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A simple way to save on supper

'Breakfast for dinner' means cheaper grub and easier prep.

By Donna_Freedman Sep 19, 2012 11:12AM
Logo: Parents and children eating at table Maria Teijeiro, Digital Vision, Getty ImagesKris, who blogs at Cheap Healthy Good, lists several compelling reasons to serve breakfast for dinner:
  • Morning chow doesn't cost much.
  • It's probably healthier than any fast food you might grab.
  • Best of all, you feel like you're getting away with something.

"You feel a little naughty -- like you're doing something you're not supposed to. Like you're going against the natural progression of your day. Like you're flipping (off) time, space and convention," she writes in this 2009 post.


"That may sound like a lot of responsibility to assign a piece of toast, but I assure you, it's all true." 

It really is. Breakfast for dinner is cheap, simple to prepare and, yes, fun. Pancakes! French toast! Scrambled-egg sandwiches! You should be eating these in the morning -- but it's dark outside and the evening news is on.

Sometimes all I have for dinner is a bowl of oatmeal and some fresh fruit, or a couple of boiled eggs, bread and butter, and a dish of homemade yogurt. So simple, yet so satisfying. And yeah, so cheap.

Is this trick for kids?

Mary Ann Romans from notes that some adults might find the breakfast-for-dinner theory a trifle off-putting. Yet she hears no complaints about chicken sausage and scrambled eggs with cheese or a frittata made with leftover vegetables and pasta.

"There are so many choices for breakfast," she says.

About that frittata: It's not only easier to make than its cousin, the quiche, it's also lower in calories. Lacy of Deliciously Frugal suggests using chicken or turkey sausage and some mozzarella along with the eggs; with a small green salad or a piece of fruit, it makes a hearty meal.

So would the English Muffin Strata with Ham and Cheese recommended in the above post from Cheap Healthy Good. She figured it cost about $1.01 per serving back in 2009. Prices have obviously gone up, but it's still not going to be an expensive dish, especially if you get the English muffins at a bakery outlet and the eggs on sale.

Kris also ran a post on what may be the world's best pancake recipe. If you're a French toast fan, check the supermarket bakery's day-old section for "rustic" loaves at a discount; this is one instance when you want the bread to be slightly older. If everyday bread tends to go stale before your household can use it all, stash those last few pieces in the freezer until you have enough for supper.

A fruit compote stands in nicely for syrup, by the way, and it's a good way to use up those wilting apples from the back corner of the fridge. Chop them up and simmer until tender with a little water, sugar and cinnamon.

Got leftover pancakes? Smother them with sausage gravy, a la Just A Frugal Foodie. She'd planned to make biscuits, but at the last minute she pulled some homemade flapjacks out of the freezer. The advantage of this dish is that a relatively small amount of crumbled sausage goes a long, long way.

Do you eat breakfast for dinner? Have recipes to share?

More from MSN Money:

Sep 19, 2012 3:06PM
We do this usually once a week, as we love pancakes,etc and used to only get them on a weekend. That is what we had decided yesterday, that we were having for dinner tonight. Pancakes, turkey sausage, and egg whites. Yum!
Sep 25, 2012 12:47PM
Growing up, we never had Sunday "dinner" but Sunday "supper."  We never had time for hot food for breakfast any day of the week, so Sunday night was an "easy" meal for Mom.  Waffles, French toast, scrambled eggs were great!  Not breakfast food, but other light meals were Welsh rabbit (melted cheese sauce on toast) or grilled cheese sandwiches.  No veggies to cook!  I don't think my picky eater little brother ever complained about Sunday suppers!
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Donna Freedman's Frugal Nation blog is for readers who want to live cheaply -- whether due to necessity or a lifestyle choice. It explores living sustainably and making life more meaningful at the same time.


Donna Freedman

Donna Freedman, a writer based in Anchorage, Alaska, writes the Frugal Nation blog for MSN Money. She won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. Donna also writes about the frugal life for her own site, Surviving and Thriving.