Thursday, April 15, 2010

Frugal Friday: 10 Quick Meals to Avoid the Drive-Thru

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. Sandwiches & Soup or Salad- You can serve sandwiches cold or grilled with soup in the winter or a crisp salad in the summer.
  6. Baked Potatoes & Soup or Salad- Check-out the Crockpot Baked Potato instructions here to make this meal even easier.
  7. Grilled Cheese & Soup or Salad- I know Grilled Cheese is a sandwich but I felt it needed it's own spot.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.


  1. Hi there! Niki here, dropping in from over at Free 2 Be Frugal. I really enjoyed your Frugal Friday post...fab suggestions for easy meals.

    Stop by and see me sometime.


  2. Sometimes, the simplest meal is the best! I also like to keep a jar or two of sauce on hand. Sometimes we have it with homemade meatballs (I keep a batch in the freezer, too) and sometimes with ground beef that I've already browned. I've done breakfast-for-dinner a few times, too. I think my husband would prefer to have hamburgers all the time--with the exception of pizza night. (Sometimes, I make my own, sometimes we do take-out.) Hey, we do what works for our own families, right?
    I bookmarked the crock pot potato recipe. Just got a 5 pound bag for 99 cents so I have a lot of potatoes to use.
    BTW, my husband makes killer pasta sauce, but that's 'Sunday Dinner,' not a quick weeknight meal--it cooks for about 5 hours!

  3. Quick and easy! :D Love to do that! Baked potato bar is one that we enjoy often!

  4. My kids love Kraft's butter noodles with a can of tuna in it. Over mashed potatoes is the best but that isn't quick. (unless you use instant)Great list.


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