Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tips for Tuesday

With many of us couponing or trying to save money we need to stretch those box meals a little further. For me a simple box meal just doesn’t feed all five of us.  I like to have leftovers for little face and me for lunch the next day. It is easier to decide what we will eat and I don’t have to make a big meal just for two people.

I would like to share with you a few ideas I have for adding flavor to boxed meals without adding sodium. The sodium content of these is amazingly high. I try not to feed these to my family very often, but they are better than buying fast food for five of us. I will do it in a pinch.

The best thing to add to any meal is an onion. I can purchase these for $0.49 lbs. So I am only adding $0.49 extra cost to my meal. I usually use ½ or 1 onion chopped and sautéed . This adds not only lots of flavor but around a ½ to 1 pound of food to the meal. The kids don’t even know it is in there, since most boxed meals have onion powder. Adding onion ramps up the flavor and increases the vegetables for the meal.

I also like to add carrots, especially to higher sodium meals. This will help decrease the salty taste in a meal. I will add around 1 or 2 peeled and either shredded, pureed or chopped finely. This is around ¼ to a ½ cup of carrots. What a sneaky way to enter extra veggies into the kids meals and they don’t even know. I like to add carrots to Sloppy Joes too. We just need a little more to make it stretch to feed all of us.

Corn is the next best thing to add to a meal. I find it goes well especially with Mexican dishes. I try to buy frozen when I can. Otherwise just open a can and pour it in. I like the cream style corn with the Asian Rice a Roni. Use the water from the can for the water to add to the dish. This will add just a little more flavor than just regular water. I will also save the water from the corn and use this for soups later.

Try adding peas to a meal. If you or your kids don’t like the taste of peas try pureeing them and add that to the meal. You won’t see them or taste them either. I like to add peas to fried rice and canned soups.

Beans can be added for extra protein to any dish. I like black beans for Mexican dishes. Sometimes I will add both corn and black beans to stretch a meal.

Try adding a little of two or three of the above mentioned vegetables to each meal to see what you can come up with and not change the taste too much. This is a fun experiment to try with your family. Try other vegetables you like to see what other combinations you can come up with. Look at the box and see what dehydrated veggies are already in there and add the real thing. This is a great way to stretch a meal for just a few pennies per meal.

Do you normally add anything to a box meal? What are your favorite recipes to add veggies to? What Veggies do you add?

*Photos provided courtesy of Wikipedia


  1. Thanks for visiting! These are some great sneaky tips to stretch your meal and get the kiddos eating more veggies! :-)

  2. Thanks. Try them out and let me know how these work for you.

  3. Great tips thanks. I've added veggies to boxed meals before but don't do it enough. One of my hubby's fav meals is Kraft Dinner (Macaroni and Cheese) with hamburger meat and corn in it.

    I'm a new follower from momsreview4you Wednesday Hop. I followed on GFC AND facebook.

    Please visit me at Callista's Ramblings

  4. Am blog hopping and found yours. Am now following. Would love for you to check out my blog and follow back!

  5. Thanks Callista and Bonni. I am now followers too. You can create a link on Friday to share any shopping trips you may have.

  6. Thanks for stopping by! These are great tips. I always drain my corn; never thought about using the liquid in place of water to add flavor.
    Shopping for Savings

  7. Thanks LMC502. Try freezing the corn juice and add it to soups or stews.

  8. I need to be better about throwing in more veggies wherever possible. It didn't even cross my mind to throw them in a boxes/easy meal. Thanks!

  9. How great to see you join the Frugal Tuesday Tip! http://juliecache.com/2011/06/27/frugal-tuesday-tip-23/.html

  10. @ Kimberly. You can use them any where. If your kids don't like them puree them in a blender and freeze them. Then just pop them in to any meal.

  11. @Julia I am thinking of hosting a link up for Tuesdays too! Stop by next Tuesday.


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