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Saving Money on Meals

Category Cheap Meals
Food is a constant weekly expense for all families. There are ways to cut costs with smart shopping techniques, frugal meal ideas, using leftovers, and more. This is a guide for saving money on meals.
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By 4 found this helpful
August 2, 2011

I have purchased chicken at the deli, it is usually a whole one roasted on the spit. Our first meal is to eat the roasted meat. Then I cut the meat from the bone, and use it in two other meals: one is a chicken pot pie and another is a stir fry. I feel that I get my money's worth and there is nothing, but bone left to go into the garbage.

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By Denise from Tuscola, IL

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By 3 found this helpful
September 8, 2011

I really like some of the prepackaged meal kits. I like to use them when I am in a hurry or just don't want to do a lot of cooking. The portions are too small for families, so just cook up several packages of ramen noodles and add them to the prepared prepackaged meals. This is a great way to stretch the meal kits and it is so cheap to add the ramen noodles. Easy and so good. Enjoy!

By dwedenoja

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By 9 found this helpful
October 24, 2012

Since being a mother, I have found that there are so many ways to save. One of my favorite is by never wasting food. I love to reuse my left overs but in different ways. Even though we are having the same food it is different. Here are a couple examples:
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Make a roast one night. The next you could either make pulled pork out of the left overs or even lasagna. You save by not having to spend so much in meats and you always make sure that your left overs are used.

By Teresa L S. from Campbellsville, KY

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July 25, 2011

I wait on our local Winn Dixie to have their "buy one get one free" sales on meat. This definitely saves our budget a lot of money.

By Joyce

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By 2 found this helpful
October 28, 2013

We are a family of three. I like to buy a nice whole chicken (roaster or fryer, no matter) and then use as follows:

  1. Rinse it off, rub with oil and herbs. Stick some garlic in it. Make it tasty! Stick it in the oven in a casserole dish and set the oven to 225 degrees F, about 11:00 a.m. for a 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. meal. This is equal to a crockpot (which is 220 degrees F) but using the oven instead. I get a lot of roast chicken love when I serve this!
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  2. Keep the best meat from the roasted chicken, and store in a container or bag in the freezer. Many times, there's plenty enough breast meat for a good casserole or some kind of noodle dish (like Chicken Alfredo). Add a vegetable and you're set!

  3. After separating the meat then I put all the bones with meat/skin on them, along with the copious juices that the roasting chicken releases, in a big pot. You can take it from here; add water, any herbs you like, carrots, onions, celery... anything you like for flavors. Bring to a boil, simmer for an hour or so and then the most tedious part, getting all the bones out. It's a pain but it's SO worth it! Makes the most delicious soup, seriously! Stir some noodles or rice in for more volume. It's basically almost a free meal!

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September 14, 2011

When planning your grocery shopping trip, use coupons, but also read the ads carefully. General Mills will put on a special with their cereal and cereal bars. It is also spelled out in the store ad which came in the newspaper and was also available in the store as you went in.

They had the box of 8 bars 2/$5. If you bought 4 boxes, $10 total, you got $4 back at the register. Then, we had $.50 coupons on 2 boxes, which the stores in my area double, so worth $1 each. The coupons were worth $2.

So, this is how it played out:

This promotion was great for the snack packs we make for the kids who go to Shriner's Hospital for treatment.

By Betty from Williamston, SC

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By 1 found this helpful
July 13, 2011

The best way to save money on meals is to plant a garden. You control how it is grown, so you also can have higher quality ingredients. Plus, fresh ingredients taste better, look better, and are nutritionally superior to store bought produce!

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October 23, 2006

Turkey For Frugal Meals. It's coming up on Turkey season, and so I'm saving back whatever I can from the grocery budget to get ready. Turkey is great for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but we eat at our daughter's. A whole turkey is a very good way to get poultry into our diets for very little or for free.

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September 28, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cooking for other families to save money. One way to save money on groceries is to buy enough ingredients to double a meal. If you can find other families to cook for then both families benefit.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 22, 20040 found this helpful

When it comes to saving money on groceries, planning makes all the difference! Planning your family's meals can not only save you money, but time and effort as well. Post your ideas for saving money on meals below.

Answers

May 23, 20070 found this helpful

I would like to have a sample dinner idea without any meat. We are not vegetarians, but we think skipping meat one dinner a week would help our budget. What do people serve without the main course being meat?

