Thrifty Thursday | Themed Dinner Ideas

Meal planning is such a great way to save time and money. And planning your meals can happen so much quicker when you use themed dinner ideas. Today I’m sharing some great ideas for your next Thrifty Thursday themed dinner. I hope you love this collection of budget friendly meal ideas!

Budget Friendly Dinner Dinner Ideas @

This list of Thrifty Thursday or budget friendly meal ideas will help you save money on your grocery budget and plan this week’s menu!

I love themed meal planning because it helps me come up with ideas without thinking too hard and long about it. For instance, when planning your menu for the week, your thought process might look like this:

This Thursday our themed dinner menu will be Thrifty Thursday. What can I make that’s a favorite meal from my childhood?

Be sure to check out The Ultimate List of Themed Dinner Ideas here.

I became a vegetarian in 1998 and my family is vegetarian. In fact a large majority of my extended family is vegetarian as well. Sometimes I make vegetarian dinners that are just you know, naturally vegetarian. However, sometimes I take recipes that call for meat and replace the meat with a vegetarian option.

Being a vegetarian has many health benefits.

Vegetarian substitutions for meat:

You’ll find these products in the freezer aisle or health food section of your local grocery store. You can also find these products at most health food stores like Whole Foods.

Thrifty Thursday Themed Dinners

How to plan your menu in 4 easy steps:

  1. Select your main dish.
  2. Choose 2 – 3 side dishes that compliment your main dish.
  3. Think about variety of food groups. Try to choose something from each of the main food groups.
  4. Focus on providing well rounded, nutritious meals.

45 Thrifty Thursday Recipes | Budget Friendly Meal Ideas

Main Dishes

Here are 45 budget-friendly meal ideas for your next Thrifty Thursday-themed dinner.

Side Dishes Ideas

Use two or three of of these budget-friendly side dish options to round out your Thrifty Thursday meal.

  • steamed frozen vegetables (corn, broccoli, etc.)
  • white or brown rice
  • baked potatoes, fried potatoes , or boiled potatoes
  • beans or peas
  • fruit salad or sliced fruit
  • garden salad
  • bread, rolls, or toast
  • lima beans
  • macaroni and cheese
  • buttered noodles
  • corn on the cob
  • mashed potatoes and gravy
  • sweet potatoes
  • tater tots, French fries

Theme Day Menus: Thrifty Thursday

Let’s put it all together. I’ll show you how I would create menus based on the Thrifty Thursday-themed dinner ideas (budget-friendly meal ideas) I’ve shared above. 

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Wish someone would do all your menu planning for you? Good news! Eat at Home Meal Planning service is a simple solution for busy women just like you. 


8 Thrifty Thursday Menu Plans

These budget friendly meal plans will help you figure out what to cook this week!

Themed Dinner Idea #1

Themed Dinner Idea #2

Themed Dinner Idea #3

Themed Dinner Idea #4

Themed Dinner Idea #5

Themed Dinner Idea #6

Themed Dinner Idea #7

Themed Dinner Idea #8

Free Printable Meal Planner

Free Printable Weekly Menu Planner @
Weekly Menu Plan and Shopping List

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