Stay Connected

Friday, June 3, 2016

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for the very last of May and beginning of June (using up stuff from the freezers)


Blackberry and cream cheese stuffed French toast casserole


Meatball goulash
Toasted buns


Home-style macaroni and cheese
Scrambled eggs with bacon bits
Canned green beans
Pumpkin bread
Dried cranberries


Herb-crusted roast pork loin
Brown rice
Oven-roasted sweet potato wedges
Green salad with rhubarb dressing
Rhubarb-blackberry gelatin
Cream puffs filled with whipped cream and topped with strawberries (all from the freezer)


Leftover brown rice with turkey gravy from freezer
Baked beans combined with leftover refried beans from last week
Sauteed cabbage (last of the head) and kale from garden, in bacon fat, topped with some leftover brown sauce from when I made soy bean patties on Monday
Cornbread, from scratch, using slightly sour milk I had frozen for baking


Curried pumpkin and peanut soup, with some shredded, fresh spinach thrown in for an extra veggie
Yorkshire pudding wedges
Cream cheese and pecan stuffed celery


Baked Huevos Rancheros
Brown rice topped with last of the turkey gravy
Oven-roasted carrots

I didn't feel well over the weekend. Dinners had to be super easy. It's end of the quarter for my two daughters, which means I haven't had them to help, when I'm not feeling well. And my son isn't home as much, any more (work/girlfriend/meeting up with friends). My husband doesn't cook, ever, period. So, I have to come up with super-easy ideas. The stuffed French toast was good, quick, and I could prepare it early in the day, then pop it in the oven a half-hour before dinner, and cut and serve. Nothing else with it, except glasses of milk.

The meatball goulash was something I just dumped into the crockpot early in the day, all but the frozen meatballs. I added rice, canned tomatoes, various liquids from fridge, black olives, sliced celery, cooked garbanzo beans, herbs, spices (especially paprika) and  cooked until the rice was soft, then topped with meatballs to heat through for 30 minutes. I split and toasted 2 hamburger buns, and that was dinner.

Sunday's dinner had only a bit more effort involved, but I spread that over a whole afternoon. Monday, I did put several hours into cooking, again spread out over a day. By Tuesday, I was feeling better and could do more, both with cooking and getting things done around the house and outside.

I'm also cleaning out the freezers. I emptied the stand-alone freezer, on Wednesday. I unplugged it and have left it off for a month or two. As I was cleaning it out, it made for some interesting meal combos. But a few treats emerged as well.

What was on your menu this past week? Did you have a traditional cook-out or barbecue for Memorial Day? I felt lucky to just do a pork loin for dinner. It was delicious and everybody enjoyed it. So, I guess that's what counts.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Every week I say I'm going to remember but I don't but let me try to remember what we had all week.
    Sunday-spaghetti and garlic bread with asian salad
    Monday--cook-out (kind of) Brats and fried chicken
    Tuesday--we scrambled looking for leftovers
    Wednesday--soft tacos
    Thursday--crockpot roast beef, buns, corn & bean salad
    Friday--kids are on their own, hubby and I joining my brothers for Dad's 85th birthday today and we're taking them out for dinner.
    Saturday--a graduation party for a friend's child so hubby and I will eat there for lunch. Supper might be something on the grill if it doesn't rain.

    We thoroughly enjoyed our crockpot roast beef last night. I rarely serve beef due to the super high prices but I found two roasts a few weeks ago that were reduced and I froze them. We were just craving beef. I have a bunch of pork roasts in the freezer and if only they could taste like beef!

    Have a nice weekend, Lili!


  2. Hi Alice,
    I know what you mean about the beef. Sometimes, nothing else can stand in for it. Pork is on sale this week for $1.68/lb in a large loin (about 10 lbs), and beef is on sale in a large top round for $2.39/lb. I want the beef, but the average size is a 25-lb package, if I read the online pricing, correctly. I'm going to go with the pork loin, as it's simply so much more affordable. I'll find ground beef closer to $2 a pound, soon. Still, a bit disappointed that it has to be pork and not beef. Oh well.

    Anyways, your menu sounds wonderful! And wishing your dad a very happy birthday! 85! That's a milestone, in my book! Have a lovely celebration.

  3. I sense a pork loin theme. My hubby grilled one last weekend. It's really yummy like that ... but I'm not sure how he does it. I just enjoy eating it. We also had brats on Monday. Really good deals on brats before Memorial Day weekend, so I bought several packages--hopefully enough to last for the summer.

    I was thinking that I could have devoured your French toast casserole quickly. Amazing that you pulled it together when you weren't feeling well.

    I'm feeling pretty pleased with my frugality today. We needed to replace the blinds by our dining area window (they were in rough shape) and I did it today by using a gift card (for 15 years of service at my job) at Lowe's. My portion came to under $9. :)

    1. Hi Kris,
      That is so great about your new blinds! You put that gift card to really good use -- great job! I'm sure you'll smile every time you see them.

      The French toast casserole takes about 10 minutes to assemble, and I find that unless I have an active stomach virus, I can manage about 10 minutes at a time. So, it worked, but it did make dinner a little slim that night.

      I just got back from Cash &Carry and I did buy the pork loin. I may stop in again next week and buy a second one. At $1.68/lb, that's pretty good for meat.

      Have a great weekend!

    2. That's another recipe I'd be interested in ... (the French toast casserole, that is!).

      Now my husband just needs to find time to install the blinds. :)

    3. Kris, I'll type that up this week for you.

  4. We're not much meat eaters, so I'm curious, what is the advantage of pork loin over the cheaper cuts of pork like pork shoulder roast? Besides presentation, is there a taste difference? Usually I boil the pork roast, and cut up for stir fry or other stewed pot dishes. And the bone, use for soup broth.

