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Frugalistas Frugalistas

How do you feed your family for less? Share your recipes and meal plans!

Posted by on May. 10, 2013 at 8:52 AM
  • 20 Replies

Cooking with frugal ingredients and making meals that stretch over more than one dinner can help your family have great meals without breaking the bank. Planning at least a week's worth of meals in advance can also make it cheaper and easier to buy groceries.

Here are some great tips for planning frugal meals:

  • Choose inexpensive ingredients for your main dish
  • Stock up on beans for cheap and nutritious meals
  • Use eggs, not just for breakfast, but for lunch or dinner, too
  • Make use of leftovers by turning them into stews or soups
  • Cook casseroles that stretch for more than one meal
  • Plan your frugal meals based on coupons and supermarket specials
  • Familiarize yourself with store prices on items you can cook for less
  • Think about pasta or rice dishes for stretchable, versatile meals

 
Here are a week's worth of $10 dinners:

  • Turkey Chili: Estimated Cost: $6.75-$7.75; Serves 4
    Ingredients: 1 pound ground turkey, 1 can chili beans (drained and rinsed), 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 14oz can diced tomatoes, 1 can tomato paste, 2 tsp chili powder
    Directions: Brown ground turkey in a skillet and drain. In a large pot, combine black beans, chili beans, diced tomatoes (do not drain) and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Add in the cooked ground turkey. Stir in chili powder. Let simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. Serve with crackers or a slice of whole wheat bread.
  • Dirty Rice Casserole: Estimated Cost: $6.00;Serves 4
    Ingredients: 1 pound ground turkey or beef, 1 box of Zatarain's reduced sodium dirty rice, 1 small green pepper (chopped), 1 small red onion (chopped)
    Directions: Cook rice according to package. In a medium-sized skillet, brown the ground turkey or beef. Add in onions and peppers. Once the rice is finished and the meat is drained, combine together in a large pot. Serve with hot sauce or teriyaki sauce if desired.
  • Italian Meatball Soup: Estimated Cost: $6.50-$7.50; Serves 4
    Ingredients: 8oz refrigerated or frozen meatballs;1 15oz can sweet peas; 1 14oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano; 1 14oz can beef broth
    Directions: Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered, about 10 minutes or until meatballs are heated through. Garnish with basil if desired.
  • Baked Ziti: Estimated Cost: $6.75-$7.50; Serves 4
    Ingredients: 1 box whole penne pasta, 1 jar spaghetti sauce, 1lb ground turkey, 1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
    Directions: Boil pasta according to package. Brown the meat in large skillet and drain. Add in jar of spaghetti sauce. Drain pasta and combine with meat and sauce mixture. Pour pasta into a lasagna pan and sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of reduced fat mozzarella cheese. Heat in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  • Meatball Subs: Estimated Cost: $7.50-$8.50; Serves 4
    Ingredients: 8oz package turkey meatballs, 1 bag sub rolls, 1 jar spaghetti sauce, 1 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
    Directions: Heat meatballs in a saucepan with spaghetti sauce. Place meatballs on sub rolls, and sprinkle with cheese. Place in oven until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.
  • Veggie Wrap: Estimated Cost: $7.00-$8.00; Serves 4
    Ingredients: 10-inch flour tortillas, 2 TB cheddar cheese, ½ cup cut up vegetables, 1 TB bottled ranch dressing
    Directions: Layer cheese and vegetables on tortilla. Top with ranch salad dressing and roll up

*Note that the prices listed will vary based on brand, store and location.

What are your best tips for making frugal dinners? What are your favorite low-cost meals?

by on May. 10, 2013 at 8:52 AM
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Replies (1-10):
michiganmom116
by Rhonda on May. 10, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Do even better and make many of the things listed yourself:  meatballs, ranch dressing, tortillas, spaghetti sauce....and cook dry beans instead of buying canned.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on May. 10, 2013 at 10:35 AM

We stick to a nutrient dense diet....no pasta, dry beans, bread, etc.....and you'd think it would be pricey.  However, NOT buying all the things that would have to go with the above to make a meal saves plenty -- enough to make buying more healthy produce very easy to do.

