Save and Refill TV Dinner Plates

Even though the kids are grown and away from home, I figured out a way that I could save a lot of money and we could still eat the meals that we've grown to love over the years. When TV dinners were on sale, I purchased a number of them. We used these dinners when we were in a hurry rather than eating fast food.

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When done, I washed and saved the "plate". Then, whenever I fix a roast, I create TV dinners with some of the leftovers and create a beef stew or a casserole with the rest. The trick to doing this is to have a variety of dinners on hand (turkey, roast beef, chicken, or even left over casserole).

My husband figures we've saved a lot of money by not having to pay for fast food. There's also the energy savings because I don't have to heat the oven every day and the A/C doesn't have to work as hard as it does when the oven is on. If I don't want to fix a meal or if we're in a hurry, all we have to do is take out a homemade TV dinner and we can eat a good balanced meal that is seasoned the way we like them.

Just because the kids aren't here now, doesn't mean that we can't eat the good meals that my husband loves all the time. For example, if I fix a large roast beef for dinner, I'll fix perhaps 4 or 6 TV dinners with sliced roast beef and then get another 4 to 6 meals from the leftover beef when I fix it as a Beef Stew or Shepherd's Pie. That saves me from having to cook a minimum of 4 additional meals. It is a little extra work, but in the long run, it's not that much extra work.

Just make sure you place the "plate" in a freezer bag and make sure it's flat in your freezer to keep everything on the "plate" and reheat in the microwave just like the TV dinners you purchased at the store.

By Bobbie from Mesa, AZ

February 13, 20090 found this helpful

I like to do something like that for my husband when I go to visit my mother. I stay 2 weeks and he doesn't want to eat sandwiches and I don't want him trying to cook in MY kitchen so this works great.

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February 13, 20090 found this helpful

My mother used to do this back in the '60's when I was a kid. TV dinners were a treat and came in foil pans with sections. She would save these and fill them with leftovers like meatloaf or pot roast. They were a timesaver back in the old days--just pop them in the oven for 45 minutes and your meal was ready.

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February 16, 20090 found this helpful

This is a great idea, but you need to be careful. The plastic in the "plates" is not made to be reheated multiple times and could potentially leach harmful chemicals into your food. I would still use this tip, but purchase divided plates that are made to be heated in the microwave. Even though there would be some cost involved, it would still be money saving in the long run.

God Bless!

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February 17, 20090 found this helpful

I'd also say buy reusable divided plates. They should be available at the dollar store. Also, you can use something like Glad Press-n-seal to cover. We get ours at Wal-mart, but the dollar store probably has it, too.

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