I've only made meatloaf a few times, but there are some things that I do when I make it that I wanted to share.
The recipe I use calls for round buttery crackers (like Ritz). As much as I love these crackers, I rarely buy them and so don't usually have them on hand. I substitute saltine crackers, which not only are a lot cheaper, but I usually have these in my cupboard.
The recipe also uses Worcestershire sauce, which although this is something most people probably have, I have never bought it, since I rarely need it. After looking at several recipes to make homemade Worcestershire sauce, I decided to use soy sauce with a little garlic powder instead.
Even with these substitutions, the meatloaf turns out great!
Whenever I make meatloaf, I make a full recipe, but only use half of it for meatloaf. Since there are only two of us, we don't need that much meatloaf. The other half of the recipe I turn into meatballs. I have found this to be a quick and easy way to get meatballs, which I then stick in the freezer. Then, when we have spaghetti, I pull out several meatballs and heat them up with the sauce.
Hope you find these ideas useful!