Stay Connected

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Cheap & Cheerful Meals This Past Week


sausage-pepper-olive pizza, spiced fig-applesauce, carrot and celery sticks


TVP meatballs, marinara and spaghetti, sautéed kale, mini chocolate chip muffins

eggs and sausage, pan-fried garden potatoes, steamed carrots, cole slaw, popcorn balls


Italian vegetable-sausage-lentil soup, scratch cornbread, spiced fig-applesauce, blackberry-rhubarb crisp


baked potatoes topped with kale in cheese sauce and bacon bits, pumpkin souffle, slaw salad, leftover blackberry-rhubarb crisp


pot roast with potatoes and carrots, cornbread, celery sticks

chicken pot pie, cole slaw

Another week of all home-cooked meals. We must be saving some serious money without ever getting take-out or buying last-minute convenience foods. As you can guess, we're sliding into hearty fall and winter menus. We haven't had pot roast or chicken pot pie in many months, but this sure seemed like the week for those comfort foods.

We had half of a red pepper that needed using up, so Friday's usual pepperoni pizza morphed into a sausage and pepper pizza. I also had about a dozen or so olives lingering in the fridge, so those were chopped and added to the toppings. Spiced fig-applesauce made it to the menu twice this past week. This seems like a successful way for me to use up some of these preserved green figs and their syrup. My husband does a good job with TVP meatballs, so that job went to him on Saturday evening to go with spaghetti, tomato sauce, and sautéed garden kale.

Sunday was Halloween and we wanted something quick and easy for our dinner so we could get right to making popcorn balls. (We give out packaged candy but save the popcorn balls for ourselves.)  Eggs and breakfast sausage make such a quick and easy entree. On Friday I had browned 2 meals worth of Italian sausage when making a pizza. I used the second half of this cooked sausage in a soup on Monday, when I also made a double batch of cornbread to be used on Wednesday to go with the pot roast.

Breakfasts also reflected more cool weather cooking with a batch of crockpot Cream of Wheat and another batch of crockpot steel cut oats. We also had yogurt, bran cereal, various frozen and dried fruits from our garden, carrot sticks, canned tomatoes, applesauce, cheese, toast, coffee and milk.

It was get-it-yourself for lunch this week. We all made our own using cabbage, carrots, celery, lentil sprouts, cooked lentils, rice, bread, peanut butter, cheese, eggs, frozen and dried fruits, juice, popcorn, tomatoes, greens from the garden and dinner leftovers.

I only baked a few time this past week, making cornbread, fruit crisp, mini chocolate chip muffins, and 2 large loaves of French bread. The popcorn balls satisfied our sweet tooths, as did a microwave s'more set-up in jars on the counter (graham crackers, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips to be assembled and microwaved).

What was on the menu at your house this past week? Are you finding more comfort foods making it into your meals?


  1. One of the biggest bad meals last week Friday was the takeout pizza we ordered. It was not good at all and gave me indigestion for the entire night. Not doing that again. We're going back to homemade.

    We had a lot of goodies on our table including a beef roast I found in my freezer with scalloped potatoes with ham and brussel sprouts. Another night was chicken and rice casserole with the last of dad's carrots. Asian coleslaw, spaghetti, pork chops in the crockpot, bratwurst burgers and asian chicken noodle egg drop soup, corn chowder, cheese broccoli soup, no knead bread, apple crisp, banana bread, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, butternut squash.

    I've wondered why my freezer just keeps being full and figured out that the stuff in there is not all meant for "a meal" but it is "components to make a meal". It's just a little of this and a little of that to contribute to the day's meal. So very little gets used each day from the freezer and then there is a little from the pantry and a little from the fridge. Does that make sense?

    Lately I'm using the quicker version of no knead bread where the dough only sits for 3 hours instead of 12+ hours before baking. I can get it made all in one day and I think the rise is higher on the 3 hours rise.

    1. Hi Alice,
      It sounds like your own cooking provided much tastier meals for your family than that take-out pizza. I find that a lot of take-out foods don't agree with me any more, so cooking from scratch is just better overall for me.

      I get what you mean -- our kitchen freezer is the one with the bits of this and that and it never seems to get empty. The deep freeze has all of the frozen fruit from the summer and we do go through that faster, so the deep freeze is looking a bit more bare this month.

      I love the quick rise no-knead bread. The taste and texture are great, and it's nice to not need to knead the dough.

  2. We haven't had pot roast in a long time. I'll have to start watching for a sale because that sounds so good.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I hope you find a good sale on a roast soon. It was delicious and we're finishing the gravy tonight -- every last bit was so tasty.

  3. My Dh came home from hunting Sunday so I had to cook this week. We had seasoned tri tip one night. It came from Costco and was not good at all. The seasoning was awful. Neither of us liked that so I gave the leftovers to dd to give to her dogs. Then we had pork chops, a breakfast casserole that I served for dinner, tuna casserole, and pizza. I need to get some meat out to thaw for this weekend’s meals. I don’t menu plan because it doesn’t work for me. I take two or three days worth of meat out to thaw and then make something with it.

    1. Diane, I can't menu plan either. I often pull out the first thing I touch in the freezer and make a meal based on that item (meat item). Hamburger is always there in case we specifically want something with that.

    2. Hi Diane,
      Menu planning works best for special meals for me. Everyday meals are often planned on the day of. If I plan out the week's meals in advance, I wind up with leftovers here and there that don't get used. It took me a few years to figure this out. Yum, breakfast casserole for dinner sounds very soothing.

  4. Yep, that’s basically me. We recently split half a beef with my son so it’s mostly beef on top right now lol. I do have to dig for other stuff, but until we got the beef, what I saw is what we ate. I try to have a variety, but my husband and I like totally different things, so that complicates planning dinners. I sorta take turns cooking things each of us likes.He also takes lunch to work and prefers leftovers to sandwiches, but isn’t thrilled if his lunch consists of leftovers from one of “my” dinners lol. Honestly, it’s harder now than it was when my 4 kids were home lol.


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