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Discussion Starter #1
What to do on those nights when the cupboards are almost bare and payday is 2 days away?

Here are some quick and easy supper ideas that use ingredients you probably always have on hand.

1. An old stand-by at our house is simply to have breakfast for supper! Sometimes we have pancakes and sausage. I make the pancakes from baking mix which is something I always keep handy. You just add milk. Other times, it's scrambled eggs, toast
and bacon.

2. My family enjoys "Little Pizzas" made from English muffins. Just split English muffins and arrange on a cookie sheet. Top with tomato sauce and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Then just add
whatever toppings you have on hand. Sometimes we add pepperoni slices, sometimes browned ground beef or sausage. Sprinkle on chopped onions or whatever is your family's favorite. Top with shredded cheese and put in 375 degree oven till warmed through and cheese is melted.

English muffins are inexpensive and keep well in the freezer.

3. Every now and then we have "Baked Potato Night" at our house. I bake one large potato for each person and then round up a variety of toppings. Some things we like are chili, sour cream, broccoli, bacon bits, chopped onions, shredded cheese. Everyone can fix his own just the way he likes it and it's a meal in

4. A very quick supper is grilled cheese sandwiches and vegetableor tomato soup. It's nutritious, inexpensive, and tasty. Need I say more?

5. Here's a recipe the children can help with. My children loved these when they were small and they enjoyed being able to help make them.

Oven Baked Hot Dogs

Lay 8 slices of bread on cookie sheet. Place a slice of cheese on top of each slice. Put 1 wiener diagonally on each slice. Pull corners of bread up over sides of wiener. Secure with toothpicks. Brush each "hot dog" with melted butter. Place in 400 degree oven till browned and cheese is melted.

6. Nachos are another super-fast supper idea. Place a pile of tortilla chips in a microwaveable shallow dish. Pour chili over top, add shredded cheese and microwave till warm. Top with sour cream, if desired.

7. Sloppy joes are another family pleaser. I try to keep buns on hand in the freezer. If you have no buns handy, sloppy joe sandwiches work,too! To go with the sloppy joes, cut potatoes into 4 wedges each. Place in baking dish with skins down. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until tender.

8. If you are ready for something different for supper or lunch, try this recipe for "Pepperoni Pie".

In bottom of 9-inch pie plate, combine an 8-oz. package of shredded mozarella cheese, and about 1/2 cup of diced pepperoni. In a medium bowl, beat 5 eggs and 3/4 cup milk until well-blended. Pour over mixture in pie plate. Bake for 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Add a salad and some bread and you have a delicious, light meal.

9. I always try to keep ground beef in the freezer in one-pound packages. Here is one of my staple recipes using ground beef.

Western Casserole

Brown a pound of ground beef. Drain off fat. Add 1 can of chili beans and 1 can of Spanish rice. Stir over medium heat until warm. Pour into microwaveable serving dish and top with shredded cheese. Heat in microwave until cheese is melted.

Easy, easy, and inexpensive, too.

10. Lastly, something we do at our house every couple of weeks is have "Leftover Night". Seems like almost every night, there is just a little bit of supper left over. Just enough for maybe one person. I put these servings in freezer containers and store till I have several different bits of main dishes. Then I get them
all out and everyone has their choice of what they have for supper! I usually add salad and make hot rolls and
everyone is happy!

Serve any of the above meals on your good dishes, set the table with real napkins, and a pretty centerpiece. Your meal will be *so* special and only you will know you "did it on a budget".

He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. --Proverb

Cyndi Roberts' website, "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" will show you
ways to save money everyday. Receive a free e-course on saving money at the supermarket! To learn more, visit

33,846 Posts
My mom used to take hot dogs and split them open until they were flat, she then put some mashed potatoes on top of the hot dog and a slice of cheese over that. She'd bake them in the oven until the cheese melted. We thought it was such a great treat and it was only years later that Mom told us that it was one of her "the cupboards are almost bare" meals.:D
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