Summer is coming, what frugal lunches do you feed your kids?
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    Registered User Iansmommy's Avatar
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    Default Summer is coming, what frugal lunches do you feed your kids?

    I'm looking for some frugal lunch ideas for my kids. It's so easy to heat a store bought frozen dinner for them, but I want to try and avoid that. My 6 year old is super picky. I was thinking of cooking large batches of items and freezing in single portions.

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    This is our basic lunch menu:

    Soup, salad or raw veggies (carrot and celery sticks, etc…), bread of some sort, milk

    Eggs – frittata, omelet, “easy” soufflé, etc… with veggies and/or fruit, milk

    PB&J or PB& honey sandwiches or PB& applesauce or apple slice sandwiches, etc..., veggies, fruit, milk

    Hamburgers, home fries, veggies, milk

    Meatless Meal, milk

    Leftover buffet, milk (when we get enough leftovers to hobble together a meal)

    Roast or steak, potatoes, veggies, bread, salad, milk (Sunday's big meal -- we raise our own beef )

    Sandwiches of any sort, “Snacky” lunch of meat, cheeses, fruits, veggies, yogurt, etc. – basically, anything that makes a good snack


    I don’t have a soup recipe, so I guess I never make the same soup twice. I usually start with onions, celery, and carrots and go from there. I use whatever meat is leftover from other meals. If there is rice or noodles in the fridge, I’ll use those. Otherwise, I’ll add potatoes. If I’m making a cream soup, I start with butter and flour and then use either milk or stock/broth. When it thickens to where I want it, I add in any cooked meat or veggies. If using stock, I’ll stir in some cream before serving.

    Easy Soufflé

    This is recipe I got from Jacques Pepin when he was on Food Network. It’s his Maman’s version of a soufflé. It’s great because it can be made up in the morning or even the night before.

    6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus more to butter a 6-cup gratin dish

    6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    2 cups cold whole milk

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    5 extra-large eggs

    2 1/3 cups grated Swiss cheese, preferably Gruyere (about 6 ounces) -- I use whatever cheese I have on hand.

    3 tablespoons minced fresh chive blades -- I've used other herbs like basil and parsley or skipped the herbs and added cumin and cayenne.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Butter a 6-cup gratin dish, and set it aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour, and mix it in well with a whisk. Cook for 10 seconds, and add the milk in 1 stroke, and mix it in with a whisk. Keep stirring with the whisk until the mixture thickens and comes to a strong boil, which will take about 2 minutes. It should be thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the salt and pepper. Allow about 10 minutes for the white sauce to cool.

    Meanwhile, break the eggs into a bowl, and beat well with a fork. Add the eggs, the cheese and the chives to the cooled sauce, and mix well to combine. Pour into the buttered gratin dish and cook immediately, or set aside until ready to cook.

    Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the soufflé is puffy and well browned on top. Although it will stay inflated for quite awhile, it is best served immediately.


    I sauté veggies in a little butter (onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, shredded carrots – whatever’s on hand) and season with salt, pepper, and any herbs and spices that sound good.

    While the veggies are softening, I break 2 eggs per person into a bowl and whisk with a TBS or two of water or milk until well mixed.

    Pour the eggs into the pan. Stir from the outside in, tilting the pan to let egg from the middle run the edges.

    When the eggs are mostly set, sprinkle ½ - 1 cup of shredded cheese over the top.

    Place under the broiler for 2-5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and frittata is puffed up a bit.

    Some examples of our meatless meals:
    Beans and Rice
    Bean and cheese burritos, tostada, enchiladas, etc…
    Pasta with a meatless red, cream, or olive oil sauce
    Potato skillet
    Breakfast for lunch
    Meatless soups
    Salmon or tuna patties
    Potato or shredded veggie pancakes

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