Being the frugal nerd of the family, I’ve wanted to try meat free Monday in our home for years. Don’t get me wrong. I have no interest in going vegetarian, or even having most of our meals without meat. I simply wanted to find more wiggle room in our grocery budget.
Going meatless just one night per week helps the budget. But convincing the Hubby wasn’t easy. To him, supper is a chunk of meat with some sides dishes.
But I knew I could convince him. And after years of compromises, we’ve found some meatless meals that save money without compromising on taste.
Let’s talk about some ways to convince your family to try meat free Monday so you can save on your grocery budget.
Convincing the Family to Try Meat Free Monday
How to Convince the Family
Many women say they can’t serve a meat free meal in their home because their husband would not be on board. It was no different in our own home. Like I said, the hubby is a meat eater for sure, and it took some convincing to make him interested in trying meatless meals once per week.
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Once I decided that we would try to go meatless once a week, I eased the family into the idea. Even if you don’t go totally meatless, there are ways to cut down on the amount of meat you use. Some ways include:
- making a gravy to top a bigger portion of noodles, potatoes, or breads
- use meat as a topping over a hearty salad
Expand your concept of “meatless”
If visions of endless vegetables or tofu comes to mind when you think of meatless meals, it’s time to learn more about this concept!
Serving meatless meals doesn’t mean skipping hearty, filling foods. Rice and beans can be delicious if you learn to cook them properly. Eggs, potatoes, pastas, and so many more options await you.
When you are ready to take the plunge, be sure that your first meatless meals are winners! What foods does your family enjoy?
- Pancakes are nearly always a hit with kids. Top them with whatever fruit is in season and on sale.
- Breakfast. If you offer eggs, hash browns, muffins or biscuits, toast, milk, produce (or whatever you enjoy at a breakfast bar), everyone will have full plates.
- Mexican. Our family loves tacos, and with a variety of toppings available, they don’t mind using beans rather than meat at the bottom. Plus it’s easy to use your typical spices and seasonings in the beans to make it taste more like your usual meat.
- Soups. A hearty potato soup is great comfort food! Or use a 3 bean chili rather than your regular meaty chili.
Show him the evidence
Your hubby is no dummy. He might love a hearty meat and potatoes meal, but if you show him how much savings you’ll reap by starting meat free Monday, you might be surprised to find that he’s on board with the idea. Especially if you outline what you can do with that savings! Do you dream of taking a family vacation or owning some new splurge? Perhaps this savings could help you budget for it.
Meat Free Monday Meals
Over time, we have tried a variety of meatless meal ideas. Here are some of our favorites (and a couple that we are definitely going to try very soon!).
Note: If you want to try using dried beans for some extra savings, it’s not as tough as it seems! I described my method in my Ham & Beans post. And while those ham & beans aren’t exactly meatless, many times you can just use a ham bone that would otherwise have gone to waste for another super frugal meal!
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Some recipes to try:
- Garlic Butter Pasta (Sooo good!)
- Loaded Potato Soup
- Healthy Black Bean Casserole
- One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta
- Here’s an idea for doing a baked potato bar (Fun way to use up leftovers!)
- Make a pizza using my delicious recipe for the crust. Top it with whatever you have handy!
- Three Bean Chili Chowder (We omit the chicken to make it meatless, but still yummy!)
- Bean Burrito Casserole (We really love this one!)
Plus, I’m always pinning great recipes! So if you follow my Meatless Meals Pinterest board, you’ll be sure to find plenty of delicious, frugal recipes to keep the family interested.
Take These Steps:
- Find a great meatless recipe you know your family will enjoy.
- Serve it and see how they react.
- If you get complaints about the lack of meat, start talking about the savings you’ll have!
- Save the money in your account.
This was day 21 in the Secure Your Savings and Find Peace in the New Year series. Go to the bottom of this post to find all the money saving and money making posts in this series!
These tips will have your family chowing down on meatless meals in no time!
These days, my family is just as excited about bean burritos as they are about taco night. Can we call that a success?
Do you already have meatless nights in your home? What are your favorite recipes?