If you’ve spent any time at all here at Simply Frugal, then you know I sing the praises of meal planning. Taking the time to meal plan is just so sanity saving and money saving!
However, if you’re anything like me, there are seasons in life when you need all the inspiration you can get.
That’s why I’m excited to let you know that the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle is available once again for a couple of days!
I’m a big fan of printables so I’m especially excited about the Grocery Budget Binder and the Meal Planning Success Kit.
Since my daughter was diagnosed with many food sensitivities last year, I’m going to dig in first with the For Real: For the Love of Real Food ebook for some ideas.
If you want to simplify mealtimes, put unfussy (but still healthy) meals on the table, and ditch the frantic late afternoon craziness, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle.
If you’re ready to stick to your food budget, whip up healthy meals, and quit wasting food, check out the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle before the sale ends January 27, 2021.
I think this will be a fun week in the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series! It’s all about food! Specifically, we’re going to plan our holiday menus. You’ll want to think about:
- Christmas dinner
- Christmas brunch
- Christmas eve
- Boxing day
And well, any meal surrounding Christmas day. My planning is quite simple. My parents cook our Christmas brunch and dinner so all I have to do is bring the cheesecake and some baking!
For inspiration, I highly recommend taking a look through Pinterest.
While you’re planning out your dishes, be sure to start adding items to a grocery list. You don’t want to forget anything!
To help you out, you’ll want to check out the Christmas dinner planner and grocery list that are available in the Holiday Planner, here.
Also be sure to print off the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas checklists to make sure you’re on track for the final week’s until Christmas day!
What will be on your holiday menu? Leave it in the comments! Any food traditions you have to uphold? How do you keep on budget?
Sign up for the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas newsletter to receive a FREE Christmas Dinner Checklist! This checklist is quite detailed and will help you remember all the details needed for a memory filled dinner with family and friends. You’ll also receive a weekly email with each week’s “task”.
Here are the posts in the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series so far:
Delicious Whipped Shortbread Cookies
These Whipped Shortbread Cookies are to die for! They’re simple to make and melt in your mouth. You’ll definitely be making a few batches this season!
Looking for a recipe for delicious Whipped Shortbread Cookies? Well, here you go. This is it! I usually have to make this recipe several times over the Christmas season as my husband loves them! The best part about this shortbread is that it’s so easy to make and only needs three ingredients!
How to make Whipped Shortbread Cookies:
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- Maraschino cherry pieces, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place softened butter in a bowl, whip with a hand mixer or Stand mixer for one minute.
- Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, whipping after after each addition until well incorporated.
- Add the powdered sugar and whip again for about 5 minutes (or more).
- Place by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheets. Decorate with maraschino cherries, if desired.
- Bake in oven for 10 – 11 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place softened butter in a bowl, whip with a hand mixer for a minute
Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, whipping after each addition until well incorporated
Add the icing sugar and whip again for about 5 minutes, or more
Place by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheets. Decorate with maraschino cherries, if desired
Bake in oven for 10-11 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned
If you find your cookies are coming out like pancakes, you may need to mix even more. The “secret” to these whipped cookies, is actually the amount of time you spend whipping them. I have only ever had one batch not turn out and I’m sure it’s because I got lazy and didn’t whip them long enough.
Other family favorites for Christmas:
Apple sandwiches snack idea
A quick and simple snack idea the whole family will love!
Summer calls for delicious, simple snacks. However, I’m definitely not opposed to simple snacks all year round. After all, simple is one of my meal prep mottos. If I think it’s going to take too much time or require too many ingredients I don’t have on hand, I move on. Are you the same? Snacks should require very little effort, but lots of flavor! 😀
These apple sandwiches fall under the category of simple, delicious and budget-friendly. They’re a hit with both of my daughters and my husband and I. Though for the girls, I just do one slice of apple with the peanut butter and granola on top to make an open face sandwich. That way their little mouths can get a good bite!
While we use peanut butter, I think these would be delicious with WowButter, almond butter, apple butter or any kind of nut butter! As for the granola, I like to always have a batch of this homemade granola on hand. But store bought is delicious too. For the apple corer, I really like this Cuisipro apple corer.
Here’s how to make Apple Sandwiches:
or peanut butter alternative
Remove cores from apples and cut into 1/4-1/2" thick slices
Spread apple slice with peanut butter.
Top with granola and raisins.
Place another apple slice on top and gently press together.
Repeat with remaining apple slices.
What are your favorite go-to simple snacks?
You don’t have to be a wannabe chef to whip up some delicious meals. You don’t even have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, which is great news for anyone who prefers spending their free time binge-watching a show on Netflix or catching up on their reading.
All you have to do, is dig into your pantry and grab a few basic items to whip up these recipes. Best of all? You won’t even have to turn on your stove or touch your oven because they’re no bake recipes!
