Even though this is a list for Winter there are a few that can also be used in the Spring as well. Winter is typically the hardest season for me to think of meal ideas. But some of these really help.

My very favorite meats are chicken and fish but I love beef too. With chicken it seems to never matter if it is a good sale or not, we will always get some on hand because we both love it and my husband can eat it all year round without any problems. I don’t eat any red meat maybe once every 6 months. My favorite veggie is broccoli not by choice but because my son loves it and I make sure to have plenty on hand so he will eat more of his dinner when the main course is something that isn’t as much to his liking right now such as chicken or fish (if you have a picky eater you probably know what I mean).

As for meats, my husband does not like them well done and so I just make sure to cook them more than me. I think the only meat that I cook well done is steak. I love BBQ chicken and pork chops too but rarely have them dinner meals. Again with the kid, we do not get a lot of red meat because he won’t try it much to begin with, and then when he does it has to be pretty much perfect for him to enjoy it.

Eggs are low-cost protein that fills you up fast. Oatmeal is a good breakfast meal as well, but I usually buy the individual packs because they are easier for me. We also keep tortillas in the freezer so when hubby wants snacks they are there ready to go without any time needed for preparation or cooking (just warming in the oven). You could also buy low-cost rolls that are all ready slathered with some fake cheese and we just slice them up and throw them in the microwave. I like to keep a bag of whole wheat flour around as well because my son sometimes doesn’t want his bread to be made with white flour. If you do not have a lot of self-control when you have just had dinner or if you want to make more than 1 full meal in one day, by all means, don’t do the 100% whole wheat but for me, it is important because I hate having anything that is not 100% whole wheat.

Quinoa is an excellent protein option that really only requires cooking and I love it so much that I’ll cook it even if there isn’t a dinner planned! It has a great flavor and most people don’t even realize that they are eating protein instead of carbs! It takes quite a while to cook and you can get by with one cup so for 1 meal (which is what we do) you can have 2 servings. Bean and rice is a very cheap meal but you have to be careful which beans you use. I use great northern beans and they are actually the cheapest. I love black beans but they are more expensive so when I do buy them it is a serving and not two! Adding cabbage or potatoes to your bean and rice will make it go further. You could also add carrots, broccoli, corn, etc but this is really not a recipe so that is just an idea!

Crockpots are my favorite time savers when it comes to cooking meats in general. Not only does the meat come out better but if you keep it on low heat then you can walk away for hours (unless you forget about it which has happened!). I don’t know why they don’t get all gushy though because we like them that way so I always use low heat.

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