When my kids were young we were on a very tight budget. My husband was a new pastor and we were in our first church. We had four kids at the time and he was making $100 a week and we had to pay our own taxes and social security out of that. Frugal was not an option, nor was it most of my life.
I would carefully plan meals and shop. We had an Amish farm we could get cheese at really cheap as well as some other bulk foods, so cheese and pasta or rice was a staple at our house. From what was cheap at the Amish farm and what was on sale in the stores, I made meals.
Most of my meals were a creative invention. I did have some basics that we ate, but many were put together creatively and nutritionally as I had ingredients for in the house.
Thus began the creative names. My kids had to have a name for something before they would eat, so I began making up names for casseroles. We had “Like it or Lump It” A favorite and asked for many times over, even years later. Then there was “Take it or leave it” when something had an ingredient one of them did not like.
Use your imagination, use leftovers, use what is one sale and make something. Who knows, your family may just love it and want it for years to come. Try to remember what you put in it just in case!
I followed this plan as a widow and now as a married woman again!