No Bake Recipes Using Pantry Staples
3 Ingredient No Bake Oatmeal Cookies
Want a no bake oatmeal cookie recipe that’s impossible to mess up? Then follow these instructions to create a batch of oatmeal cookies that are delicious and gluten-free. Best of all, you don’t need oil or butter to make them. Here’s what you will need:
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup of syrup (you can replace with about 20 drops of Stevia, or ½ cup of sugar)
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
Grab a large mixing bowl and add all the ingredients together. Make sure to mix well until they’re combined. Then, use your hands to form 12 small balls and place them on a large plate lined with parchment paper. Press each ball into the shape of a cookie and add the chocolate chips on top. Now refrigerate for about 30 minutes until they’re nice and firm.
Extra Yummy Microwave Cheese Sandwich
Craving a cheese sandwich but don’t feel like driving to the nearest fast food restaurant or turning on the stove to cook one? Then try this microwave cheese sandwich recipe. It makes a perfect go-to breakfast meal. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A few slices of turkey or ham
- 1 tablespoon of salsa
- 1 tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 split and toasted whole wheat bagel or two slices of bread
- 3-4 spinach leaves
Place one of the pieces of break on the bottom of a custard cup, a ramekin, or a dish that’s microwave-proof and coat it with some salsa. Sprinkle with the cheese and microwave for 30 seconds until the cheese is melted. Now add some salsa, the turkey slices, and some spinach leaves to the other slice of bread and close the sandwich. Heat it up for 10 more seconds and enjoy this delicious mini treat.
3-ingredient Cookies & Ice Cream Pie
A cookies and ice cream pie recipe might sound complicated, but it’s actually quick, simple to do, and perfect for any occasion. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 20 chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos or any kind of sandwich cookies you like)
- 1 cup melted chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups of softened ice cream
Place the sandwich cookies in a gallon sized plastic bag and smash them with a pan or rolling pin until they’re crushed. Now pat the cookie crumbs in to the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish. Then spread the softened ice cream on top and even it out. Then drizzle the top with some melted chocolate and place in the freezer for 4 hours to harden the ice cream.
The Easiest 3 Ingredient Cheesecake in the World
Looking for a 3-ingredient cheesecake that is very creamy and will take your taste buds on the greatest adventure in the history of cheesecakes? Then try this recipe:
- 1 liter plain double cream yogurt (Greek yogurt works amazingly well too!)
- 1 tin condensed milk
- 200g crushed biscuits
Press the biscuits down into the bottom of a microwave-safe deep dish. Then mix the condensed milk with the yogurt and pour the mixture over the even biscuit layer. Now smooth the top and microwave the entire thing on high for about 6 minutes. Then let it cool in the fridge and serve.
Other Easy Desserts:
There’s nothing more frustrating than starting to bake or cook something delicious only to find that a key ingredient is missing. Ugh! But there’s no need to scrub a recipe and sulk in frustration. If you know what you’re doing, you can just substitute it with something else! Here are a couple of ingredients that are bound to be in everyone’s pantry or fridge and are a dish-saving substitutes.
Read on to see the complete list, or download your own printable PDF copy using the button below. (I recommend hanging it up somewhere in your kitchen for easy reference!)
Substitute with butter, margarine, coconut oil or apple sauce
Apple Cider Vinegar
Substitute with white vinegar
Substitute with apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
Substitute by mixing one part Tomato Paste and one part Water.
Or substitute with canned tomatoes and adding onions, garlic and some herbs.
Baking Powder (1tsp)
Substitute with 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Substitute with cracker crumbs, crushed cornflakes, ground oatmeal, or even cooked quinoa.
Brown Sugar (1 Cup)
Substitute with 1 cup white sugar and 2 Tbsp molasses.
Substitute with margarine, oil or shortening
Buttermilk (1 cup)
Substitute with 1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar and enough milk to make 1 cup
Or substitute with 1 cup plain yogurt
Substitute with honey, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup
Substitute with cottage cheese or cream cheese.
Fresh herbs (1 Tbsp)
Substitute with 1 tsp dried herbs
Honey (1 Cup)
Substitute with maple syrup, corn syrup or 1 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup liquid (whatever is called for in the recipe)
Substitute with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Substitute with sour cream or plain yogurt
Substitute with beef broth, chicken broth, vegetable broth, apple cider (not vinegar), water, tomato sauce, white grape juice or non-alcoholic wine.
Yeast (1 tsp)
Substitute with 1/2 tsp Baking Soda and 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
Substitute with Quinoa. (Quinoa also provides twice as much protein and fiber which promote a healthier digestive system.)
Substitute with 1 Tbsp ground Flax Seeds or Chia Seeds and 3 Tbsp Water. Mix until gelatinous.
Or substitute with silken tofu.
Or substitute with apple sauce or mashed banana
Pastry Flour (1 cup)
Substitute with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch combined with enough all-purpose flour to make a cup.
Often times, substituting salt for herbs and other seasonings like onions, lemon or lime can make a dish taste really flavourful.
Substitute with 1 and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar.
I hope you find this substitutions list useful! I’ll leave you with the button to download a free printable PDF copy of the list, in case you missed it earlier in the post! 🙂