December 2018 Meal Plan & Grocery Haul – Freezer Cooking for Two Months

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We are deep into holiday territory with Christmas right around the corner!! Planning, cooking, and staying in budget at this time of year can get really tricky! Adding meal planning on top of all the craziness can be overwhelming.

You know I got you Pearl! I have come to your rescue with the meal plan my family and I are following. I have created allowances for events, having family over and more. As long as you plan ahead and anticipate, your meal plan can be smooth sailing into the new year! Check out how I am going to be Freezer Cooking for Two months on my Instagram Stories

This month, I am committed to sharing with you how my family deals with all of these  “unforeseen” events and plans for them as much as possible.


In this monthly grocery haul on a budget I’m shopping to feed our family of five for TWO MONTHS! I’m talking freezer meals this month! Crazy schedules and small budgets are in need of some freezer meal ideas.Take a look at our Costco grocery haul on a budget and learn tips to save money on groceries.

Make sure you read this article on how to meal plan for beginners. In there you will find all the tips you need to make sure that you plan to the best of your ability and stay on budget!

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I’m also always sharing our daily frugal living tips for Christmas time survival over on my Instagram stories! It’s super fun over there so don’t forget to follow along!

5 Tips for Freezer Cooking for TWO MONTHS!

    1. Doubling a meal is so much easier and cheaper than making two separate meals. So double all meals when possible. Eat one and freeze one. Or you can do like we are doing this month, doubling all recipes and freezing them all.


    1. Plan ahead of the month for any family gathering that may come up. Leave a little space in your budget each week to prepare for unexpected gatherings. Have a little flexibility on which night you’re cooking.


    1. Keep breakfasts and lunches simple and affordable, especially when dinners tend to be the event people gather around. Or, opt for brunches with your family this season over pricey dinner parties.


    1. Plan meals that can feed a crowd. At least once a week I like to have one meal option that can easily feed a crowd. This time of year, you never know who may pop by for a visit or deliver Christmas presents early for the kids.


  1. Bake from scratch your Christmas goodies. It will be so much more affordable to bake cookies or cakes from scratch versus the pre packaged sweets.


Our Family’s Monthly Grocery Budget

If you are new here, hi! You are probably interested to know what we set for our monthly grocery budget. This is how we work it.

$380 for consumable goods for our giant monthly grocery haul. $160 for non consumable goods. In addition to that, using our cash envelope budget we use $35 each week for fresh produce and milk.

In order to be able to take advantage of sales throughout the month, we budget $40 each month to use when I see a super great deal. We will then freeze or store that food and use it in planning the following month’s meal plan.

The key to sticking to monthly meal plan on a budget is to make sure that when you are making your grocery list, you put for every single item an estimated cost and then total what you expect to pay at the register.

It’s a super simple step that you can do to make sure you stick to your grocery budget. I make it even easier for you with this free meal planning printable.

My Favorite App for Grocery Shopping on a Budget

No mom has the time to spend continuously scanning apps over the holidays looking for the best rebate offers and sales. Which is why I have minimized my rebate strategy to help maximize my savings in the smallest amount of time.

My very favorite app to us is Ibotta! I have done an entire tutorial on how to use the app to maximize your savings. But in a nutshell this is how I do it, I do my normal grocery shopping first.

Then once I get all my groceries home, I will quickly open the app and search the two stores that I just went shopping at to see if there are any rebates that apply to my groceries. There are usually 3-4 that I can claim. This saves me around $5 each time I use the app.

If that doesn’t sound like much, trust me! The three minutes that it takes me to save $5 is 100% worth it! These small savings add up quick and once you hit $20 you can cash out in PayPal or Venmo, or choose from a bunch of really awesome gift cards! I usually choose Target and treat myself to a well deserved “mom’s only” snack!

If you are new to Ibotta, sign up using this link or the code: qybjrj and you will automatically get $10 after you claim your first rebate! So easy!


December 2018 Family Meal Plan on a Budget & Grocery Haul


Do you want to get my monthly meal plan printables earlier?  If you sign up for my weekly newsletter, you will get them the week before the new month starts! Pretty handy right?


You can download this month’s budget friendly meal plan here. I usually link every recipe in the meal plan but this month is different. The reason being I used a cookbook for all the recipes.

It’s the most beautiful cookbook you have ever seen and all the recipes are FREEZER MEALS! Not just your ordinary casserole recipes. These are irresistible, “I can’t believe this is a freezer meal!” type recipes!

The book is called “Seriously Good Freezer Meals” and be found on Amazon for usually around $24. 

In this monthly grocery haul on a budget I’m shopping to feed our family of five for TWO MONTHS! I’m talking freezer meals this month! Crazy schedules and small budgets are in need of some freezer meal ideas.Take a look at our Costco grocery haul on a budget and learn tips to save money on groceries.

I’d love to hear any questions you have! Leave them down in the comments below!

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