    Yesterday, we bought carrots at Costco for a fantastic price, $5.49 for 10#. So we bought 40#. Today, we're going to peel, boil and freeze. With the water, I'm going to boil a pork roast to refreeze and use as sliced meat in other dishes. Also we should have a wonderful soup broth out of all this from the same water. Usually I like to boil the pork once, throw out the water, then use fresh water. Not sure how to do it this time. Should I just not worry about changing water?

    This week we had Portuguese bean soup the entire week. Along with side dishes. Last night, we sauteed zucchini leaves the same way we pan fry swiss chard (garlic, lemon juice, red hot peppers, in butter/olive oil).

    Have a great weekend, sorry you weren't feeling well last weekend, bummers :(


    1. Hi YHF,
      the loin tends to be leaner than shoulder, which I think improves it's flavor, as I don't care for the fatty flavor of some pork. (Go figure, though, as I love bacon.)
      But also, it makes such a nice sliced roast, when marinated or crusted in herbs and garlic. It's a great dinner party meat, as it's inexpensive, compared to beef, the slices look relatively uniform, it is easy to cook, and serve. I think shoulder is good for pulled pork, but what I usually use instead, is dark meat turkey, for a mock pulled pork.

      I had no idea you could saute zucchini leaves! I do pan-fry the blossoms, though, espeically those first few male blossoms, when there aren't any females to cross-pollinate with.

      Good deal on the carrots. Your soup stock will be teaming with nutrients and flavor!! Hmmm, you could set aside the first water, and taste and see if you think it would be good for stock. If the flavor is too intense, you can always blend some water with some stock, and see what you think. If it's too fatty, chill it, skim the fat, reserve for cooking, and see if the resulting stock tastes good. Or, if you're wanting a stock that tastes and has nutrients of the carrots, you could boil the pork in water, the first time, discard, then for second boiling use the carrot water. Good luck with it.

      have a great weekend!

  5. My husband not only sauteed the leaves, but the stems. Pretty interesting visually, as the stems looked like penne pasta lol When we don't have enough swiss chard to make a dish, I think we can combine the two vegetables.

    I think I'll try it this time using only the boiled carrot water. I plan to refrigerate the broth overnight, then see what happens.


    1. That sound like a good plan!

    2. Again, my husband threw out the vegetable water, after a long discussion in the morning that we were going to boil the pork in it. He said there were too many vegetable bits and pieces from blanching kangkong, long squash and carrots. I told him that's good, what's wrong with that? Some old habits are hard to break...then he said don't get down on me on our anniversary:) So that ended it there, otherwise I would have gone on about it being the second time...


  6. lili,
    Your food sounds soooooo good this week. So much variety yum.Sunday fish and chips.Monday Eggs, potatoes,and onions
    fruit on the side. Tuesday Fajitas birthday freebie from Chevys. They even brought flan :) My daughter and I shared and had leftovers. Wed. Chicken Picata with curly noodles. Thursday Turkey burgers, potatoes,Asparagus. Tonight may salad t is in the 90's here.
    Have a good weekend.
    PS My daughter has the Uber app on her phone, We have never used it she says you can get a picture of the driver
    and pick the one you feel comfortable with.

    1. Hi Patti,
      It sounds like you and your daughter had a great time at Chevy's for a birthday dinner! Happy belated birthday!
      Oh, thanks for the tip on uber.
      Have a great weekend!

  7. I can add to the pork theme. My husband roasted a pork shoulder and we had pulled pork for both Memorial Day and my son's birthday which happened to fall on the same day. We usually do it outside in a smoker, but this time he did it overnight in the oven. I'm not a fan of fatty pork either, but the slow roasted pork should was pretty good. (The obvious fat is cut off before cooking.)

    Glad you're feeling better. I hope no one in the house got sick especially your daughters who were trying to finish up the quarter.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      no, just me. I don't know how they're managing -- working so hard, sleeping so little. Just finals and then the quarter is over. Yay! This has been an intense one for both of them. 3 years down. I can hardly believe it.

      Pork prices have been pretty good this past year. I'll check out some recipes for slow-roasted pork. I can get pork cushion for a good price, from time to time. I just don't know how to cook it well.

  8. Sounds great L&L, the price difference between pork shoulder and pork loin is about half the cost. We also do a smoked version in the oven, using liquid smoke "kalua" style. Also doing the same with a whole turkey, making "kalua turkey", which I prefer because it is less fatty.


    1. YHF, our prices on pork can be highly variable, here. This week, shoulder is more expensive than loin. I do sometimes see pork cushion meat (which is a boneless cut of shoulder) for about $1.20/lb. The loins I get run between $1.57/lb and $1.68/lb. The loins are the full loins, not the tenderloins which are $3-something/lb. Next time the cushions go on sale, I'll pick one up and see what I can do with it, slow-roasting, maybe with some liquid smoke, or in the BBQ, with hickory chips.


Thank you for joining the discussion today. Here at creative savv, we strive to maintain a respectful community centered around frugal living. Creative savv would like to continue to be a welcoming and safe place for discussion, and as such reserves the right to remove comments that are inappropriate for the conversation.


Be a voice that helps someone else on their frugal living journey

Are you interested in writing for creative savv?
What's your frugal story?

Do you have a favorite frugal recipe, special insight, DIY project, or tips that could make frugal living more do-able for someone else?

Creative savv is seeking new voices.


share this post