100 Days of Summer Freezer Meals

Looking for a simple dinner solution to get you through the summer? Enter… freezer meals!

I don’t know about you, but I want to spend time creating amazing memories and moments to cherish forever, than sweat away in the kitchen during the summer months. I’d much rather spend an hour in the kitchen getting a bunch of meals pulled together, than not have to think about or worry about what’s for dinner at the end of an exhausting day of summer fun.

It’s about more than time too…it’s about money. I know, for me, the temptation to hit the drive thru is much higher in the summer months. And that gets expensive, fast! I want your meals this summer to be simple and easy, and I know you do too.

That’s why I think you should take a look at the 100 Days of Summer Freezer Meals page that MyFreezEasy put together!

You’ll find 100 amazing recipes that go from the freezer to the slow cooker, Instant Pot or grill!

How to Feed Your Family on $50 This Week

One thing that will bring a family together are home cooked meals at the kitchen table. There is nothing better than gathering around yummy food, while conversing about life, with your family members. Unfortunately, feeding your family does not come cheap. Here are some great tips to help you feed your family on $50 this week, whether you are tight on cash, or just simply looking to be a little more frugal.

How to Feed Your Family on $50 This Week

Yes, it can be done, and you don’t have to coupon! Check out these practical tips on how to feed your family on $50 a week!

Take Inventory

Take inventory of what is already in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. I make a list using the inventory sheet from the Grocery Conqueror Kit, so that I have it as I sit down to make my shopping list and menu plan. No need to buy tomato sauce if you already have some in the pantry!

Use Store Rewards

I like to collect PC Optimum points because the points turn into cash that I can put towards my grocery bill. I just recently redeemed $30 so that was a nice chunk of change of of that grocery bill! There are many other store reward programs out there that may be worth trying out if it means savings for you!

Use Grocery Rebate Sites

I like Checkout 51 and Caddle because I can just upload my receipt and go. I have 7 days from the time I shop to upload, and I can combine rebates from all 4 sites from 1 receipt to maximize savings!

Shop the Right Places

Being able to feed your family for less, means that you need to be willing to shop at different stores. If you are used to shopping at higher end grocery stores that generally charge more than say, Walmart or No Frills, consider stepping outside of your box, and head into a less costly store. Set aside your reasons and any ill feelings that you may have about those stores. You certainly will not regret it after leaving the store with a little extra change in your pocket!

Meal Plan Around Flyer Sales

Meal planning is a great way to make sure you know exactly what your family will be eating every day. Knowing which meals you will be enjoying also means that you know all of the ingredients needed, and this will allow you to better stick to your budget of $50. Just make sure that as you plan your meals, that you are scoping out the flyer sales and planning
your meals around what is on sale and what you already have at home.

Use Cheap Fillers

When you have a tight food budget to stick to, you will find that rice and beans will become some of your favorite ingredients. Rice and beans generally do not have much flavor, so they can be added to almost any meal, even if it is just as a side that you season with salt and pepper. However, the other great thing about rice and beans is that they are cheap fillers in things like tacos, soup and chili! This means that you will feel fuller after eating them. Dry beans will be your best value, so don’t be afraid to use them!

Make a list of cheap meals

I’m in the thought camp that most meals can be frugal meals if you purchase the ingredients on sale. for example, meat. Don’t buy chicken breasts if the chicken thighs are on sale. Also, take a look at the 20 meal rotation I have been doing as our meal plan lately. I’d consider most meals on the list cheap and frugal!

Stick to the same things for Breakfast and Lunch

In our house, I have a rotation going of oatmeal, pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs and cereal all served with fruit for breakfasts. Sounds time consuming, but it’s really not because once in a while we have breakfast for dinner (pancakes/French toast) and I freeze the leftovers. We can then pop them into the toaster for a super quick, filling breakfast! Same sort of idea for lunches. Sandwiches, grilled cheese, soup, leftovers… Dinner is where most of the variety comes from!

Eat Those Leftovers!

Who wants leftovers? Most people generally are not fond of reheated meals the following day. However, eating leftovers is a great way to help you stick to your weekly food budget. If your family cannot handle the same meal twice in one week consider turning your leftovers into a new meal by turning it into a soup or stew, or adding new flavors or vegetables to it. Taco Tuesday can become taco salad (or taco soup) Wednesday. I especially love to freeze leftovers like spaghetti sauce. Makes for a super easy meal on a rushed night.

