Easy Weeknight meal ideas!

As many of you know, I have been trying SO hard to adjust to my new schedule and find some make ahead re-heatable meals for us!  I don’t have a ton of ideas, but here are a few of the options that have been working well for us.

Turkey Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes:  I posted this turkey meatloaf recipe a few weeks ago.  I will make this ahead in a 9×13 pan, and then cook up some mashed potatoes and store both in the fridge.  I will portion out individual plates and microwave, and make a quick batch of steamed green beans.

Tacos: I will prepare the meat and season it and then either store it in the fridge or freezer.  I make sure we have all the fixings prepped and ready to go.  We love to have Goya Yellow Rice with our tacos, which can easily be made ahead and re-heated.

Risotto:  This is one that I am super impressed with! There are tons of great recipes out there, but I am partial to this one from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen.  It stores great in the fridge for 1-2 days.  Sometimes I serve this as a main dish, or as a side to chicken that I have made ahead.  Plus, this is a great way for me to use my homemade chicken broth!

Rotisserie Chicken:  Ok so this one might be considered cheating, but a store rotisserie chicken is $7.99 in my area, which is cheaper than takeout, and always gives me leftovers for chicken salad, and I can use the bones to make chicken broth.  I have been able to keep a rotisserie chicken in my fridge for 2-3 days and reheat it whole in the oven or individual servings in the microwave.  I will make up some sort of potato or rice dish and serve with easy steamed green beans.

Indian Chicken:   This is another easy one, that also freezes well.  I will saute and brown chicken breasts or thighs (cut into serving sized chunks).  Then add some Indian simmer sauce (which my Aldi’s now sells!)  And simmer until the chicken is cooked.  I then pack this up to freeze.  I will defrost head and serve with rice, naan and a side salad.

This week I am trying a chicken parm casserole!  I’ll keep you updated!

Packing Lunch!

I have always, always packed my lunch.  Even when I was in school, my parents always packed or made us pack our own lunches.  One of the main motivations for us packing was cost.  Believe it or not, my parents were able to pack us a lunch that was cheaper than the $1.60 school lunches.

Flash forward 15 years, and now if I were to buy lunch it would be at least $10 per lunch!  I can certainly pack a lunch for less than that!  I try to pack leftovers for Mr. Bird for his lunch, and I used to take leftovers for mine. If we had no leftovers, would would take a bagged salads, which I try to keep on hand ($1.99 each).   In my new job, it’s not as easy to heat up a lunch and sit down and eat.  I find myself snacking in meetings or grabbing a quick bite in between things.  So I have had to adapt my lunch contents!  I have been taking crackers, hummus, vegetables, chips & guac or yogurt and so far it is working out ok, although I do miss a nice hot lunch in the middle of the day.

Honestly though, even though packing our lunches saves us THOUSANDS of dollars a year, it is also more convenient.  I am never stuck having to go buy food, if I am hungry I have something to eat.

 

What do you typically do for lunches during the day or at work?

 

 

5 frugal things

5-frugal-things

Five Frugal Things is a great practice of recognizing some of the frugal things in your life.  I first came across it on the blog TheFrugalGirl, and have jumped on that bandwagon!

Back on the bandwagon of posting!  I might not be posting as often, but I am going to try to post 1-2 x per week.  It was a much needed break last week, thanks for being patient!  Here’s a quick 5 frugal things post!

  1. Making cinnamon knots  I used the frugal girl’s recipe, and they came out fabulous and delicious!  I was serious impressed with how simple it was.  All in all it took about 3 hours from start to finish (but much of that was rising time)
  2. at home haircuts.  LittleBird and Mr Bird were due for haircuts. Years ago we spend $19.99 for a a hair clipper set.  I used to cut Mr Bird’s hair, but now he does it himself, and he tackels cutting Litte Birds hair.
  3. No paper towels or paper napkins!  I posted about this a few weeks ago, and I love how much it saves us!
  4. Planning our meals.  I meal planned and grocery shopped this weekend.  I have been spending a bit more at the grocery store for some convenince items to make eating at home easier, but it’s still cheaper, healthier and less stressful than last minute take out!
  5.  Homemade waffles.  Every now and then we love a good homemade brunch!  This weekend I made us some waffles.  A few years ago I bought  this  waffle maker!  It makes 2 belgium waffles at a time, so it is super efficient to make waffles for the whole family!

What frugal things have you done this week?  What do you do to keep yourself motivated to be frugal?