Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,003
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Are you frugal in the kitchen?


A lot of good ideas already. I'll just add a few:


*Digital coupons are the best coupons right now 


*Meatless meals tend to be less expensive than meat-based meals. We eat vegetarian more often these days.   


*Soups are usually cheap and healthy. And most freeze well. 


*Snack foods can be costly and not very healthy. I don't buy chips anymore. We snack on fruit, pretzels, nuts. Soft drinks are  mainly for guests; we drink water, tea, or coffee. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,003
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Are you frugal in the kitchen?


House Cat, you didn't ask for financial advice, but something occurred to me when I read your post.


I'm wondering if you can put your earnings from substitute teaching towards your mortgage, and make paying off that a priority? That could give you the wiggle room you need in your budget longterm.  


Also, when I retired, I did some substitute teaching. I let principals know that I was available for longer stints (maternity leaves, medical absences, etc.) in addition to daily jobs. Many substitutes won't volunteer for these longer commitments. I found that longer subbing was gratifying because I got to know the students and I felt I was making a difference. 


Just some ideas; feel free to ignore or discard lol.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,913
Registered: ‎09-12-2010

Re: Are you frugal in the kitchen?

It's just the two of us and we're both retired. My husband used to have a big appetite, but he's older now and also is disabled so his appetite isn't what it used to be. In the past, I'd use a pound of ground beef and make a large casserole or make a large pot of soup, just to have too much left over that ended up in the refrigerator for too long. I'm not big on leftovers  hubby doesn't mind them. I froze some but ended up with bowls of too many frozen items that we'd forget about. I now cook a full pound, for example, use half in my smaller casserole or soup and save the other half for another smallI fe recipe during the week.


I used to make desserts in a 9x13 pan - way too much for two people. I now cut all dessert recipes in half if they call for a large pan, or I look for recipes for 8x8 or 9x9 pans.


Making smaller meals works for us because I don't like making so much that I need to freeze the leftovers. That's fine for those of you that eat all those frozen meals - it just doesn't work for us. I feel like I'm cooking smarter and more frugally by making smaller amounts of everything.

Super Contributor
Posts: 451
Registered: ‎08-01-2010

Re: Are you frugal in the kitchen?

I try to be frugal as much as possible.  I save all bread ends and when I have enough I cut them into cubes, make my own croutons in the air fryer, then store them in my L&L.  I snack on them too.


If I have a lot of one item left over, my next meal is based on that and what I can do with it to use it up.  When I find something that has been pushed to the back of the fridge and I find it I get mad at myself for having wasted it and have to throw it out.  I have always been that way.   

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,668
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Are you frugal in the kitchen?



Thanks for the feedback.  I am currently substitute teaching, and there is so much demand that I can work every day if I choose to, but I try to leave open one day each week.


I'd suggested to DH that we pay off the mortgage, but it is actually very small and not a burden.


I started using a budgeting app and it became very obvious that my grocery spending needed to be tweaked.  I also took a good close look at all the things I'd been ordering online for my granddaughter and all the rest of us. I was very mindful this month and it turns out that I can manage on my pension if I use some willpower. I intend to put all my earnings from subbing into savings for Christmas and emergencies. 


There are some wonderful YouTube channels about frugal living. I'm not sure if I'll ever be frugal, but it has made me much more mindful about where my money is going.


I should also say that we are very blessed that DH started a 401k account early on in his career, but he's only 64 years old so we don't want to touch it yet.

~ house cat ~
Valued Contributor
Posts: 861
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Are you frugal in the kitchen?

I guess I have always been mindful of my food costs and I hate to toss out good food.  In retirement we find we are much more flexible.  I purchase items on sale and either freeze or put in the pantry.  We also find we don't want big meals anymore so I have found several casseroles we enjoy or foods that I can make ahead and freeze.  Servings are always more than one meal for us so I freeze these fore eating at a later date.  We are often busy working on projects we enjoy or volunteering and these come in handy when we have been tied up.  I can toss in the oven and just heat and eat adding a fresh salad or crusty bread.  Anything I purchase that is more than we eat in a day or two is packaged and frozen.  I love crusty baguette, I cut in four portions and freeze and just pop in oven to heat when we want it.   I will pick up a pork butt on sale cook it up and shred.  I then portion into enough for one meal for us.  Depending on the size of the pork butt I can often get a dozen meals out of an $8 investment.  When we want I pull out, heat up and either add a baked potato and veggie or put on a roll for pulled pork sandwiches.  I also make up stuffed peppers either when garden is overflowing with peppers or they are on sale.  Mix up burger and rice, ete. stuff the peppers and freeze two in a package.  I just pop these in the slow cooker with tomato sauce and fouor hours later dinner is ready. I can get at least 3 meals out of a pound of burger. When I make quiche we will eat one night and I will split rhe remainder and freeze.  It is a great quick lunch.  Defrost in fridge and heat up in oven.   Even baking,  I will split the recipe into extra pans, bake frost and freeze.  Same with cinammon rolls.  By doing this we also control the amount we eat as we are not tempted to go for that extra serving.  


I had been purchasing disposable pans at DT but with their increased cost and reduction in number of containers in the price I invested in disposable pans at A.  These also work out great when you want to send leftovers home with guests after a big meal.


Do we splurge?  For sure, if there is something we are craving we buy it.