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Q&A | I don’t feel like cooking on the weekends. Help!

I’ve read your blog for years now and have gained a lot from the frugal tips, inspiration, etc. I have done meal plans for years and it helps so much. I have a mental block on what to eat/fix on Friday and Saturday.

We plan and can afford to eat out once a week, so we do that Friday or Saturday. But that leaves the other day with nothing planned and I/we really don’t want to cook a meal come Saturday night. How do you plan for the weekend? Seems like your weekly meal plans don’t include Saturday and Sunday. What do you or other readers do on those days?

It’s weird, but I know exactly what you’re talking about.   Somehow, cooking on a weekend feels different and I don’t even know why.

We almost always have pizza on Fridays, which makes that night easy for me to plan. And then usually on Saturday night, Mr. FG and I have our date night, and the kids make something easy for themselves.

Sunday nights are a pretty casual affair, and frequently consist of a snacky type of dinner, with cheese, crackers, fruit, fruit dip, lunch meat, popcorn, and maybe some frozen hors d’ouevres (like Asian dumplings from Costco).

So, that’s what we do, and here are a few ideas for your Saturday meals:

  • Do a quasi-homemade meal on Saturdays.   For instance, you could buy frozen stir-fry and frozen egg rolls, which would be cheaper than take-out but easier than from-scratch cooking.   Or buy a container of jarred sauce (like Tikka Masala). You just brown chicken, add the sauce, simmer it, and put it over rice.   Very little thinking involved!

  • Do a snacky meal like we do on Sunday nights.
  • Buy some quick-cooking convenience meats that you can throw on the grill with little to no prep (shrimp, bratwurst, chicken sausages?)

grilled sausages

  • If your family will cooperate, consider a fend for yourself night and let them loose in the kitchen. Sandwiches? Mac n cheese from a box? A bowl of cereal? Have ’em do whatever.
  • If you have time/energy on Fridays, do something to prep Saturday night’s dinner.   Marinate some meat, salt a chicken, put some meat in the fridge to defrost.   Somehow, even a small prep step makes it easier to get myself into the kitchen the next night.


Readers, I know a bunch of you frugal people keep right on cooking through the weekend. So, help Holly out!

How do you get dinner on the table on weekends without spending a bunch of time in the kitchen?


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deanna in AR

Sunday 12th of November 2017

May not be helpful because we're retired and we live very simply. I cook a meal in my Instant Pot 2-3 times a week...usually a one-Pot-meal for a late chuck roast with onion, potatoes and carrots...pork loin...stew, soup, with fresh or frozen veggies or salads. I always make enough for leftovers for 1-2 meals. In the evenings we do snacky things...a spoonful of peanut butter and a couple slices of cheese and olives...sometimes cheese and crackers....or soup. I'm also trying to learn to love sardines, easy and healthy. On Saturday nights my hubby pops popcorn and on Sunday nights he makes cheese tortillas. Friday nights we either go out or pick something up. I love simple!

Saturday 4th of November 2017

Alot of times, I will grill several meats on the grill like hamburgers, chicken, hotdogs and pork chops to have for several meals and not have to cook every evening. Also, I will make up a big batch of potatoes and a big salad.


Saturday 4th of November 2017

Most weeks I empty the fridge Thursday night bc Friday is trash day and we have bears so garbage with food can't be outside anywhere until we leave for work even then it may need a strap. This motivates us to eat food up as best we can & for me to shop on Saturday morning if I work Sunday. I always have Monday off so I cook then and again in Thursday but simple. This week I made a pan of roasted root veggies and brussel sprouts which I ate some with pork chops and then Thursday I made Rachel Ray' s roasted root veg soup, which is great with hot sauce! I bought a can of Amy's chilli for one meal and made fried egg sandwiches another. Then Friday night made grilled cheese and tomato soup bc I knew it would start raining and it sure has and hasn't stopped in over 24hrs here.


Saturday 4th of November 2017

And also as someone else said when it's football season we have pizza on Sunday :D

Thanks for the great ideas everyone!


Thursday 2nd of November 2017

Lots of great ideas; I love the everyone fend for themselves, sheet pan dinner and breakfast. I also love the idea of a relaxed invite people over and everyone bring your favourite antipasto. I also work during the week and try to cook up on the weekend but I usually do this Sat or Sun arvo and keep dinner Sun night simple as Sunday can be pretty full and I like an easy night to recharge for the week ahead. If we have leftover roast we love lamb and gravy toasted sandwiches (has to be a jaffle maker and just enough gravy to coat well but not too sloppy), toasted cheese +/- tsp canned cream corn ( gets VERY hot so allow to cool a bit), and I have also started making Sunday night a kinda egg night; very quick, very cheap and highly nutritious; soft boiled eggs with soldiers, fried eggs on toast, baked eggs on their own or with ham/cream/herbs. and my current fave shakshuka. When a dear friend got married her mother hosted a large number of the extended family for breakfast on the day and she taught me you can do a large tray with the shallow concave pots with bread cut with a round cookie cutter, ham/bacon (not sure if you have to cook the bacon first) and cracked an egg on top and bake. Cooked breakfast for a crowd in minutes. And I love omelettes.


Monday 6th of November 2017

Deidre, I'm curious- what does that mean "soft-boiled eggs with soldiers"? Thank you!


Thursday 2nd of November 2017

Thank you so much for the ideas! I’ve already started doing better to plan for the weekend. I think I needed to start by asking the question and then the ideas started flowing. I’m going to add a lot of these mentioned here to the list I started.

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