The job of figuring out what to make, writing out the shopping list, and suiting everyone in your family’s dietary preferences can be a dreaded task. So we’re excited to share with you a new (to us) meal planning service that provides it all, specifically tailored to what you are looking for: PlateJoy!
I hope you’ll find the following real food budget meals helpful and easy on the wallet. Each can feed a family of four, and each is $15 or under (with two notes, since we use some of the food twice during the week).
I know I don’t have to give you another reason to head to Target. But since I know you’ll already be heading there anyway, I want to give you some good news (and it’s not that there’s a fantastic sale.)
I am beyond thrilled to announce that I got permission from my publisher to once again offer you our Real Lunches, Real Easy School Lunch Meal Plans! And we’re delighted to not only be able to offer you the original plan for two weeks again but also a brand new version!
This 1-day starter plan for a family of 4 “real food beginners” is a wonderful way to see how easy real food can be. I’ve included a free printable version as well!
I’m excited to share some up-to-date tips and advantages of homemade freezer cooking in today’s sponsored post, inspired by our longtime partner (and friend!) Once A Month Meals. They’ve got great advice on how to pull together a variety of wholesome freezer meals that will be ready in a jiffy on those busy week nights or when you just don’t feel like cooking (it happens to the best of us!).
The Fresh 20, started by my friend (and fellow mother) Melissa, is a meal planning service that helps take the guesswork out of what to have for dinner.
It’s no surprise we are fans of meal planning services. One of the biggest challenges of eating real food is being prepared and planning ahead – so why not have someone else do the planning work for you?
Cook Smarts Prep Cooking Guide from 100 Days of #RealFoodHaving a set “real food” meal plan for the week along with a coordinating (printable) shopping list can make eating real food a possibility for everyone, regardless of how busy you are. So we are excited to introduce our sponsor Cook Smarts, which at the core, is a meal planning service, but also one who provides valuable cooking information that can educate you and empower you in the kitchen along the way.
There is no doubt that the key to sticking to a real food diet is planning ahead. I like to call it “making your own convenience food.” Just imagine all those busy weeknights out at a late dance class or nighttime soccer practice and not having to worry about dinner (or resorting to the drive through) because you planned ahead. That’s what it’s all about!
So today I am here to introduce you to the Once a Month Mom (OAMM) website, which has taken planning ahead to a whole new level. OAMM offers meal plans where you can literally spend one day a month cooking and have enough food for weeks to come. We didn’t want to just take their word for it though so Kiran from our 100 Days of Real Food Team – who has 4 kids ages 9 and under by the way! – agreed to put the OAMM plan to the test for this sponsored post today. So I am super excited to share with you everything you could ever want to know from our very own first-hand “freezer cooking” experience!
By Kiran Dodeja Smith, 100 Days of Real Food Team
When Once a Month Mom was introduced to me, I was intrigued, to say the least. Cook just once a month and have your meals freezer ready for 4 weeks? It sounded too good to be true.
After signing up for a month, I watched this video in hopes that it would give me some insight as to how I would proceed. I then chose between 7 different plans; my choice was Whole Foods (not to be confused with the store – no correlation, actually, it’s just a plan with whole foods incorporated within).
How It Works
The directions seemed fairly straightforward: You get Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner recipes to last throughout the month. When it’s all said and done, I’d have 6-10 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 14 dinners. Sure; still sounded good to me. But what about the cooking part?
“Real Food” Meal Plan #5 is finally finished! This particular meal plan utilizes fall produce that’s available at some farmers’ markets this time of year. The first four meal plans – including spring and summer – are available on our facebook page, but I’ve decided to make this one available to email subscribers only (see instructions below). These meals plans are incredibly detailed so I’ve only been able to crank out a new one every few months or so. But if you’re looking for some inspiration on a more regular basis then be sure to check out our sponsor, The Fresh 20. They offer new dinner meal plans weekly including vegetarian and gluten-free options! As always, this is what you’ll find with my meal plans: One 7-day practical “real food” menu plan designed for busy families Complete meals listed each day for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner with leftovers incorporated
You asked and I listened…here’s yet another free “real food” meal plan! This one utilizes produce that’s typically in-season during the summer months, and since so many of you have your own garden you have yet another cost-saving opportunity when stocking up for this meal plan. Creating these plans is rather labor-intensive though so I can only do it every so often. If you’d love to get some guidance on a more regular basis please check our sponsor, The Fresh 20, who cranks out new and creative meal plans on a weekly basis (including vegetarian and gluten-free options)! As always, this is what you’ll find with the “100 Days of Real Food” meal plans: One 7-day practical “real food” menu plan designed for busy families Complete meals listed each day for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner with leftovers incorporated Food quantities calculated for a family of four Corresponding grocery list showing what to buy in order of the store and actual cost for each item (as opposed to the price per serving) with seasonal ingredients highlighted so they can be purchased from the local farmers’ market if desired Budget-friendly prices comparable to what a family of four would receive on full food stamp (SNAP) benefits – $167/week – with plenty of additional cost-saving opportunities because: