Eight Frugal Meal Ideas

Eating is expensive. Large families are expensive whether you have one child or six children to keep fed. We have six children in our brood to feed so it is necessary for me to stick to a written menu each month in order to stay within our budget. I will share some foods that we eat on a regular basis that feed our family.

  1. Tacos: This one is a no-brainer. Cheap, easy to fix, and we can eat leftovers for days.  Add salsa, sour cream, lettuce, and cheese and you have a complete meal.
  2. Taco bake:  Leftover taco meat,  pizza sauce, and cheese are filling inside a top and bottom layer of unrolled crescent rolls.   Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Add cheese the last five minutes.  Pair with tortilla chips for crunch and sliced cucumbers on the side.
  3. Homemade pizza. We do personal pizzas with a homemade crusts topped with whatever the individual chooses.  Easy, peasy and always a favorite. Complete the meal with a salad.
  4. Chili. The burger is fried up quickly. Beans can soak the night before or buy canned beans if you prefer.  We keep it simple with beans, burger, chili seasoning, and tomato juice. I throw it in a crock pot and its ready by dinner. After we eat our fill, I add in more beans, tomato juice, and meat to fill it back up. I put the pot right back in the fridge. Then it goes back in the crock pot the next morning. We can eat chili for lunch or dinner for days. I can put the reheated  chili into insulated containers  for my children’s lunch. Or often my husband will take it to work to eat. When we are tired of chili we may eat it on top of hot dogs or put it in the freezer for another day that we need a quick meal.
  5. Tortilla soup: Similar to chili but still slightly different.  There are many different recipes, but the same concept and so delicious as leftovers, too.
  6. Pancakes or waffles:  I will make a batch of chocolate chip (family favorite)  pancakes or waffles to eat for breakfast or dinner.  After we eat our fill for that meal I keep some out for lunches and one more meal. My children love cold pancakes in their lunch. I will send in a separate small container of jelly for them to eat on the pancake if it is a regular flavor and does not contain chocolate chips. Then I freeze a portion for another time. Because we are used to doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling a recipe due to our family size; it takes no more energy to make extras for later on. It saves time and money.
  7. Homemade yogurt. Do a web search on recipes.  I prefer Frugal Gal’s recipe on homemade yogurt.  We do it with a gallon of milk at a time. Seriously, its the bomb. So easy to make. Of course, its plain yogurt, but you can add practically anything. We use plain yogurt in place of sour cream. Mix it with jam or jelly. We make smoothies with it. Eat it plain.
  8. Smoothies:  yogurt, juice or milk, whatever fruit you have on hand, ice, and some sugar or sweetener of your choice. Blend until it has a smooth consistency

What are some of your favorite recipes that your family loves?


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