Are you bored of the same cheap meals that your family has been eating for a long time? Here are some great ideas on how you can make meals special!
How to Make Frugal Meals Feel Special
You work hard preparing meals for your family, but sometimes it’s nice to make them a little bit out of the ordinary. When you are on a budget and/or a big meal planner, special and fancy meals usually don’t fit into your plans. And especially when you are on a budget, it’s hard to be able to eat out for a special occasion.
So today I want to share with you some ideas on how to make those “boring” frugal meals into something special. Because sometimes you just want new or sometimes you really need to celebrate a special occasion.
How to Make Meals Special
Serve Your Meal With a Special Drink
Now you’ve probably already gathered that we don’t drink alcohol but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to have a fancy drink with a meal once in a while. Sparkling Apple or Sparkling Grape juices are our favorite and the kids love indulging in this special treat as well. Grab a couple of wine glasses to enjoy this in from the dollar store and you’ll really look like you’ve upped your game!
Set the Place and the Mood
It’s amazing what a pretty tablecloth or a few well-placed candles can do for a meal. We love putting some taper candles into my Mason Jar Candle Holders and turning out all the lights to make supper a special time. If you aren’t quite trying to get this fancy with your meal, just a nice tablecloth that you don’t pull out often will change things up. Try something with bright colors.
Serve at the Home Restaurant
Even if you are serving the same thing you make every Friday, switch up the way that you serve it. Try putting it on a different serving plate that you don’t use often or you could even put each individual plate together in a fancy way like they might at an upscale restaurant.
Change It Up
This is a fun one that we don’t do often but my kids really love. Change the place where you are eating the meal. Maybe serve it in a different room or make it a picnic outside (we’ve even done indoor picnics on the floor!). A change of “scenery” will really help the meal to feel different and special and I bet it won’t be forgotten for a long time.
Invite New Faces
Sometimes the best part of the meal is those that are gathered around the table. If you want to make your next meal special, invite someone to join you! They will enjoy being asked and your family will enjoy the fellowship and stories that another face will bring to the table.
I don’t often make dessert, but when I do, it always dresses up the meal! It’s also a wonderful incentive to get the kids to clean their plates. 🙂 Something like my Recipe for Red Velvet Cake or the Crustless Chocolate Cheesecake would be great for fancy dessert!
Ask Questions With Long Answers
When I’m writing I often think about the type of question I’m asking, “Does this have a long answer or a short (yes or no) answer.” For your next special meal, try asking more “long answer” questions. Get the family talking about something new and interesting. This is a perfect way to deflect from the fact that you are serving beans for the 3rd time this week!
Get the Kids Involved
No matter if you are making something you make all the time, or something new, let the kids (or one of the kids) make part of the meal, perhaps a side dish or dessert. This is a great way to get the kids involved in the cooking and gives them bragging rights at the table (aka: “Those are my baked carrots!”). If you are generally the one that does most of the cooking, this can be a great way to make the meal a little more special.
Live Up the Birthday
In our home, birthdays are a really big deal. We don’t usually cook meals that are out of the ordinary though. Here’s what we do. The birthday person gets to choose all 3 meals of the day; breakfast, lunch, and supper. This automatically makes every meal of the day special, not because of what it is, but because it’s the choice of the birthday person and you know it’s one of their favorites.
Remember, that even if you aren’t making a meal “special” every time, those affordable meals that you are making are always special because they are a work of the heart. You don’t have to bake and cook everything from scratch in the convenient world that we live in, but when you choose to do so, it’s an act of love and that will always be special.
How do you make meals special in your home?