Quick Meal Ideas for Busy Families

December 28, 2004

A recipe list of quick to fix meals with the ingredients stocked in the cupboard make it easier to avoid buying mixes and visiting fast food drive-thrus.


By Lynn

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The I HATE TO COOK book! Imagine seeing a title like that! I found this little book, published in 1960, and was curious with what kind of recipes it would have from 50 years ago, a time I thought all women loved to cook! It's really a book about "quick" dishes or meals.

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November 1, 2011

This recipe is fast, easy to make and delicious, especially great for those of you who have young children to feed and are pressed for time. The adults in our family like it as well.

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May 10, 2010

I have found a quick and healthy meal solution that is better for you than processed foods or take out. When you are grocery shopping pick up a package or two of fresh chicken tenders that can easily be cooked up for a speedy meal.

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August 17, 2006

I save the black microwave containers that frozen packaged food comes in. When I am making casseroles, chili, etc., I fill them. I use Glad Press and Seal and make my own instant food for my teenage son.

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March 4, 2004

Making meals ahead and freezing them in single-serve sizes can save you time and money. And, homemade freezer meals will be lower in fat and sodium than store bought ones.

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Cyndi Roberts
March 10, 2005

Do you ever have difficulty deciding what to make for supper? And then having it all ready at the same time?

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March 8, 2005

Make your own quick meals by making a large batch of soup or casserole and freezing meal-size portions for later. You will save on high-priced last minute fast food purchases.

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Sandy Baker
May 14, 2006

You are tired after spending the day working. But, the age old question is, "What's for dinner?" Do you have an option for dinner tonight? Here is a quick dinner that you can make that is satisfying and easy to do.

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This is a great quickie recipe. Mix partially-drained green beans with mushroom soup. Add corned beef hash. Pour into casserole.

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January 11, 2007

Busy Mother's Casserole. Combine all ingredients and place in refrigerator overnight in a covered casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.

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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.

September 30, 2010

What is the cheapest meal you have and how is it prepared? I need the required ingredients and a description of the taste. I am a Nigerian in Michigan, U.S.A. I arrived 5 weeks ago. Thanks for your urgent response.



September 30, 20100 found this helpful

I don't eat meat, and my food budget is very small, my favorite cheap meal is rice and peas. You can make a big pot or a little pot depending on how many you need to feed. You use a serving of peas for every serving of rice, I wish I could be more exact with the amount of ingredients. I cook my rice with a couple of veggie broth cubes, I add onions, garlic, or basically any aromatic vegetable I have. Sometimes I only have garlic, sometimes I have peppers and tomatoes, but you can use whatever you have on hand. I cook everything together and I add some oil or butter and a little more salt or pepper if it needs it. Its so simple, but it fills your body with warm, good food. If that doesn't sound tasty, I find a lot of ideas on this website. It contains many low cost and tasty recipes. Welcome to America, :) I used to live in Michigan, it's a beautiful place.

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October 1, 20100 found this helpful

The easiest meal I make is using my crock pot. Put chicken breasts in the pot, pour a can of cream of celery or cream of mushroom on top and let it cook throughout the day on low or high if you want it cooked a bit sooner. The chicken is always fall apart moist and delicious. You can add some onion soup mix in, some vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower and serve over rice or egg noodles. My family loves it with corn muffins.

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October 1, 20100 found this helpful

Peanut butter sandwiches are a cheap source of protein, no cooking needed. Eggs can be made any way you like. Rice and beans make a complete protein. Cook a large pot and eat for days. I don't eat red meat. Chicken is versatile and inexpensive when on sale. What did you eat in Nigeria? Can you make similar things here?

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October 1, 20100 found this helpful

Tuna Noodle Recipe
Cook a bag of noodles in pot of water and drain.
Add two cans cream of mushroom soup to the noodles in pan.
Add three cans tuna drained of liquid.
Add a can of peas drained or half bag of frozen peas.
Add half a jar of mushrooms(no juice) as an option.
Add one half stick of margarine.
Cook until all is hot and stir to mix well.
Serve. Lots of leftovers for other meals.
Description: All soft food and creamy

Vegetable Soup
one bag of mixed frozen vegetables
one can tomato juice
one pound of browned and drained ground beef
one onion diced up
two cans seasoned diced tomatoes
Add hot sauce to broth if desired.
Cook altogether in large pan until onions are clear and soft stirring often to prevent sticking to pan.
Pour into soup bowl and serve with saltines or peanut butter sandwich. Lots of leftovers for other meals.
Description: Can be mild or spicy depending on taste. Full of flavor and good on a wintery day. Healthy eating.

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October 2, 20100 found this helpful

I understand a budget. Here are some ideas I do.
Homemade sushi. The Noris is cheap and you can fill it with whatever you wish. I use brown rice instead of sushi rice (healthier and cheaper. I buy in bulk.) Fill it with shredded carrot, some avocado, cucumber, and fake crab. I also use left overs, shredded chicken, pork, stuff like that. Easy lunches and easy to roll too. Comes out to a couple of bucks per meal and has all the nutrients needed. Make all snacks. Granola bars, etc. You get triple the amount for 1/2 the price of store bought. Buy over ripe bananas on sale at produce market and freeze to make banana bread/muffins. Can control sugar.
I don't use canned soups either for the same reasons. Homemade soups are easy and CHEAP!! Make vats of stocks and freeze, then you have a base. Freeze small ends, and bits of veggies. Collect enough to make a veggie stock. Buy chicken and beef bones from the butcher. Can get lots for very cheap. Healthy soups are easy and very affordable and you can use amount of salt you choose. Spaghetti and chili too can freeze. There are only 2 of us in the house, so make lots and take advantage of the freezer. Just a few ideas.

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October 3, 20100 found this helpful

Hi, and welcome to America. I think it is so brave to move to another country! The first meal I thought of was cabbage and noodles. It's hard to describe the taste. I think it's delicious. The meat is savory (I like to use breakfast sausage, and I like Bob Evans brand, but buy the cheapest) and the cabbage is naturally sweet. The ingredients are all fairly cheap, and it makes a big pot that warms up well. If you need to make it cheaper, you can leave the meat out, and just cook the vegetables and noodles.

The ingredients are:
1 large onion
1 head of cabbage
1-1 pound bag of egg noodles
1 pound of sausage, ground meat, or bacon

peel and chop the onion. Cut the cabbage in quarters, and cut the core out. Then cut it into slices or chunks. Break the meat up and brown it in a large pot. When it is getting brown, add the onion and cabbage, and cook over medium heat, stirring occassionally to keep it from sticking. When the cabbage is starting to get wilted, add a cup of water, and cover the pot with a lid. When the cabbage is nearly done, cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain the noodles, and stir into the cabbage mixture. You can add a hot pepper, if you like things hot.

If you could let us know what kind of foods you like and what your cooking skills are, it would help. Do you have enough pots and pans to cook a few things at the same time? Or just one of two, limiting what you cook and how much. I hope that someone here in the States is helping you with shopping and everything else. Bless you, and much luck to you.

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September 11, 2011

You've ordered pizza, picked up subs 3 times this week, you're low on patience and are totally out of noodles. The kids are melting down because they are hungry, what are your top 3 "Make in a Flash" meal solutions outside of breakfast for dinner? I'm looking to spice up my 'in case of emergency' recipe file.

By mo from Madison, WI

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 30, 2010

I am looking for quick, easy, inexpensive dinner ideas.

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December 29, 2008
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May 10, 2010

What meals can I make during the day that all I have to do is heat on the stove or toss in the oven quickly when I get home?

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