Simple Frugal Meal Ideas


One of the things our family does regularly with leftovers is we prepare a meal we call  “Party Tray.” I’ll take all the collected leftovers out of the refrigerator and freezer, reheat them, and then divide the food items among our plates. Everyone gets a little dab of this and a little dab of that — maybe only a bite or two of each item, but after the plate is filled with bits and pieces from past meals, it takes on the look of a plate from a party buffet line. I usually add some sliced cheese and crackers, plus a few cut-up fresh veggies, to complete the party theme.

When my kids were little, they absolutely loved this Party Tray meal idea, but I hesitated for a long time to serve Party Tray to my husband. One Saturday afternoon I just threw together a Party Tray meal for lunch when he was home. I was so surprised — he thought it was a great idea and wanted to know why I didn’t make this meal when he was around. So Party Tray quickly became a regular event, enjoyed by the whole family.

Another frugal meal we enjoy, is one night each week we try to have a Soup and Bread night. I’ll either bake a loaf of fresh bread, a bunch of hearty rolls, or a big pan of cornbread. I keep a covered bucket in the freezer for storing assorted leftovers (meats, vegetables, rice, beans, etc.) to make soup.

A woman I know told me she drew a lady’s face on her freezer soup bucket and called the lady the “Freezer Fairy.” Her kids could hardly wait to feed their leftovers to the Freezer Fairy. Each week, they were excited to see what delicious soup the Fairy was going to make for their family. By the way, the Freezer Fairy’s magic doesn’t work well on fish, so don’t add leftover fish to your soup bucket in the freezer.

Happy frugal eating!


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4 responses to “Simple Frugal Meal Ideas

  1. As a kid, this is what Dad did for lunch on Saturdays when Mom worked outside the home. We saved every bit of leftovers to have for a meal later. Now that I’m an adult (and Dad isn’t here to eat them), I have them for lunch, usually the next day.


  2. We call it “must-go” night, because all those left-overs MUST GO!


  3. We call this dabba-dabba-doo night. You get a dab of this and a dab of that, and that’s just gonna have to do ya!


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