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September 3, 20070 found this helpful

Lasagne or spaghetti w/o meat is good. When my kids were younger they never even noticed the difference but since I re-married he wont even consider a meal w/o meat. I think I will start cutting the meat in spaghetti in half and see if he notices. I don't think he will.
My biggest challenge is that he is lactose intolerant so I can't cook a lot of things that I use to be able to do. makes it very hard on me.
How about some homemade mac and cheese? That is good w/o the meat.

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November 21, 20070 found this helpful

I just make a big pot of refried beans. Just take a bag of pinto beans and soak them over night. Next morning drain water and add water,stick of butter,taco seasoning and simmer all day. Then you just mash and you have yummy homemade meatless meals for that night and in the freezer. makes very good filling for tacos. My husband loves meat and he never misses it with this meal.

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November 27, 20070 found this helpful

A lot of dishes my mom makes are without meat, not because we're vegetarians either. lol She makes what she calls, stuffed shells. You buy pasta shells ..sauce ..ricotta cheese and mozzerella. Boil those shells like spaghetti and stuff them with the cheese mixture along with one egg. She bakes this for about an hour I think, covered with foil. It's really good..

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January 16, 20080 found this helpful

Greetings! Heres a small tip for small fries learning to self feed. Finger foods for toddlers are $$$$$, so try the canned food section. You can get low sodium varieties of just about everything now, and even the veggies are softer and already cut up for tiny fingers. Chicken noodle soup ( w/o broth ) is my twins all time favorite right now.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 11, 20080 found this helpful

Talk to your co-workers and neighbours to buy in bulk. There are local farms that sell sides of beef, and we get together and split them. Way cheaper, and we know where it comes from!

Also, this past Jan. I bought a pressure cooker. It makes the meat so tender. I dont use the small 1-2" cuts or steaks anymore (more expensive at the store). I've found that using the roasts and larger pieces of meat are excellent in the cooker. Its also really good for ribs (off the bone!)- and quicker to cook too. The best investment I've made.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 11, 20090 found this helpful

Cooking meals without meat will save quite a bit. One thing I do is I make bean burgers. Mix chunky mashed up cooked beans with cooked rice 1/2 and 1/2 each, be sure they have been drained and are not soupy. Add some chopped onion and celery. Season to your taste, then add an egg, or you could add breadcrumbs or corn starch; anything that will bind the ingredients together to form into patties. You can coat the patties with flour if you like. Then fry them till golden on both sides.

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May 3, 20110 found this helpful

We often do a meatless meal at least once a week. We use beans, soups, eggs, and pasta meals. Soups can use a meat broth and lots of filling vegetables to be satisfying and served with a salad and a crusty bread, you will feel very satisfied with this meal. A hearty bean soup, again, I use a powdered meat flavor for the base to make my husband think meat had been used, and the beans and onions and carrots and celery give a filling meal. Tacos, enchilladas, and any type of wrap are good with beans as your base. I love scrambled eggs with lots of chopped up veggies and a lowfat cheese in them.

You can make omelets, but I find that they are just as well loved as just scrambled eggs with vegetables and cheese. Add a potato patty or some home made home fries with onions and peppers and your meal can be complete. Be creative and see what is acceptable to your family. They may have ideas as well. We even do an omelet pizza, no not a breakfast pizza with eggs; we have no crust. We put many beaten eggs into a well greased pan with anything you would put on a meatless pizza (yep, even tomatoes and broccoli if you so like) we let them cook and start to set up without stirring and then pour on some pizza sauce, sprinkle on cheese and put a top on it all to melt the cheese and warm through the sauce. It's very good. Serve in the frying pan and cut into wedges just like a pizza!

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March 5, 2005

For some reason this month FoodTV is doing a lot of recipes that are economical. Even if you don't have cable, go to Foodtv.com. One recipe I tried and was excellent was Osso Bucco Stoup (thick, but not too thick). I figured it costs about $6.00 for approximately 10 adult servings. It can be found in the show "30 Minute Meals". I know it aired at least on 2/26/05, but other times too, I'm sure. If you don't find it, I'm happy to submit it.

CJS in Maine

Answers

May 11, 20050 found this helpful

http://www.foodnetwork.com

Food Network is great! In addition to 30 Minute Meals, there's a new show with.... I believe his name is Dave Lieberman, about great low cost cooking. (cooking on a budget).

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