Meal Solutions: Transforming Leftovers! Making More Out Of Your Meals With Your Budget!

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Thrifty Meal Solutions
Let’s combine some savvy Thrifty Tips with some awesome recipes!  Here are some great ideas to stretch your budget for the week.  Whether you are cooking for 1 or 2, or for a family of 7, any of these ideas will work for you.  This will help save time, money AND hassle of figuring out what’s for dinner!  By transforming your leftovers from one meal, you will have to cook less, plan less and spend less, because you’ll be making them into brand new meals!
Keep in mind that in some of these recipes, you’ll simply ignore the “cook” part of the meat, and just re-heat the leftover you have from the night or afternoon before!  
Rotisserie Chicken – Chicken Pot Pie – Chicken Salad
Grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store when it’s on sale, and you’re in a bind for a quick dinner is a nice, easy solution.  When your family can’t finish the entire chicken, don’t waste it!  Use the bones and skin to make chicken stock (great for crock pot cooking!) by throwing them in a pot of water with spices, seasonings and any desired vegetables.  Boil, then simmer and you have a great stock!  Take the leftover meat from the chicken to create 2 more meal options, too!
Meal 1:  Rotisserie Chicken w/ Vegetables
Meal 2: Chicken Pot Pies – take all of your leftovers to make chicken pot pies with this recipe!
Meal 3:  Chicken Salad Sandwiches – Stretch your budget further by using that leftover chicken for lunch!  Make chicken salad by shredding up leftover chicken, and mixing it with mayonnaise, lemon juice, pepper, chopped celery and onions!
Chicken & Broccoli Casserole (Jen’s personal recipe!)
(Chicken Pot Pie Photo credit, Chicken Salad Photo credit)
Steak –  Breakfast Hash – Stir Fry
Steak for dinner?  If you have leftovers (from the kids?) or prepare a little more, you can create a lovely breakfast in the morning AND a fun dinner a couple of days later!
Meal 1:  Steak & Potatoes
Meal 2: Breakfast Hash – Cut up pieces of the steak, and fry up some leftover potatoes.  Throw them in with eggs, cheese, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes or whatever else you want for a morning meal that’s sure to get you going!  Even better, if you served your steak the night before with mushroom and onions, this will be awesome in the hash, too!
Meal 3:  Host a fun Asian night for your family with a new stir fry recipe!  Slice up that leftover steak into strips, add toss it with some frozen vegetables, garlic, orange juice, ginger and whatever else can give it that Asian kick!
(Steak Photo credit , Hash Photo creditStir Fry Photo credit)
Spaghetti – Stuffed Bell Peppers – Taco Salad
Spaghetti is a quick fix kind of dinner, but if you make a bit extra (sauce and meat), you can turn that into 1 or 2 more meals for the week!
Meal 1:  Spaghetti w/ Meat or Meatballs
Meal 2: Stuffed Bell Peppers – take your spaghetti sauce with mixed in meat, add rice, corn, chopped peppers, olives, cheese and whatever else you want to put in your peppers for a quick dinner!
Meal 3:  Taco Salad – spaghetti sauce & meat are a great start to the makings of Taco Salad!  Just add some spices or taco seasoning packets to give it some flare, then toss it around with tomato, avocado, lettuce, tortilla chips, and salsa for a great lunch or dinner in a pinch!
(Bell Pepper Photo credit, Taco Salad Photo credit)
Pork Roast – Egg Rolls – Pulled Pork w/ Root Beer Sauce Sandwich
Who doesn’t love a great pork roast!?  If you happen to have leftovers, or are cooking for just 1 or 2, this is a great meat to make leftover dishes with pizzazz!  
Meal 1:  Pork Roast w/ Veggies
Meal 2: Egg Rolls – shred up your leftover pork and make egg rolls with this recipe!
Meal 3:  Here’s one of our absolute FAVORITE recipes!  Pulled Pork w/ Root Beer Sauce Sandwiches!  This is an easy and delicious way to use up the rest of your roast!
Sweet n Sour Pork – 
Stir fry w/ diced green bell peppers, chunks of pinapple and quartered onion and tomatoes and then dress w/ a tomato ketchup/soy/splash of pineapple juice mixture. Add a bit of cornflour to thicken and 
serve with rice.
(Pork Roast Photo credit, Egg Rolls Photo credit, Pulled Pork Photo credit) 
Salmon (Fish) – Salmon Cake Breakfast – Salmon Tacos
What’s for dinner?  Fish!  You can interchange most fish for these salmon dishes, and enjoy wonderful, new ways of eating salmon for dinner, breakfast AND lunch! 
Meal 1:  Salmon
Meal 2: Salmon Cakes Breakfast – create salmon cakes, then serve with eggs and toast for breakfast in the morning!  YUM!
Meal 3:  Salmon Tacos – fish tacos are always a hit!  Cube and cook the leftover salmon, mixing with spices like cumin and chili powder.  Throw in some cilantro, then put it all together on a soft taco shell.  Dress it up with veggies of your choice, sour cream, corn, avocado, lemon, salsa, onions and more!
Get even more, fun recipes over HERE!
(Salmon Photo credit, Salmon Cakes Photo credit, Salmon Tacos Photo credit)


  1. I love the rotiessere chicken meal idea. So quick (and inexpensive for a family of 4)!

    • Jeni Hawkins Reply

      YES! Most definitely great ideas for a big family like yours!

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