My meals center around veggies and meats, with a little cheese and a few other ingredients to make things interesting. 

All in all, I spend around $100 a week or less (including meats, fresh and frozen produce, eggs from free range hens, nuts, misc.) to feed 2 adults and 3 teens.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on May. 10, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Here's my meal plan for next week.  I planned for leftovers, too, see?  Sunday's sweet potato leftovers will become Monday morning's sweet potato patties.  Sunday's roast chicken leftovers will become chicken salad wraps for Monday's lunch and chicken fajita pizza for Tuesday's dinner.


May 12 – 18, 2013


Sunday:

breakfast – baked omelet w/hashbrowns, veggie juice

lunch – leftover pizza, salad

dinner – spicy roast chicken, baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, beets


Monday:

breakfast – sweet potato patties, fried eggs, veggie juice

lunch - chicken salad lettuce wraps

dinner – meatloaf, mock twice baked potato casserole, steamed broccoli mix


Tuesday:

breakfast – sausage and squash frittata, veggie juice

lunch – tuna/tomato/avocado salad

dinner – chicken fajita pizza


Wednesday:

breakfast – leftover frittata

lunch – hamburger veggie stew

dinner – Swiss mushroom chicken on grain-free panini, tossed salad


Thursday:

breakfast – almond flour blueberry pancakes, veggie juice

lunch – pizza burgers, salad

dinner – paprika pork roast, broccoli & cheese casserole, roasted butternut squash


Friday:

breakfast – scrambled eggs w/sausage & peppers, veggie juice

lunch – leftovers

dinner – tacos


Saturday:

breakfast – fend for yourself

lunch – bratwurst, salad

dinner – pizza



JakeandEmmasMom
by Silver Member on May. 10, 2013 at 11:50 AM

 Your meal plans always inspire me!  Do you plan by the week or by the month?

Also, would you mind sharing your squash and sausage frittata recipe? ;-)

Quoting michiganmom116:

Here's my meal plan for next week.  I planned for leftovers, too, see?  Sunday's sweet potato leftovers will become Monday morning's sweet potato patties.  Sunday's roast chicken leftovers will become chicken salad wraps for Monday's lunch and chicken fajita pizza for Tuesday's dinner.

 

May 12 – 18, 2013

 

Sunday:

breakfast – baked omelet w/hashbrowns, veggie juice

lunch – leftover pizza, salad

dinner – spicy roast chicken, baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, beets

 

Monday:

breakfast – sweet potato patties, fried eggs, veggie juice

lunch - chicken salad lettuce wraps

dinner – meatloaf, mock twice baked potato casserole, steamed broccoli mix

 

Tuesday:

breakfast – sausage and squash frittata, veggie juice

lunch – tuna/tomato/avocado salad

dinner – chicken fajita pizza

 

Wednesday:

breakfast – leftover frittata

lunch – hamburger veggie stew

dinner – Swiss mushroom chicken on grain-free panini, tossed salad

 

Thursday:

breakfast – almond flour blueberry pancakes, veggie juice

lunch – pizza burgers, salad

dinner – paprika pork roast, broccoli & cheese casserole, roasted butternut squash

 

Friday:

breakfast – scrambled eggs w/sausage & peppers, veggie juice

lunch – leftovers

dinner – tacos

 

Saturday:

breakfast – fend for yourself

lunch – bratwurst, salad

dinner – pizza

 

 

 

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on May. 10, 2013 at 12:02 PM
1 mom liked this

I used to plan by the month and probably still could, but I've been doing it by the week or two more often.

I found the frittata recipe here:  http://cookeatpaleo.com/sausage-and-butternut-squash-frittata/

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 Your meal plans always inspire me!  Do you plan by the week or by the month?