Feeding your family on $50 this week really comes down to being creative as much as it does frugal. People do what they have to do to survive and you, my friend, can totally make this work for your family. What tips do you have to add?


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The Cure for Your Meal Planning Blues

Healthy Meal Planning Bundle 2018

What if there was just one thing standing between you, a lower grocery bill and a healthier life?

I know it seems hard to believe but hear me out…

Healthy meals don’t just happen. (Wouldn’t that be nice!) You have to decide what you’re eating, make your list, buy the ingredients, and then prepare everything. And the domino that starts it all is knowing what you’re going to eat.

In other words, the path to a lower grocery bill and health begins with a plan.

Starting today, and for only 48 hours, you can get your hands on ready-made meal plans for just the way you eat – complete with shopping lists and fresh recipes – for a ridiculously low price.

It’s called the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle and here’s how it works:

It’s a complete meal planning solution made up of 10 mini-bundles.

Each bundle contains digital cookbooks, fresh meal ideas, and ready-made plans (and even grocery lists!). No matter how you eat, there’s a mini-bundle that’s perfect for you and there are two buying options:

Option 1: Pick up just one mini-bundle that works best for your life right now – quick & healthy, budget-friendly, Instant Pot & slow cooker OR diet-specific options like vegan, real food, paleo, keto, gluten-free… there’s one that’s right for you.

Option 2: For less than the price of two mini-bundles, get the ENTIRE package with over 3,000 recipes and 100 weeks of made-for-you meal plans, so you’ve got total control no matter how your food needs change.

You really can start saving money and get healthier, starting today.

Make those dominos fall by picking up your copy of the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle (or any of the mini-bundles) right here.

Sale ends September 25, 2018.

20 Family Dinner Recipes that Cut our Grocery Bill

Planning a menu each week can be such an annoyance. Some weeks, it would take me hours to come up with enough meals for the week because I’d always try to add variety with new meals. I would scour cookbooks and Pinterest for new recipes and get distracted trying to decide if something sounded good or not. Or whether or not the rest of the family would eat it… So, one thing that has helped us to cut our grocery budget was to create a short, go-to recipe list! I mean, we eat the same basic things for breakfast each day, why not apply the principle to dinner too?

If you want to finally stop wasting money on groceries, I'd encourage you to grab some inspiration from our go-to recipe list. #mealplanning #menuplanning #dinnerideas #easydinner

Narrowing our meal ideas to only 20 options has made meal planning a breeze and has saved us so much money. It also reduces food waste, because I know I am making food that we all enjoy. These meals are a mix of quick & easy meals, recipes that are great for leftovers, and some a wee bit more complicated because they’re just so tasty.

So, if you want to finally stop wasting money on groceries, I’d encourage you to grab some inspiration from our go-to recipe list. Here’s what we’re eating, aside from leftover nights and super simple meals (like tomato soup & grilled cheese):

  1. Tacos – I find that one package of ground beef is enough for two meals for our family. I’ll often make it stretch further with a can of baked beans.
  2. French Toast – We often like breakfast meals for dinner. I especially love to make a big batch of French toast because I can freeze the leftovers for quick breakfasts.
  3. Instant Pot Beef Stew – This is so good! Since the recipe doesn’t call for potatoes, I like to serve it over mashed potatoes.
  4. Spaghetti – Lately I’ve been browning ground beef, adding it to the slow cooker with a jar of pasta sauce, a bit of water and a sprinkle of beef bouillon powder.
  5. Hamburger Soup – This freezes well and is enjoyed every time I make it.
  6. Slow Cooker BBQ Sauce Pork Chops – Place pork chops over sliced onions in a slow cooker, then pour your favourite BBQ sauce over top. Cook on low for about 4 – 6 hours. Serve with rice or potatoes and steamed veggies.
  7. Sausage and Potato Bake – Cut up potato, carrots, sweet potato, peppers, and farmer’s sausage and place in a big 9×13 baking dish. Drizzle olive oil and a dose of oregano, salt & pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes.
  8. Roasted chicken – It no secret that a roasted whole chicken can stretch for many meals. I’ll often buy rotisserie chicken for a super fast dinner with veggies and potatoes.
  9. Balsamic beef roast – This is another meal that stretches far or is great for feeding a crowd.
  10. Quiche– a satisfying meal
  11. Instant Pot Honey Sesame chicken – Delicious served with rice and veggies!
  12. Creamy chicken soup – This is another delicious soup that freezes well!
  13. Chicken pesto stuffed shells – My husband’s favourite meal that actually isn’t that hard to make! Great freezer meal too.
  14. Ramen Vegetable stirfry – I buy the healthy ramen noodles from Costco. A great way to use up vegetables that are needing to be used up.
  15. Meatballs– These are so versatile and the recipe make a ton so you’ll have plenty for the freezer.
  16. Chicken in basil sauce – One of our “fancy” dinners that we enjoy.
  17. Fettuccine Alfredo – An indulgence we don’t mind occasionally since we need to fatten up the kids. 😉
  18. White Chicken Chili – A good twist on classic chili that again, freezes well.
  19. Chicken & Asparagus Pasta Bake – So easy to put together. Also works well with green beans.
  20. Slow Cooker Barbacoa – Leftovers are so good over salad, in tacos, burritos, quesadillas and more!

