March 13, 2009

Double Duty Dinners: Edition 1

Double Duty Dinners is a new feature here at The New Frugal Mom. Many of you indicate in your comments during my Girl Scout Cookie Giveaway that you'd like to see some frugal recipe ideas; well, I listened!

Double Duty Dinners are simply two dinners that I'll be cooking at the same time when I have a free 45 minutes - 1 hour during the week or the weekend (mostly the weekend); I'll prep, cook, then freeze them so that when I have a hectic night on the schedule during the following week, I can just thaw, warm, and serve one of these meals.

The idea of cook ahead dinners or consolidated cooking is nothing earth shattering; in fact, I have a blog on hold right here that I started last fall devoted to cooking dinners a week in advance. And my friends Tricia and Cortney have a brand new blog, Once A Month Mom which guides you step-by-step through cooking a month of meals in one day - they are two rockin' cookin' mamas! If you're already a cook-ahead convert, go give them a visit and see what they're all about - you won't be disappointed!

If the thought of cooking a month of meals in one day seems too daunting, start small and visit me here every Friday for Double Duty Dinners. Just having two dinners ready to go in your freezer might make the difference on your busiest, craziest nights.

This week, I'm cooking:

:: Lasagna Rolls

:: Mini Meatloaves, Twice Baked Potatoes, and prepping Steamed & Glazed Baby Carrots.

My Starting Ingredients:

Price Breakdown

{I'm sharing this post with my friend Erin @ $5 Dinners and her weekly $5 Dinner Challenge; go visit her linkup for more frugal dinner ideas!}

:: 1/2 green pepper, $0.49 (on sale, $0.99 ea)

:: 1/3 onion, $0.08 (on sale, $0.49/lb)

:: Kroger Spaghetti Sauce, $1.22

:: Sargento Cheese, $1.99 (Mega Event Sale Price)

:: 1/2 Box Kroger Lasagna, $1.10

:: 1.71 lb Gr. Chuck, $3.06

:: 2 Hot Dog Rolls (for breadcrumbs), $0.14

:: 1/2 lb Baby Carrots, $0.75

:: 1 tsp Cinnamon, $0.02

:: 4 Tbsp Butter, $0.32 (on sale last week, $2.52/lb)

:: 3 Potatoes, $0.36 (on sale last week, $2.49/10 lbs)

:: 2 Tbsp Sour Cream, $0.20

:: 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar, $0.06

TOTAL COST: $9.79, or $4.90 per meal

Final Result:

I completed these two meals in a little less than an hour. Once they cooled, I stored them in my freezer for next week. I'll be sure to link this post when I note them on my Monday Meal Plan post.

To view/print recipes + instructions, click here for my printable Google Doc.

Do you use cook-ahead cooking to simplify your life? What's your best tip or idea to help newbies? Share it in a comment -- let's learn from each other!!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!


  1. Hi, I just found site. I love it!
    I'm only twenty, and all of my friends (and my husband most of the time) think I'm crazy for bargain shopping on groceries and stocking up. Also, I work for Kroger, and I love that you have sections about Kroger.

  2. Always Pretty in Pink: Thank you!

    I wish I'd known at 20 how to work the deals with coupons and stockpiling! ;-) It's a good skill to have no matter what age you are or stage of life.

    I'm glad you like the Kroger sections!

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. I have decided to try to work in something similar at my website. It is more about planned leftovers. Check out my first real post on the topic.

  4. Hey Marianne!

    I tried your Double Duty Dinners and wrote a post about my slapstick style efforts to recreate it. Check it out you might get a kick out of it.

  5. Sarina: I read & commented -- funny! I hope my directions weren't confusing; please let me know if they were so I can clarify.



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