Make bulk batches of muffins, and freeze them, pulling out a few for breakfast each morning. Three of our favorites: Pumpkin Maple Muffins; lemon ginger muffins, Boston Brown Bread Muffins. Serve them with yogurt, slices of cheese, or a boiled egg each if your munchkins (and you) do better with protein, or make yourself Microwave Shirred Eggs in no time at all.
3 minute skillet granola- The skillet version makes enough for couple of breakfasts for a small family. We take longer than 3 minutes because we make a massive batch in our electric roaster. Then we store it in ziplock bags or a couple of gallon sized glass jars and have it in milk or yogurt.
Make a batch of pancake batter and freeze it. Defrost the night before, and cook in the morning if you prefer a hot breakfast. The link here also includes recipes for your own frugal syrups.
Leftovers are easiest. Sandwiches are the next easiest, but they don’t fill us up, and it’s hard to keep a large family in bread.
Blender Broccoli Soup, a ridiculously quick to put together meal using frozen broccoli. If you have allergies you can make it using cream or unsweetened coconut milk instead of milk, and cream cheese instead of the flour based gravy (more low-carb thickener ideas here).
Fried rice , made from leftover rice from supper.
Make this easy 3-2-1 macaroni and cheese from scratch- make some extra pasta (cooked just to al dente) to use in the crockpot tuna-mac meal below. Or reverse things and have the crockpot tuna meal for lunch (it only takes 4 hours if you cook it on high), and have the 3-2-1- mac n cheese for dinner.
Suppers- the crockpot is your friend:
Crockpot chicken adobo- this is an easy peasy and very tasty recipe from the Philippines. If you want to leave out the carrots for some reason, I like it just as well with Kohlrabi, celery or grated turnip. Serve over rice, making enough extra rice for fried rice for lunch the next day.
Ugly Burgers - this is a saucy ground beef dish made in the crockpot and served like sloppy joes. Last night we made a quadruple batch in our crockpot and we’re freezing the extras for an easy meal later this month.
crockpot tuna mac- only takes 4 hours to cook if you put it on high, so you could get it started while you’re making lunch.
Black Bean Sloppy Joes- this recipe makes 15 servings, and it freezes very, very well. You can just put all the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning and let them simmer all day. Serve over toasted buns. If you are not vegan/vegetarian, you may want to add bacon.
Crockpot Mexican Meat: have with spanish rice, tortillas, and toppings like cheese, sour cream, refried beans, peppers.
Chicken and Potatoes Crockpot meal: Adapts easily to fit the number of people you have to feed. Leftovers are good as turnovers or ‘pasties,’ which are just pocket sandwiches made with biscuit dough or pie crust for the wrapper, and then baked.
spaghetti: use spaghetti squash if you are sick of pasta. Make extra noodles for fritters or soba for lunch on another day.
It’s easier to keep them simple- keep torn up romaine lettuce in a container lined with paper towels in the fridge for salads; use frozen vegetables and just steam them and serve with butter. Have homemade biscuit mix on hand and whip up a batch of easy drop biscuits (add herbs and use yogurt instead of milk to give them some ‘oomph’). I tell my kids to make sure there are two side dishes and they have to be two different colors.
corn tortilla wraps and carrot sticks
Baked or steamed potatoes, sweet or regular. And then there are lots of ways to use those leftover potatoes.
Also: Why it’s important to cook with your kids in the kitchen with you.
What are some of your quickest, simplest, and most frugal go to meals for the school year?
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