There you have it! The 20 family dinner recipes that have managed to cut our grocery bill!

Does your family have a go-to recipe list? What are your favourite meals?


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The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge: Week 3

The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge from SimplyFrugal.ca

Welcome back to the Eating from The Pantry & Freezer Challenge!  Here’s what it’s all about or you can read the post from Week 2.

Here’s my update from last week

I took a little hiatus last week since we had family visiting and we were all over the place! We feasted on burgers, hot dogs, pizza… all the healthy stuff 😉 Needless to say, we still have quite a bit of stuff in our pantry and freezer!

This week should be different so we should be going through quite a bit of stuff.

Getting creative with what you have left

At this point in the challenge you may have come to a point where you need to be creative when it comes to using up what you have an abundance of and filling the spaces of those things you wish you could go out and buy.

There are a few great websites out there that will come up with some recipes for the ingredients you already have on hand.  All Recipes is one of them.  Simply input the ingredients you have and the ingredients you don’t have and it will pull up a list of recipes you could make!  Recipe Matcher, Supercook and Ingredient Chef are also good resources!

Here’s what we’ll be eating this week:

Since not many of my planned meals got made last week, you’ll see some recycled meals on this week’s menu.

Monday:

  • Breakfast:  Refrigerator oatmeal
  • Lunch:  Smoothies
  • Dinner: Asian Vegetable Pasta (with chicken and using healthy ramen noodles from Costco), artisan bread in the slow cooker

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

  • Breakfast:  refrigerated oatmeal
  • Lunch:  Potato soup
  • Dinner: Quiche, salad

Friday:

Saturday:

  • Brunch: Bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, toast
  • Dinner:  Leftovers

Sunday:

Now it’s your turn, what’s your update and what will you be eating this week?

The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge: Week 2

The Eating from the Pantry & Freezer Challenge from SimplyFrugal.ca

Welcome to the second week of the Eating from The Pantry & Freezer Challenge!  Here’s what it’s all about or you can read the post from Week 1.

Here’s my update:

As it seems with all my weeks, not every meal I had planned got made.  Things just come up or we have more leftovers than we thought!

But I did manage to rid our freezer of a few things!  Some taco meat is gone, a couple of bags of frozen fruit are gone, along with quite a few frozen bananas.

Here’s what we’ll be eating this week:

Monday:

  • Breakfast:  Banana Muffins, yogurt, fruit
  • Lunch:  Egg Salad sandwich
  • Dinner: Ham, mashed potatoes, corn (didn’t get made last week)

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs with yogurt
  • Lunch: Potato soup using leftover ham?
  • Dinner: Cheesy Beef & Rice

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast:  Refrigerator Oatmeal
  • Lunch:  Potato soup using leftover ham?
  • Dinner:  Baked Ravioli

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Banana muffins, yogurt, fruit
  • Lunch:  leftovers
  • Dinner: Leftovers

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Refrigerator oatmeal
  • Lunch:  Smoothies
  • Dinner: We will have family in town so maybe a BBQ but I’m not setting anything in stone

Saturday:

  • Brunch:  French Toast
  • Dinner:  We will have family in town so I’m not setting anything in stone

Sunday:

  • Breakfast:  Oatmeal/cereal, yogurt, fruit
  • Lunch:  Egg salad sandwich
  • Dinner:  We will have family in town so I’m not setting anything in stone

Now it’s your turn to share your menu plan with the rest of us!  We’d also love to hear your progress and savings report!