Side dishes are the perfect way to round out and complete your meal. There are times when I want the side dish recipes more than the main event because they are so tasty. In many cases, the side dish recipes are super easy to make and aren’t typically time-consuming either. Before we get too far into these delicious recipes, I want to give you a few tips on how to save money and be frugal with your food.
🔖 Tips and Tricks
If you are not sure what vegetables are considered FRUGAL, make sure to check out the 10 Frugal Vegetables to Add into Your Rotation. This list is a general guide to be used year-round but from time to time, you are going to find zucchini that can be given to you free from a friend’s garden.
- Stay away from pre-packaged boxed foods and make fresh meals instead. You won’t believe how much money you can save by making foods homemade. I know at first glance you may feel like it’s cheaper to buy it like that, but you can make larger recipes and have more food when you make it from scratch.
- Don’t be afraid to batch cook whenever possible. When you make multiple batches at once, then you can freeze some and have it on hand. That saves you time, energy, and of course, money because you are less likely to have waste, and you won’t want to hit a fast-food chain. This is also a great time to add a great side dish for meal prep lunches.
- Check your markdown bins, farmer’s markets, and other resources for good deals. When veggies are starting to turn or are near turning, many grocery stores mark them down tremendously. Be on alert, and you can find some fantastic deals. Farmer’s markets are a great way to get lovely fruits and veggies for less too.
- Planning ahead will help you a ton. If you find yourself at 5 o’clock staring in your cabinets and aren’t sure what to make for supper, you are way more likely to order out instead. This will cost you much more than if you would have made the meal at home. Planning is such a big part of making sure you keep to your frugal lifestyle! Make sure to use a menu planner like this one or this one that you can see which side dish you are having each night. Also make sure you use a refrigerator inventory list before you go shopping so you can use the veggies you already have but didn’t get to this week or have 3 leftover carrots that can be chopped with another vegetable for next week.
- Grow your own fruits and vegetables. It’s incredible how much money you can save when you grow many of the fruits and vegetables that you eat often. Tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, and herbs are just a few ideas. Even if you live in an apartment, you can easily grow veggies in pots!
250 Easy Dinner Ideas