Also, would you mind sharing your squash and sausage frittata recipe? ;-)

Quoting michiganmom116:

Here's my meal plan for next week.  I planned for leftovers, too, see?  Sunday's sweet potato leftovers will become Monday morning's sweet potato patties.  Sunday's roast chicken leftovers will become chicken salad wraps for Monday's lunch and chicken fajita pizza for Tuesday's dinner.


May 12 – 18, 2013


Sunday:

breakfast – baked omelet w/hashbrowns, veggie juice

lunch – leftover pizza, salad

dinner – spicy roast chicken, baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, beets


Monday:

breakfast – sweet potato patties, fried eggs, veggie juice

lunch - chicken salad lettuce wraps

dinner – meatloaf, mock twice baked potato casserole, steamed broccoli mix


Tuesday:

breakfast – sausage and squash frittata, veggie juice

lunch – tuna/tomato/avocado salad

dinner – chicken fajita pizza


Wednesday:

breakfast – leftover frittata

lunch – hamburger veggie stew

dinner – Swiss mushroom chicken on grain-free panini, tossed salad


Thursday:

breakfast – almond flour blueberry pancakes, veggie juice

lunch – pizza burgers, salad

dinner – paprika pork roast, broccoli & cheese casserole, roasted butternut squash


Friday:

breakfast – scrambled eggs w/sausage & peppers, veggie juice

lunch – leftovers

dinner – tacos


Saturday:

breakfast – fend for yourself

lunch – bratwurst, salad

dinner – pizza



 


ummcarter
by on May. 11, 2013 at 4:08 AM

Beans! We genrally eat beans 6x in a week or more. We homeschool so theres always someone home for meals. Pinto beans are great just simmers until tender with a little salt. We serve them with rice or corn bread or whole grain bread and some cheese along with some fruit and dark veggies. Check out Just Beans for hundreds of bean recipes.

matreshka
by on May. 11, 2013 at 7:12 AM

Tofu, beans and lentils are cheaper than meat and can be subbed in most meat recipies.

AzariahsMother
by on May. 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

I look for new things to try already taking into count what I have at home, and start planning from there. 

charla_r
by Charla on May. 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I look for recipes that use things I always have on hand (pantry staples).  That cuts down on spending. 

e.sugarbaby
by Bronze Member on May. 11, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Broccoli and cheese casserole recipe please.... ;)

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 Your meal plans always inspire me!  Do you plan by the week or by the month?

Also, would you mind sharing your squash and sausage frittata recipe? ;-)

Quoting michiganmom116:

Here's my meal plan for next week.  I planned for leftovers, too, see?  Sunday's sweet potato leftovers will become Monday morning's sweet potato patties.  Sunday's roast chicken leftovers will become chicken salad wraps for Monday's lunch and chicken fajita pizza for Tuesday's dinner.


May 12 – 18, 2013


Sunday:

breakfast – baked omelet w/hashbrowns, veggie juice

lunch – leftover pizza, salad

dinner – spicy roast chicken, baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, beets


Monday:

breakfast – sweet potato patties, fried eggs, veggie juice

lunch - chicken salad lettuce wraps

dinner – meatloaf, mock twice baked potato casserole, steamed broccoli mix


Tuesday:

breakfast – sausage and squash frittata, veggie juice

lunch – tuna/tomato/avocado salad

dinner – chicken fajita pizza


Wednesday:

breakfast – leftover frittata

lunch – hamburger veggie stew

dinner – Swiss mushroom chicken on grain-free panini, tossed salad


Thursday:

breakfast – almond flour blueberry pancakes, veggie juice

lunch – pizza burgers, salad

dinner – paprika pork roast, broccoli & cheese casserole, roasted butternut squash


Friday:

breakfast – scrambled eggs w/sausage & peppers, veggie juice

lunch – leftovers

dinner – tacos


Saturday:

breakfast – fend for yourself

lunch – bratwurst, salad

dinner – pizza



 


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