Every week I make a weekly Menu Plan and I usually have at least 1 Freezer Cooking/Baking Day a month. For the most part this keeps us out of the drive-thru but sometimes life happens. It could be that I am sick or have a sick child or worse yet a sick husband! Maybe we are really busy or have unexpected things come up. In order to avoid the drive-thru when things get crazy, I have a back-up Menu Plan. This is just a list of very simple meals I can throw together in a short period of time with little or no effort. Here are the meals I use to keep us out of the drive-thru.
- Hamburger Helper- I know this is not the healthiest dinner choice but it is better than a Big Mac & fries. It is simple to prepare and requires very little effort. This is a product that can usually be purchased really cheap (less than $1) with a sale and coupon.
- Hot Dogs and Macaroni & Cheese- This is one of my family's favorite meals! Someitmes I make Kraft or Velveeta Mac & Cheese but I also like to make Rice Cooker Mac & Cheese.
- Frozen Pizza- My favorite frozen pizza is Palermo's Pizza. I like to serve it with a spinach salad. You could also use a pizza kit (like Chef Boyardee) or make homemade pizza.
- Freezer Meals- I keep at least 10 Freezer Meals in my freezer at all times. If I know I am going to have a busy day or I am not feeling well, I can dump a frozen Freezer Meal in my crockpot at lunchtime (or earlier) and have a hot, homemade dinner ready to go at 6:00. I just make a side dish and/or veggie and dinner is ready!
- Sandwiches & Soup or Salad- You can serve sandwiches cold or grilled with soup in the winter or a crisp salad in the summer.
- Baked Potatoes & Soup or Salad- Check-out the Crockpot Baked Potato instructions here to make this meal even easier.
- Grilled Cheese & Soup or Salad- I know Grilled Cheese is a sandwich but I felt it needed it's own spot.
- Breakfast for Dinner- We love having breakfast for dinner! I usually make scrambled eggs and/or sausage, biscuits (from the freezer or canned) & gravy or pancakes (from the freezer) and fresh fruit.
- Spaghetti- I keep at least 1 jar of spaghetti sauce in my pantry and I also keep a bag of homemade meatballs in the freezer.
- Hamburgers- On the grill, broiler or in a skillet this is always a simple meal. Serve with frozen or homemade french fries and veggies & dip.
For more frugal ideas, visit Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.