Frugal Family Meal Ideas

Whether you are cooking from your pantry or just trying to knock down your food budget, it helps to have an arsenal of some great frugal family meal ideas. And while beans can certainly be part of your recipe book, it doesn’t have to be the main part. Here are my favorite ideas for frugal family meals that both the kids and your wallet will love.

Kids love pasta. That is a given. So one of my favorite frugal family meals uses it, but with a twist. Everyone enjoys eating this slightly more sophisticated (notice I said slightly) and much less expensive version. It contains, of all thing, tomato soup, making it nutritious, too. In fact, I often make this for families with young children who can use a meal. Even the kids who don’t like tomatoes will eat this meal.

Here is the recipe: Homemade “Spaghettios!”

Another great meal that goes over well with my family is meatloaf. I make it using ground turkey, which is both leaner and less expensive. The trick to making this meal even more frugal is to stretch it out with a filler. In this case, the filler is a great thing. I use stuffing mix and a few other ingredients, so the meatloaf turns out flavorful and moist. For kids, adding the ketchup on the top and the cheese is a must, too.

I like this meal for fall, especially, since it reminds me of thanksgiving. Plus, the meatloaf freezes so well. You can cut it into slices and then heat up individual servings during the busy holiday season. Pair it with some mashed potatoes that have been made ahead and frozen in muffin tins.

Here is the recipe: Thanksgiving Meat Loaf

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog