Monday, December 4, 2023

Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen #1 December 2023 ~ Meal Plan Monday


Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen

Quote of The Week
The power of a homemade meal extends far beyond sustenance; it carries love, comfort, and cherished memories.
My Frugal Week

I took the leftover chili and chicken & dressing and put them into individual containers and stored them in the freezer, so we will have those for future meals. In fact, I thawed  a chicken and dressing for lunch on Thursday and it was delicious. 

On Wednesday I baked off a ten pound bag of chicken leg quarters, pulled the meat off the bones and chopped the meat into bite sized pieces. Five chicken leg quarters made eight cups of chicken meat. I took the juices from the pan and poured them into a canning jar and it's in the fridge. I'll take the fat off of it in the morning and store it in the freezer for stock later.  

The reason I changed menu plans and made the leg quarters is to make room in the freezer. We have two above the refrigerator freezers and I want the space back as I plan on grocery shopping soon. 

I did an inventory of my spice cabinet this week. I have plenty of some spices that I needed to check on before Christmas baking and I have a couple I would like to replace. My thyme and fennel seed are very low and older than I'd like, so those will be replaced this month.  

Recipe of the Week

This was originally posted to the Living Simple Facebook group by Jennifer and she also posted a link to the original recipe on This recipe is definitely a keeper, it actually looks like meatloaf and tastes fantastic!

The recipe called for four ounces of tomato sauce and the smallest can I had was eight ounces. So, I took the leftover four ounces of sauce and added it to the jar of pizza sauce I keep on the refrigerator door that we use for pizza eggs for breakfast. No one will be the wiser and I'm avoiding food waste.

The lentils I used in this recipe were given to me, so no cost there. But one pound of lentils is definitely cheaper than one pound of ground beef.

Lentil Loaf Ingredients: 1 cup lentils 2 cups water 1 teaspoon salt 1 small onion, diced (I sauteed these before adding) 1 cup quick oats ¾ cup grated cheese 1 egg, beaten 4 ounces tomato sauce 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon basil ½ teaspoon seasoned salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper Directions: Add salt to water and boil. Add lentils and simmer, cook 30 minutes until soft. Mash lentils. Add onions, oats, and cheese until mixed, Add eggs, tomato sauce and spices. Spoon into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

What’s for Breakfast

Leftovers, Pizza Eggs, hot mug of Tomato Soup, Dave's Killer Bread toast with apple butter.

What’s for Dinner

Meatless Monday ~ Lentil Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Red Cabbage & Onions. I had some onions cut up from over the weekend from when we had tacos, so I used them for this recipe and sautéed them before adding to the dish. 

Taco Tuesday ~ Bailey had BBQ Chicken pizza for movie night while I had more lentil loaf and cranberry sauce. 

Wednesday ~ Baked Chicken Teriyaki with Pineapple, mashed potatoes, and California blend vegetables. 

The reason I changed menu plans and made the leg quarters is to make room in the freezer. We have two above the refrigerator freezers and I want the space back as I plan on grocery shopping soon. 

Thursday ~ Salmon Patties, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans with Onions. The salmon patties were frozen from a previous meal. 

Taking inventory of my pantry and freezer allowed me to create this meal. Instead of making a new meal, I used up smaller portions from other meals and created this from those remnants. It was like getting a meal for free and helped me save on my grocery budget. #useitup
Friday ~ Breakfast for Dinner ~ I needed to take a package of sausage out of the freezer to make room for ice for Bailey's tie dye, so I decided to use that and make breakfast for dinner tonight. 

We had sausage, fried potatoes, toast and sausage gravy. I served it with apple butter on the table. The leftovers made a great breakfast on Saturday morning. 

Saturday ~ Hamburger Steaks with Beef Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Carrots.  

Sunday ~ Boar's Head Smoked Sausage (Kroger markdown), Fried Potatoes, Green Beans and Onions.  

What’s on the Menu for This Coming Week

I haven't decided yet, so I'm going to wing it this week. I've been going through old recipes from my grandmother, my Mom and even me and typing some up to have on my computer for future reference. So, I have a lot of ideas planned and need to do some grocery shopping as we are out of beef and chicken in the freezer. So, please come back next week to see what we had on our menu this week. 

Homemaker at Heart
Mortgage & Debt Free
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree

~ She looketh well to the ways of her household ~
Proverbs 31:27


  1. I am all in favor of freezing things leftover in individual serving portions. Thawing and reheating is quicker than anything, and I can be all about quickness and ease!

    1. Yes, it is so quick to heat something up from the freezer and no cooking! I love it.

  2. Hi Belinda. Thanks for the lentil loaf recipe. I just recently discovered lentils. I've only make lentil tacos but we liked them. I look forward to trying this recipe.
    I have a drawer full of recipes I've put in plastic sleeves that I need to organize in a notebook. I know I would use them more often if I didn't have to shuffle through them every time I needed one. Ok I think I've shamed myself into doing that today LOL.
    Belinda I hope you have a fantastic day! Sky

    1. You're welcome, Sky. We have enjoyed lentils the last few years here. There is a lentil recipe using brown rice in the recipe section and lentils for a taco meat filling and we really like it.

      I'm with you on the recipes, mine definitely needed sorting. LOL

      I hope you have a fantastic day too!

  3. Everything sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing! I pulled out the large crock pot and have been making soups for the freezer. It's nice to just pull out a tupperware and nuke it when I'm hungry! Soups are very frugal too!

    1. Thank you, Rain. Yes, soups are very frugal and so great to pull out of the freezer and heat I think I ate soup every day this week. It so good and filling.

  4. You always have some wonderful ways to use up food. I think I will have to try that lentil loaf one day soon.

    God bless.


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