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Frequently Asked Questions

Food & Budgeting

Can I really feed my family for as low as $350 using this plan?

This plan was designed to feed the average family of 4 real food for $350/month, but your savings will largely depend on your family’s preferences, where you live, shopping habits and the items you currently have in your kitchen.

When I followed the guidelines in the meal plan, used the printables in the resource library and shopped my own kitchen FIRST, my total for January’s meal plan was only $296.

However, I also shopped January’s meal plan as if I had nothing in my kitchen – and I mean NOTHING. No meat, no flour, no sugar, no spices…. not even a morsel of cheese… as if my kitchen had 100% completely bare cupboards. I spent 5 minutes browsing the weekly ads, shopped two local stores and my total came out to $445.

If you shop at only one store, do not look for sales at all, do not follow the guidelines in the meal plan and do not use the printables provided for you in the resource library, your totals will likely be significantly higher.

How much you spend on groceries depends on the effort you put into ensuring you’re not buying more than you need to, and that you’re getting the best deals in your area. This doesn’t take much effort, but it’s 30 minutes a month that can offer great rewards.

Here are a few other personal preferences that might effect your shopping total:

  • This is not a vegetarian meal plan, but there are some meatless meals.
  • While characteristics like organic, local and grass-fed are desired, they are not essential to eating real food. If you prefer a 100% organic, local, grass-fed and non-GMO diet, your grocery totals may vary. However, the shopping list can still help you aim for a great price, helping you get a great deal on groceries.
  • All of the ingredients are common and can be found at the typical grocery store. If your family prefers more exotic, lesser known ingredients, results may vary.
  • We encourage you to shop your own kitchen first, and make simple substitutions whenever  possible, as we saw in the example above that this money-saving tactic will save you up to 45% on groceries alone.
  • Lastly, depending on where you live, prices vary from region to region. Produce might be affordable in one area where meat and dairy are more affordable in others. This meal plan provides you with the tools to shopping smarter and efficiently so you’re getting the best deals in YOUR area.
What's your definition of real food?

This meal plan uses a wide array of whole foods from every food group. The following is our definition of real food:

Living things that grow in the ground, or animals that eat things that grow in the ground, to which nothing is done to alter their whole form that a home cook could not accomplish in their own kitchen.

Many people believe that if food isn’t organic, soaked, sprouted or grass-fed, then it’s not real food. While these qualities (plus local, pastured and non-GMO) are desired, they are not required in order to eat a real food diet.

These traits fluctuate greatly from region to region, and for some families, are difficult to afford or even more difficult to find. In addition, some families place a greater emphasis on quality meats over quality dairy, or whole grains over organic produce.

You will need to decide what quality of food is best for your family. However, one thing is for sure:

You won’t find processed foods in this meal plan.

How many people does this meal plan feed?
This meal plan feeds the average family of 4.

Personal Preferences

How will I know my family will like what’s on the meal plan?

Take a look at some of the previous meal plans on the blog HERE.  If your family would like those, then you’ll love this subscription.  If your family wouldn’t like those or the recipes used in them, then you probably won’t enjoy this service.

If you’re still on the fence, download a free 14-day sample to see just what Frugal Real Food Meal Plans has to offer. The download link is valid for 72 hours (3 days) once you download.

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My family is vegetarian and/or gluten-free. Will I be able to adapt the meals easily to our diets?

Many vegetarian and/or gluten-free readers have purchased the meal plan with confidence, telling me that substituting to fit their diet was simple.

Other families have purchased this meal plan for those in the family who do NOT have allergies, allowing them to focus more time into the family members who DO have allergies.

I will add to this as well:  substitutions for other meals or ingredients are likely ones you’re already making in the kitchen.

However, you know your family best. I would encourage you to take a look at some of the previous meal plans on the blog HERE. If you’re still on the fence, download a free 14-day sample. The download link is valid for 72 hours (3 days) once you download.

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Can I change what's in the meal plan?

Want to move Sunday’s dinner to Wednesday? Substitute carrots for peas? No problem!

This plan will help you eat real food on a budget, not lock you into a dinner commitment.  Once you begin using Frugal Real Food Meal Plans, you’ll be surprised at the flexibility it provides.


Do I have to buy ingredients I'll never use again?

Most recipes use common pantry ingredients – if I can’t find them in my area, I certainly won’t expect you to find them either!

Also, the meals are strategically designed to use the ingredients you buy.  If you see a bottle of special sauce on the ingredient list, you can be sure that bottle won’t go to waste.


Will paying for a meal plan really save me money?

That depends. The average family spends approximately $760 each month on groceries. This does NOT including money spent eating out.

If you struggle with choosing what to cook for dinner or knowing what types of foods are affordable, then YES! This meal plan can help you save on groceries each month.

If you’re able to feed your family relatively easy without going over your grocery budget each month, then this meal plan might not be the right fit for you. Of course, if you’re looking for some short-cuts and would like to have someone else plan, write shopping lists and offer suggestions on ways to trim your current grocery bill, then this might be a good fit after all!


What if I don't have time to make so many items from scratch?

Cooking from scratch is one of the ways to keep a grocery budget lean, but not every family has the time to make this happen. Fortunately, the meal plan will still work!

You have two main options:

  1. Review the meal plan for specific items you will not be able to make from scratch. Cross off the appropriate ingredients from the shopping list and write-in the pre-made replacements.
  2. Set aside a few hours on the weekend to prepare all that you need for the week. Yogurt, bread and tortillas could easily be made in bulk in a few hours. Plus you’d also likely be able to finish the prep work provided on the lists – all a Saturday morning. Think of all the time you’d save during the week and how much you’d save on groceries!!
I live in another country. Will this meal plan work for me?

You’ll definitely be able to use money-saving techniques and strategies in the meal plan, but they are written according to the seasons in the United States. To give you an idea, squash and dark leafy greens like collards and kale are in season in December/January, and berries are in season May/June.

Also, the staple ingredients are common, and if there’s anything you don’t have access to, substituting for something else should be relatively easy.


Refunds & Cancellations

What's your policy on auto renewal?

All our plans are billed on a recurring basis. At the end of your subscription term, we will automatically bill the card we have on file for you for the following period. This automatic billing will occur unless you cancel before the next billing date.

If you have any questions at all – about your account or billing, please send them to

Can I cancel at any time?

We offer flexible month-to-month options so that you can cancel at anytime. When you sign up for a 3-month or yearly option, you are committing to the term you have chosen. We unfortunately are not able to offer refunds, prorated or other, at this time.

If you would like to cancel or have any questions, simply send us an email to customerservice(at) We usually reply within 24-48 hours.

In order to best determine whether or not this meal plan is a good fit for your family, download the 14-day sample meal plan first.

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