. I never thought of putting grilled cheese in a thermos, but it totally makes sense. Sounds like you have the whole creative lunch thing down, which is saying a lot I think, because it can be so hard to be creative with packed lunches.

    • ThriftyFrugalMom says

      I would think so, but honestly, I have never used a bread machine in my life, so I’m not much help to you as far as knowing how to make the changes that you’d need to make.


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