Saving Money on Meals


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.


By Denise from Tuscola, IL

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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 ...

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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.

A pulled pork sandwich

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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.

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October 28, 2013

We are a family of three. I like to buy a nice whole chicken and then use as follows:

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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. They had the box of 8 bars 2/$5. If you bought 4 boxes, $10 total, you got $4 back at the register.

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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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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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12 Questions

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April 22, 2004

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.


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 Anita in Canada (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 suzin (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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For some reason this month FoodTV is doing a lot of recipes that are economical. Even if you don't have cable, go to 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


May 11, 20050 found this helpful

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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August 21, 2020

Home cooked meals don't have to be expensive or complicated. Feed your whole family with these great recipe ideas and tips.

A plate of macaroni and cheese.

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September 28, 2016

This is a page 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.

Woman standing in kitchen holding out a casserole dish

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